I haven’t written about Japan for awhile, and since we have so many new readers, I figured it was time to point this out (again)—Japan only takes a tiny number of refugees!
And, consequently, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees has been haranguing Japan for years to open its doors (and begin diluting their culture!) to the masses of Middle Eastern and African (mostly Muslim) migrants on the move around the world. Japan has resisted.
And I have not seen the UNHCR harangue China, Saudi Arabia or some other Middle Eastern countries in the same way they nag Japan.
Here is an activist from the UK badmouthing Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, at The Diplomat:
When asked for his view on the U.S. president’s executive order to ban the entry of people from seven Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East and Africa, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s response was very disappointing.“We are not in a position to express the view of the Japanese government,” he said at the Upper House on January 30. Not surprisingly, he did not bring up the travel ban’s issue when he met President Donald Trump earlier this month.
In contrast to the clear disagreement with the travel ban expressed by other world leaders, the Japanese leader’s response received criticism from the opposition and civil society. Many theorized that the prime minister had avoided criticizing the new U.S. president in order to protect Japan’s national interests, in particular its economy and security. Yet others pointed out a more fundamental problem: Japan cannot point its finger at any other country’s immigration policy.
Japan’s record on immigration and refugees is not something that the country can be proud of. In 2016, Japan granted refugee status to only 28 people out of 10,901 applicants. In other words, 99 percent of applications were rejected.
It is not enough for the nags that Japan is one of the world’s top contributors to the UNHCR:
Japan is one of the top donors to the UN Refugee Agency (UNCHR). It contributed $164,726,114 in 2016, making Japan the fourth largest donor after the United States, European Union, and Germany. Yet instead of turning this generosity to welcome refugees on its soil, Japan crosses its arms to those who actually arrive on its doorstep. On January 30, when discussing the U.S. travel ban, Abe added after his response, “At any rate, we believe the international community should jointly cope with refugee issues.”
To learn more about Japan’s limited involvement with ‘welcoming’ disparate cultures to the country, read on.
So far, Japan’s leadership is smart enough to look around the world and ask—why should we invite the problems we see in Sweden, Germany, France, The Netherlands and the US to our tiny country?
For my previous posts on Japan, go here.