Japan pays foreign workers to go home
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33 / M / philippines
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Posted 4/25/09
HAMAMATSU, Japan

Rita Yamaoka, a mother of three who immigrated from Brazil, recently lost her factory job here. Now, Japan has made her an offer she may not be able to refuse.

The government will pay thousands of dollars to fly Yamaoka, her husband, who is a Brazilian citizen of Japanese descent, and their family back to Brazil. But in exchange, Yamaoka and her husband must agree never to seek to work in Japan again.

"I feel immense stress. I've been crying very often," Yamaoka, 38, said after a meeting where local officials detailed the offer in this industrial town in central Japan.

"I tell my husband that we should take the money and go back," she said, her eyes teary. "We can't afford to stay here much longer."

Japan's offer, extended to hundreds of thousands of blue-collar Latin American immigrants, is part of a new drive to encourage them to leave this recession-wracked country. So far, at least 100 workers and their families have agreed to leave, Japanese officials said.

But critics denounce the program as shortsighted, inhumane and a threat to what little progress Japan has made in opening its economy to foreign workers.

"It's a disgrace. It's cold-hearted," said Hidenori Sakanaka, director of the Japan Immigration Policy Institute, an independent research organization.

"And Japan is kicking itself in the foot," he added. "We might be in a recession now, but it's clear it doesn't have a future without workers from overseas."

The program is limited to the country's Latin American guest workers, whose Japanese parents and grandparents emigrated to Brazil and neighboring countries a century ago to work on coffee plantations. In 1990, Japan -- facing a growing industrial labor shortage -- started issuing thousands of special work visas to descendants of these emigrants. An estimated 366,000 Brazilians and Peruvians now live in Japan.

The guest workers quickly became the largest group of foreign blue-collar workers in an otherwise immigration-adverse country, filling the so-called three-K jobs (kitsui, kitanai, kiken -- hard, dirty and dangerous.) But the nation's manufacturing sector has slumped as demand for Japanese goods evaporated, pushing unemployment to a three-year high of 4.4 percent.

"There won't be good employment opportunities for a while, so that's why we're suggesting that the Nikkei Brazilians go home," said Jiro Kawasaki, a senior lawmaker of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

"Nikkei" visas are special visas granted because of ancestry or association. But those who travel home on Japan's dime will not be allowed to reapply for a work visa. Stripped of that status, most would find it all but impossible to return. They could come back on three-month tourist visas.

Or, if they become doctors or bankers or go into certain other positions, and have a company sponsor, they could apply for a professional visa.

The plan came as a shock to many, especially after the government introduced a number of measures in recent months to help jobless foreigners, including free Japanese-language courses, vocational training and job counseling.

"It's baffling," said Angelo Ishi, an associate professor in sociology at Musashi University in Tokyo. "The Japanese government has previously made it clear that they welcome Japanese-Brazilians, but this is an insult to the community."

It could also hurt Japan in the long run. The aging country faces an impending labor shortage. The population has been falling since 2005, and its working-age population could fall by a third by 2050. Though manufacturers have been laying off workers, sectors like farming and care for the elderly still face shortages.

But Kawasaki said the economic slump was a good opportunity to overhaul Japan's immigration policy as a whole.

"We should stop letting unskilled laborers into Japan. We should make sure that even the three-K jobs are paid well, and that they are filled by Japanese," he said. "I do not think that Japan should ever become a multi-ethnic society."

He said the United States had been "a failure on the immigration front," and cited extreme income inequalities between rich Americans and poor immigrants.

"They put up with us as long as they needed the labor," said Wellington Shibuya, who came six years ago and lost his job at a stove factory in October. "But now that the economy is bad, they throw us a bit of cash and say goodbye."

He recently applied for the government repatriation aid and is set to leave in June.

"We worked hard; we tried to fit in. Yet they're so quick to kick us out," he said. "I'm happy to leave a country like this."

what do you think guys....
8594 cr points
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Posted 4/25/09
I read this article from Yahoo on yesterday. I feel sorry for them. The economy is very bad right now.
Posted 4/25/09
I don't know what to say....... Wow just wow....
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22 / F / Toronto, Canada
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Posted 4/25/09
thats really sad i wish i knew them so i could do something anything
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25 / M / Omnipresent
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Posted 4/25/09
There's already a thread on this.

http://www.crunchyroll.com/forumtopic-499864/japan-pays-foreign-workers-to-go-home/
7553 cr points
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25 / F / over there.
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Posted 4/25/09
^ agreed. duplicate.
call them shortsighted.
Posted 4/25/09
^ yeah what they typed.
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27 / M
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Posted 4/25/09

cerebralking wrote:

"I do not think that Japan should ever become a multi-ethnic society."

He said the United States had been "a failure on the immigration front," and cited extreme income inequalities between rich Americans and poor immigrants.



WAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?

Posted 4/25/09
In my point of view, Japan does have the right to bribe them with money.
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Posted 4/25/09 , edited 4/25/09
Same in spain!


Sept. 19, 2008 MADRID, Spain

Spain will pay jobless immigrants to go home under a decree approved Friday, more dramatic evidence of how a once-booming economy has quickly gone bust.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26792948/

You know! It's called an economic crisis and not an outburst of racism and facism.
Posted 4/25/09
wow..
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21 / M / UK
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Posted 4/25/09
Hurray for bribes!

But wow I feel sorry for them...
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76 / M / UK
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Posted 4/25/09
Posted 4/25/09
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