Myanmar refugees set for new life

Kyodo

Eighteen Myanmar refugees consisting of four families, who arrived in Japan from a camp in Thailand last year, completed a language and cultural acclimation program Friday and are looking forward to embarking on a new life here.

All the refugees are of the Karen ethnic minority and the second group that Japan accepted under its third-country resettlement program. All four husbands in the group will work at a shoe factory in Tokyo, while their wives will work at a cleaning company in Saitama Prefecture.

“When we were living in a refugee camp, there were no opportunities for our children. We’re looking forward to our future in Japan,” said one of the fathers, who is in his 20s and has two kids.

The government plans to accept a third group of refugees this fall under the program introduced in 2010 on a trial basis.