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Fun / foon Tokyo
Tuesday, June 29, 2004
AUSLANDER RAUS! Gaijin go home!
Topic: Japanese life
A banner hanging in Shinagawa Station announces a "Measures Targeting Illegal Foreign Workers Month," sponsored by the Tokyo Immigration Bureau, for June.

VISA VILLIANS


The Japan Times, June 29
.... On May 27, Japan's Diet amended the "Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act," enacting stricter punishments. The maximum fine for visa expiry increases tenfold from 300,000 yen to 3 million yen. Banishment from Japan doubles from five to 10 years. Those who come clean at Immigration before being caught will merely be deported faster.
This is on top of already-tough detention conditions: Several days confined to a room with other criminals (sometimes at a daily charge of 60,000 yen). Access denied to family, a consulate, or even a lawyer.
What's going on? The National Police Agency claims that hordes of illegal aliens (estimated somehow at 250,000) are ratcheting up Japan's crime rate...
... But do the new punishments fit the crime? After all, equating overstayers with hardened criminal activity (like burglary or murder) overstates the seriousness of the matter.
"Overstaying" in itself is a bureaucratic procedure, not necessarily a willful act to deprive others of life, liberty, or property. ...
... So let's get this straight. People thrive by bringing foreigners here, give them lousy conditions and few civil protections, and then blame them for rising crime numbers? A full third of which are not "hard crimes," but rather visa violations -- often instigated by Japanese?
Any hope for some improvements? Not ...

Posted by trek/taro at 11:10 AM KDT
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