by Tatsuya Haishi
Japan is known as a country that is reluctant to accept refugees compared to other advanced countries. I know that receiving refugees or asylum seekers has many difficulties. There are may be illegal aliens pretending to be refugees. It is need that the budgets to give protection to them. Still, rights of human beings are more important. It is natural that refugees and asylum seekers live comfortably as humanity; moreover, I think they will benefit Japan in the future.
The working population of Japan has been declining and Japan will need more labor. Allowing to refugees or asylum seekers and hiring them is one of the effective solutions against this problem. Of course employment issue of Japanese young people is also important but I do not think the employment rate of the youth of Japan would increase even without accepting refugees and asylum seekers. Therefore more Japanese companies should hire them like Uniqlo, which has a sort of exchange internship program for refugees. One of the Uniqlo’s Japanese staff says “Refugees have various experiences, so the Japanese staff are also learning a lot from them.” I think a refugee who can take this program is limited and he or she is really smart but there must be other refugees who are much more talented than Japanese workers. Maybe refugees will lead Japan’s economy in the upcoming aging society with fewer children. However, we must not forget that rights of a refugee are far more important than expectation for a refugee as labor. Ensuring refugee’s human rights takes top priority.
I believe that Japan has a duty to help refugees, but if I say that, there must be people who insist, “You are looking down on refugees!” or “The word of ‘help’ sounds condescending!” I hate arrogant attitude, too. Yet, we should discuss whether I am condescending or not after refugees are guaranteed their safety. No one can choose where they are born and they are brought up. I was born in Japan and have never left from this country. However, if I was born in a troubled area, I might be a refugee now and leave from my homeland. The only reason I am not a refugee is because I was born in Japan. The only reason I think that Japan should accept more refugees is because I was born in an advanced country with my right to live. Japan has to allow to refugees just because Japan is an advanced nation. There is no reason except that.