Jiko Sekinin, a question of responsibility

by Haruka Ichikawa

I disagree with the thinking of jiko sekinin. Of course, there is the thought that we should live by ourselves, but I think the government should protect the nation. And the situation in which there are many poor people (for example, net cafe refugees and homeless people) shows that the government cannot protect both Article 25 of the Constitution and the people. But people should exert the greatest possible effort if they want to be protected by the government. Moreover, if the government doesn’t help people, it is the responsibility of the state. Therefore we should try to live by ourselves and action positively to solve our problems. But if we cannot solve the question, we rely on the government. So I think that we must not depend on the state much.

Anne Allison says that workers’ wage fell by 4 percent, homelessness increased, far too few in the population received welfare, and all the while profit of corporations doubled, stock rose in value by close to three times, and the pay of government officials tripled. I think that the view that it is individual self-responsibility is circulated even if since academic ability is lower than other persons, it will set in the disadvantageous state, and the right to life will be taken by intense academic ability competition and entrance-into-a-school-of-higher-grade competition. However, even after the Great East Japan Earthquake, people who are driven away to a misfortune by a sudden catastrophic disaster, and cannot stand up only by individual power have occurred in large quantities. There is no other way but to help each other. Regular employment is reduced and, probably, it should also be called such a “social disaster” that the post of the stable occupation cannot be taken. Such a “social disaster” cannot be made into the cause of individual capability or efforts, and those who exist difficult cannot be neglected. The Constitution was produced as a joint contract that will guarantee the level of the life. Therefore supporting people who attacked by poverty and unemployment and recovering hope is the responsibility that the state was mandated by people.

Today, the problem of poverty is not lost in the world and at home. What on earth can we do? Our power may be small and it may be rare to be able to do. The present condition will still change nothing, if we not only wait for the government to do passively, but do not act it positively.

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“Refugees” in Japan

by Narumi Ito

Nowadays, people who lose their homes are increasing in Japan because they might be laid off by their companies and cannot earn money. They have to sleep in fast food shops, family restaurants and Internet cafes. “Refugees” is increasing in Japan. According to Anne Allison, a refugee is someone who is homeless or a net café nanmin. It has become a serious problem in Japan. Most of them work as temporary laborers or day laborers. Their salaries are unstable thus they cannot rent their home. However, when they can sleep at net café, they will feel happy because they sometimes have to sleep outside, for instance, at stations or under bridges and on streets. They do not have enough money to spend indoor.

Refugees have two big problems. The first problem is a certificate of residence. If the situation of their addresses are unsettled, they do not have their houses, thus they may treated as drifters by Japanese law. Moreover they have many problems if they do not have their certificates of residence. They cannot renew their driver’s licenses, have universal suffrage or receive unemployment insurance. In addition, they cannot rent new apartments when they become to be able to rent them because they cannot register the legal registration of their official seals.

Second is an illness. They cannot go to hospital because they cannot pay their consultation fees, however, I think that they have much possibilities of becoming ill. They always spend at places which are insanitary. In fact, there are many people who contract tuberculosis or some infectious diseases at net cafes. Most refugees tend to use Internet café thus they may get mass infection.

The right to life is written clearly in the Constitution of Japan. It is that all Japanese people have right to make healthy and cultural life and have the minimum standard of living. I think that welfare is based on the Japanese constitution thus Japanese government should give refugees which include homeless and net cafe nanmin the minimum lives. However Japanese government cannot protect this right. In fact, Japanese government do not treat with the problem of refugees. Most refugees are deleted their certificates of residence. They can request their welfare if they do not register their resident registration. Thus they request Japanese office to be on welfare. Japanese public office do not give welfare to them because officers think it is troublesome.

For example, offers of welfare from refugees are deferred or rejected or hidden. Officers may be able to neglect offers because the homeless do not register their residences. I assume that officers conceal the offers many times in Japan. The actual situation may let the problem of refugees worsen in Japan.

In my opinion, if Japanese public offices continue to neglect this problem, Japan have to own many more refugees in the future. If the Japanese government gives them minimum welfare or food protection, they may be saved, improve their lives and get jobs. Japanese government should make some concrete policies to deal with this problem. All Japanese people are protected by the Constitution of Japan equally and live healthily and happily.

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