French magazine Le Point said that the Japanese authorities decided to temporarily release hundreds of foreigners without visas, with many restrictive conditions, including the lack of the right to work and to appear periodically before the police, which means the end of the dream of employment in the empire of the rising sun for many young people.
The magazine’s correspondent in Tokyo, Karen Nishimura, started from the tragedy of a Vietnamese woman who lives in a hotel room with two people without money or fixed housing, is not entitled to any social assistance and does not have health insurance, until her only wish is to return to her country, she says. “Japan’s dream is over. I regret coming.”
The correspondent said that the Vietnamese thirtieth, who has been stuck in Tokyo for several days, and which has only the equivalent of 30 euros, incurred large debts in Vietnam a year ago, to meet the requirements for admission to a 3-year vocational training program in Japan, and it was assumed that the same would be allowed from Foreign workers receive training in Japanese companies before returning to the country.
Like many others, most of them young Asians, Lin used a small manual job in a factory in Gifu Prefecture, central Japan, before she was fired when the company went bankrupt due to the Corona crisis, but what was expected was – from another job being offered to her by a supervisory body responsible for this type of The workers – not met, says the correspondent.
Limited freedom with a ban on work
Because of her illegal situation, Lynn was placed in a detention center – as the reporter says – which is in fact a waiting room for her return to her country, a place whose inmates may struggle for several years, either because of the lack of resources to allow them to travel or their unwillingness to leave.
“Foreigners in such centers are illegal,” according to an official at the Japanese Ministry of Justice, who requested anonymity. They no longer have anything to do in Japan. “We want them to leave the country. They are in these centers because they do not want to return to their homes.”
And because this argument made by the official for the magazine in late 2019 is no longer valid with the Covid-19 epidemic, due to the risks of contracting the virus in these crowded places, the authorities decided to temporarily release hundreds of foreigners who do not have visas, but with many restrictive conditions that may include them. Periodically registering to prove presence with the police, with whom it is not permitted to work at all.
Lynn says that she does not have the money to pay for the plane ticket, and the authorities have not left her with the possibility to earn it, and although she wants to return to her country, she cannot do that, because the number of planes is very few and the seats are very expensive, adding, “I have a large debt in Vietnam, but there I can.” At least work hard to pay it off. “
The reporter said that the way in which employers treated these young foreign trainees – for whom Japan is a dreamland – made workers’ advocacy groups protest regularly, especially since the way in which these trainees were abandoned by the authorities who brought them may be a bad omen A country like Japan has a labor shortage.
Before the epidemic, Japan had launched a wide program, based on a new type of visa, to attract foreign workers to various sectors, such as agriculture, domestic service, and others.
In response to a question about issues such as what happened with Lin, Japanese Justice Minister Yuko Kamikawa said that the “work ban” for these foreigners is a “precondition” for their conditional release, because they are “in a state of illegal residence, and if they are facing difficulties, they should contact the department that” She will do her utmost to help them return to their country. “
But the matter is not that simple, says Communist Senator Tomoko Tamura, who protested to the government when the first cases of this kind appeared last summer. He was told, “The organizations that supervise these workers are responsible for that, and they should have helped them even to return to their country,” Even if their professional training has been interrupted for any reason. However, these provisions are not respected at all. “
The senator says, “We cannot consider these people guilty, for they are due to a personal mistake and they found themselves in an illegal residency status, and the organizations that take care of them must be held responsible for that, and that is the government’s mission, which I will continue to follow.” However, “these foreigners do not have them.” Way out at the moment. “