by Kanami Hirokawa
It is said that the number of refugees is 43.3 million in the world now and many refugees are driven away from their living places. Although many of them are staying at their home country or the neighboring country, there are also refugees who come to the developed countries such as the US and Canada in order to look for their safe and stable life. This is refugee resettlement. Since 2010, Japan also began to the program of refugee resettlement as the first country of the Asian country. In 2010, 27 refugees of Myanmar who live in refugee camp of Thailand came to Japan. This is a new approach for Japan.
At first, why does not Japan receive many refugees? About 1.6 thousand refugees came to Japan in order to be recognized as refugees in 2008. However, the refugees who were recognized as refugees by the Minister of Justice are only 56 refugees. This number shows that many refugees can not be recognized as refugees and be allowed to come to Japan. Compared with other developed countries such as the US and France, the number of refugees being received is very few. The cause that the refugees in Japan are a small number is the system on the refugees and entry into a country. In Japan receiving entry permit to Japan is difficult in the eyes of the system of Japan. In the present day, refugees who came to Japan in order to be recognized as refugees are accommodated in an accommodation temporarily and they are treated like illegal immigrants. The food they receive is a poor Japanese food and they can not eat well because they do not adapt to Japanese food. They suffer in the accommodation until the result of the procedure comes out.
Next, Myanmarese refugees who came to Japan in 2010 learned a lot about the way in Japan in order to know about Japanese life and culture and to live comfortably. They learned Japanese language, culture and custom. Moreover, they were taught the necessary things to live without being in trouble such as the way of shopping and ATM because they lived in refugee camp and do not know these ways. They learned about many things for six months and they began to live and work by themselves.
However, refugees face many problems and difficulties in their lives in Japan. They face the wall of culture, language, discrimination and so on. In particular, in Japan foreigners tend to be recognized as strangers. Many Japanese still think that people living in Japan can speak Japanese and have black hair and eyes. Therefore, refugees who can not speak Japanese well are seen as the objects of the discrimination. Even if they can get the entry permit, their lives is not easy.
At last, Although Japan began to the approach of the refugee resettlement since 2010, Japan also contributes much money to United Nations High Commissioners for Refugees (UNHCR). The contribution of Japan is the second to the US. In Japan many Japanese do not know the existence of refugees in the world, but Japanese government has an effort to decreasing number of refugees. Therefore, Japan will receive more refugees in the future. Japan is not friendly country for refugees in the present state of affairs of Japan. In order to achieve receiving more number of refugees to Japan, changing the mind of Japanese people and being improved the system of the entry permit are also needed. Japan has many points to be improved about refugees.
Daisanngokuteizyu [Refugee Resettlement]. (2012). Seihu Kouhou Onrainn. Retrieved May 28, 2013 from http://www.gov-online.go.jp/useful/article/201201/5.html
Nannminn Mondai Toha [What is Refugees?]. (2011). Gaimusyo. Retrieved May 28, 2013 from http://www.mofa.go.jp/mofaj/press/pr/wakaru/topics/vol70/index.html
Sekai no Nannmin[Refugees in the World]. (2010). AAR Japan. Retrieved May 28, 2013 from http://www.aarjapan.gr.jp/activity/emergency/refugee.html