The U.N. refugee agency has urged Japan to resettle more asylum seekers, its chief said on Monday, pressuring the country to help solve a global crisis after giving refugee status to just 3 Muslims since the beginning of 2017. On the other hand, the UN never pressures the oil-rich Arab Gulf States including super-wealthy Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain, none of which have offered sanctuary to a single Syrian refugee.
Reuters (h/t Marvin W) Japan is one of the developed world’s least welcoming countries for asylum seekers. It accepted 28 in 2016, despite applications from a record 10,091 people.
It has since 2008 given home to limited numbers of refugees through a so-called third-country resettlement scheme, resettling a total of 152 people – mostly ethnic Karen people from Myanmar living in Thai and Malaysian camps. Multiculturalism is seen as destructive to Japanese society, traditions and culture. Japanese pride themselves on the homogeneous nature of the country and their immigration policies reflect that.
“That program is very small, about 20-30 refugees a year,” U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi told a news conference in Tokyo. “I have asked the government to consider whether it could be expanded.”
Japan’s reluctance to accept refugees mirrors a wider caution towards immigration in a nation where many pride themselves on cultural and ethnic homogeneity. Its record at home has drawn sharp criticism from international human rights groups, and has been at odds with its traditional status as a major international donor on refugees.
But Japan’s donations to the UNHCR have slipped: in the year to Oct. 2, it was the fourth-largest donor, giving $152 million, compared to the second-largest four years ago.
According to Human Rights Watch, when looking for solutions to the global refugee crisis, Japan is often identified as a country that could do more. It contributes generously to the United Nations refugee agency but does very little in terms of accepting asylum seekers in Japan, especially MUSLIM asylum seekers.
The Tokyo Reporter reported that of the handful of Muslim refugees Japan did accept last year, two of them, aged 22 and 16, have already gang-raped, assaulted, and robbed a 31-year-old Japanese female.
In 2012, there was a Muslim protest (below) in Tokyo against the Coptic Christian filmmaker who made the film “Innocence of Muslims” about Mohammed.
Japan’s Justice Ministry said it received a record 7,586 asylum applications in 2015, up 50 percent compared to the year before…but only accepted 27 refugees including 6 from Afghanistan, 3 from Syria, 3 Ethiopians, and 3 Sri Lankans. And one of the reasons for this policy is this: Of the 27 Muslim ‘refugees’ taken in by Japan in 2015, two Turkish nationals have already gang-raped a woman
Japan Times In 2015, riots between Turks and Kurds took place in front of the diplomatic mission in the Japanese capital city of Tokyo. Two police officers were among those injured in the confrontations. The clashes erupted amid the Turkish army’s military campaign against members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
al-Jazeera Japan is the world’s third largest economy and runs the tightest refugee recognition system among industrialized economies. The country has long been nervous about an influx of refugees into its homogeneous society and has tightly restricted the number it accepts. The ministry said number of Muslim refugees (27) accepted in 2015 and 2016 was a jump from 11 in 2014 and six in 2013. However, most of them were from Indonesia.
Japan says that many people claim asylum in Japan to find work, encouraged by access to renewable work permits for people applying for refugee status.
It officially rejects unskilled migrant workers, even as a fast-shrinking and ageing population blunts the potency of government efforts to rouse the economy from over two decades of sluggish growth and deflation.
The Justice Ministry, which oversees refugee recognition, is weighing steps including restrictions on work permits for asylum seekers to curb what it deems “abusive” applications.