/

Wary of outsiders, Japan keeps doors closed to refugees

by and

AP

For Mohammed, the perils of staying in Damascus were driven home when a sniper’s bullet whizzed past his head while he and his cousins were on his roof, watching the Syrian air force bomb rebel forces.

The same roof was where Mohammed and his lifelong friend, Jamal, used to sit in a tent and play video games. Now, instead of studying for a law degree, Mohammed is working as a fitness instructor in Tokyo, trying to squeeze in some language study and hoping that like Jamal, he’ll beat the odds and win official status as a refugee in Japan.

The odds aren’t good.

Out of the 7,533 people who applied for refugee status in 2014, or appealed earlier refusals, only 11 were approved. That includes Jamal, his mother and sister, whose approvals came after a 1½-year wait.

For most, the approval never comes: In the past five years, the proportion of applicants granted refugee status in Japan has dropped to below 1 percent — in 2014 it was just 0.2 percent. In contrast, Germany has accepted nearly 40,000 Syrian asylum seekers since 2013, while the U.S. has pledged to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees and has resettled 2,234 since 2010.

Japan’s hands-off response to the global refugee crisis, despite its generous humanitarian aid, reflects deep unease over allowing in outsiders, given the insular customs of this island nation. Despite growing concerns over a shrinking labor force, the government has so far resisted calls to open the door wider, both for humanitarian and economic reasons.

Immigration officials say they suspect many applicants of being job-seekers, not true refugees fleeing persecution or conflict.

But for Mohammed, the reason was “just surviving,” he said.

“I was on my roof, in my favorite spot,” the 24-year-old said. “Then I heard, like, fuhfft, next to my ear. A sniper just missed me. So we laid down on the floor, me and my brother and two of our neighbors and we started laughing, but this kind of laughing is like, ‘ah, OK, we’re alive.’ ”

Mohammed is among 50 Syrians in Japan who have applied for asylum. Ten left the country voluntarily. Asylum seekers are allowed to work while their applications are being processed.

In the past, Japan in some instances has allowed in refugees. During World War II, Chiune Sugihara, a Japanese diplomat stationed in Lithuania, granted transit visas to thousands of Jews, defying requirements that they have proper funds and a clear final destination after Japan.

Another official, Tatsuo Osako of the Japan Tourism Bureau’s office in the port of Tsuruga, Fukui Prefecture, helped many Jews and Europeans who arrived to stay on. And in the 1980s, Japan resettled more than 10,000 Indochinese refugees, mostly Vietnamese boat people.

But for the most part, Japan has shut its doors. Of the 22,559 people of all nationalities who have sought political asylum in Japan since 1982, immigration figures show only 633 were granted refugee status.

Immigration officers do not provide reasons for their decisions, but Nobuhiro Tsuru, assistant director of refugee recognition at the Immigration Bureau, admits approvals are slowed by the volume of applications that must be handled by only 130 screening officers.

“As a result, those people who most need quick protection are affected. That’s a fundamental problem,” Tsuru said. “We haven’t caught up with all kinds of recent developments, but we are trying to figure out how we can help those who really need help.”

Limited public support for allowing in more displaced people weakened after the November attacks in Paris, “but we do take the criticisms seriously,” he said.

To alleviate labor shortages in the construction sector and other industries, the government has expanded a program that brings in foreign technical trainees. The understanding is that those trainees will go home; in reality, many escape the menial, low-paying jobs they are sent to fill, in some cases seeking refugee status. The program is now being reviewed after being criticized as a cover for slave-like labor.

As of the end of 2014, there were 59.5 million individuals forcibly displaced worldwide as a result of persecution, conflict, violence or human rights violations, and the number is on track to exceed 60 million this year for the first time.

During a recent visit, U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres appealed to the government to increase the number of people allowed to resettle in Japan, “and especially now to look into the humanitarian admissions of Syrians.”

Guterres also urged Japan to improve its asylum system, which many working with refugees say is flawed, and do a better job of integrating those it accepts into their new communities.

Japan’s Refugee Recognition Act does not include war refugees in its narrow interpretation of the international Refugee Convention. That excludes most of the millions fleeing the five-year-old conflict in Syria, said Eri Ishikawa, who chairs the board of the Japan Association for Refugees, a group that helps asylum seekers with legal issues, food, housing and other needs.

“The government understands that everybody in a war zone would be in danger,” said Ishikawa. “The Japanese interpretation of the Refugee Convention is unique and needs to be changed.”

Shogo Watanabe, a lawyer who has been helping refugees seek asylum for years, says the biggest problem is that Japan’s immigration policy is geared toward keeping people out.

“The Immigration Bureau’s main focus is to prevent undesirable foreigners from entering the country,” he said. “So accepting refugees is contrary to their main mission. They have little motivation to accept outsiders.”

Most of those refused asylum are not sent back straight away; dozens each year — 110 in 2014 — are granted special protection on humanitarian grounds. But heavy reliance on such arbitrary policies leaves many newcomers in limbo, preventing them from getting language instruction, health insurance and other help they need to cope in their new home.

Maung Aung Thura Myint, a dapper, intense man who fled Myanmar as a 20-year-old political dissident, has lived with that uncertainty for half his 41 years, appealing repeated rejections of his requests for asylum, never knowing if or when he might be detained, yet again, or deported.

“Japan says it is supporting countries overseas. But it already has people in its own country seeking help,” Maung said. “People who are seeking help need to be treated properly regardless of their religion or color.”

Like many other exiles from Myanmar, Maung says he hopes to return home if the Southeast Asian country’s shift in 2011 to a civilian, democratic government proves to be stable. But he fears leaving Japan without first gaining a legal status guaranteeing he can return.

Distant Japan is an option for only a few of the more than 4 million Syrians who have fled their country, often ending up in overcrowded refugee camps, risking perilous voyages across the Mediterranean and treks through the mountains to enter Europe.

Mohammed and Jamal, who asked that their last names not be used out of concern for family members still in Turkey and Syria, managed to get tourist visas with the help of one of Jamal’s relatives who lived in Japan for years.

A change in the policy toward Syrian refugees would require better planning on how to provide housing, education and jobs, says Tsuru, of the Immigration Department.

But he said, “I think Japan should consider taking a share in accepting the refugees.”

  • Paul Martin

    In this respect Japan is correct ! They do NOT want for Japan what has happened and is still happening in Europe, hordes of
    un-processed derelicts invading the continent without scrutinization. This is WHY Japan is the World’s SAFEST country, like Australia they are determined to PROTECT their border and are fortunate to have a natural ocean moat as a defensive aid surrounding the country.

    • Paul Johnny Lynn

      Derelicts? You’re talking about doctors, lawyers, engineers, scientists, accountants, housewives, children. Without scrutinization? There IS scrutinization, checking, verification. And the current Australian government’s position on the matter is making it a pariah.

      • Baby Shoes

        You are insane. DOctors??? parasites is more like it.

      • Paul Johnny Lynn

        They are refugees fleeing war, sorry if they didn’t think to pack everything they might need before they left and need some help. But don’t worry about other human beings suffering, you just continue on with your prejudices. Oh, but, hope and pray you never end up in a similar situation, eh.

      • Baby Shoes

        We’ve got to take care of our own problems, nation, culture and blood kinfolk. We are absolutely under no circumstance responsible for Arab Muslims, Indians or Africans at all.

        Your altruism will eventually destroy our nation. You and MSNBC/CNN social justice warriors never live with this rabble but we do and we’ve had it being 3rd class citizens in our lands.

        The races wars will be starting soon and I’ll put in extra effort to punish the traitors FIRST. Be rest assured the 3rd worldwide won’t get you but I will!

      • Paul Johnny Lynn

        I don’t think anyone’s used the term “limey” since W.W.II, but never mind. You do make a lot of assumptions don’t you? But then again spouters of hate such as you usually do. And a threat of physical violence? Really? That kind of stuff will get your name on lists. Oh, and by the way, what on earth is “an ugly test”?

      • Baby Shoes

        I’ve got you pegged and Lemmy sucked by the way. I could tell it was a 60 year old arsehole from Merseyside.

      • Baby Shoes

        How’d they let in such an ugly test like yourself?? You must be a limey your reeking from self hate. Probably the off spring of a paddy scouser.

      • Edward Kyle

        So all the men of military age in good health and with smart phones are just refugees fleeing war? The rapists and the looters are just poor sods that haven’t any hope at home in Damascus and just want a little piece if the action (ass) in the Deutschland? How many blacks (at least half of those storming the gates are black African rather than Middle Eastern) actually live in Syria? How many people live Syria? If Merkel alone will welcome 200,000 or more per year how long before the whole Syrian nation decides to schlep it on in to Berlin? I hope your daughter never gets raped by a “refugee” or your son made comatose by a “migrant”; I hope that your synagogue or church doesn’t get defaced or debauched; I hope your car is not torched in protest because some “asylee” can’t find meaningful employment. But when it does look to me for support and sympathy: none will be forthcoming. I will let you rot where you fell and return to my supper and protecting my own!

      • Paul Johnny Lynn

        I have no daughter, son, or car, but never mind, you just keep on spewing unsubstantiated hate, building strawmen. Thanks for your contribution though, I’m sure you’re a full bottle on all things Japanese.

      • Edward Kyle

        Pride is not hate. It is not hateful to love yourself. Are the Muslims hateful? They are proud and vociferous and not willing to assimilate. Isn’t that hateful toward the French, Germans, and Swedes; the Christians; the Jews?

      • Edward Kyle

        Please. One of the reason there ate so many foreigners in Britain, Austraila, and the UK is because the aformentioned nations have become lazy, selfish, and in instances, out right hostile to their own people.

        Also isn’t dangerous and selfish to lure – steal – the best talent from an already low IQ population suppressing their economies and life-expectancies, just so that granny can get her hip-replaced at a discount and Sheila can club it up rather than wipe it (a baby’s ass, that is) down?

      • Paul Johnny Lynn

        “…Britain…AND the U.K…” Really? Two different nations eh? What right-wing fantasy world do you live in?

      • Edward Kyle

        They are connected via the channel tunnel so it is very easy to travel from France to the UK. “Refugees” from Calais are encamped there trying desperately to get into the UK. With the Schengen Agreement in place (not long for this world, mind you) they can travel unimpeded all across Western Europe until they get to Calais. There is nothing but a few courageous British patriots (the UK is not party to the Schengen Agreement) to stop the hordes from overwhelming Britain (the ones who don’t want to stay in France, that is)!

      • Paul Johnny Lynn

        Britain IS the U.K., really Edward, your lack of basic geography is showing.

      • Edward Kyle

        Really? Its called a typo bro. How about presenting a counter argument? What is that? Oh! Right! You haven’t one!

      • Edward Kyle

        Really? Its called a typo bro. How about presenting a counter argument? What is that? Oh! Right! You haven’t one!

      • Edward Kyle

        Turn in your TV man. Open your eyes! It all around you and you still think that the world can be just one big international food court one big multicultural kumbaya drum circle. You probably think the song “Imagine” deep and meaningful, as well.

    • blondein_tokyo

      If you think Japan needs to keep its culture pure and cities safe by keeping foreigners out, the WTF are you doing here, gaijin?

      And if you aren’t an immigrant to Japan, and don’t live here, why should your gaijin opinion even count? Why should Japan care what outsiders think?

      • Baby Shoes

        What were doing here is NOT your concern at all. But know this, we are not here to turn Japanese into us. We live quietly and Fulfill a need the Japanese have for us, nothing more or nothing less. We are most importantly not trying to change the CULTURE & RELIGION unlike the muslims.

      • blondein_tokyo

        Who is “we”? You trying to speak for the original poster? Or do I dectect a sock puppet?

        “Fulfill a need the Japanese have for us”?

        Who are you kidding? You’re here for YOURSELF, not because you selflessly want to serve the Japanese people. You don’t give away all your salary to charity, do you? You don’t work for free, do you? If not, then your grand gesture of living to “fulfill the need the Japanese have” is a farce, only an excuse to try and distance yourself from your true identity of IMMIGRANT.

        As an immigrant, you will retain part of your cultural identity regardless of how well you’ve integrated into Japanese society. You still speak your native language; you still enjoy the foods and goods of your native country; you will patronize businesses that sell those foods and goods here; and you still enjoy socializing with your countrymen, when you come across them. And, you *retain the same opinions, habits, and ideals that you had before you came.*

        You are fully responsible for the influence you have on the Japanese people you interact with, the bits of your culture that will inevitably rub off on them, the food, ideas, fashion, and traditions (still celebrating Christmas?) that you will teach your Japanese friends, colleagues, and neighbors.

        If you really and truly believe what you are saying, if you honestly thought that Japan shouldn’t accept immigration to keep its culture completely pure, then YOU WOULDN’T BE HERE, as your very presence influences changes in the people around you.

        If you aren’t a hypocrite, you’d leave Japan completely for the “pure” Japanese, go back to where you belong, and stop even trying to insert your personal opinion into Japanese politics.

      • Baby Shoes

        I’m not an immigrant and I’m not staying either. I’m literally here for a period of time to work and complete a project for the Japanese government. You are a social justice warrior whose hell bent on making the world as one.

        People don’t want to be one and are very happy as they are. So spare me your ideological nonsense.

      • blondein_tokyo

        Are you working for free?

        Are you staying inside everyday and refraining from socializing with the Japanese so as not to accidentally taint their culture?

        Are you speaking *your native language*?

        And finally, if you don’t live here, why are you inserting your gaijin opinion onto the Japanese? What makes you think they either want or need the advice from outsiders? Can’t they take care of their societal problems themselves? What even gives you the right to interfere?

        Go back to your country, gaijin. Stop interfering with Japan. Leave Japan for the Japanese. They can take care of themselves and don’t need outsiders here on *their* government projects. They can stand alone so as to keep outsiders from influencing their way and culture.

        Or can they….? ;)

      • Baby Shoes

        I was hired because I have a certain expertise that the Tokyo Metropolitan Government needs help with. Of course I’m being compensated very well for my efforts.

        Do I socialize with the natives, mostly in a business environment when we get together on projects. From what I’ve learned from my colleagues is that they aren’t interested in seeing foreigners flood into their country unlike the nonsense your spouting.

        I know you’re a Saul Alinsky Marxist hack who feels that it’s HER duty to enlighten the world to be as one. Is that what you learned in the Talmud of pathetic one?

      • blondein_tokyo

        So you do not in fact speak Japanese, are only here on a temporary basis, are taking money for your work instead if doing this out of the benefit of the Japanese alone, and happily socialise with your Japanese co-workers (in English) all the while influencing them, their work, and lending your foreign expertise and influence.

        In other words, you are a complete and total hypocrite who doesn’t practice what he preaches.

        Further, you fully admit that your expertise benefits a foreign government, thereby showing very clearly that Japan – no country, really- can stand on its own.

        If you seriously are a cultural purist, you wouldn’t be here, wouldn’t give your help to a foreign government, wouldn’t chance influencing another culture or being influenced by one, and wouldn’t be so bold as to offer your foreign advice to a country you don’t live in. That leads me to believe you’re either lying about being a cultural purist, or else quite happy to give up your personal beliefs whenever you can gain from it.

      • blondein_tokyo

        Are you working for free?

        Are you staying inside everyday and refraining from socializing with the Japanese so as not to accidentally taint their culture?

        Are you speaking *your native language*?

        And finally, if you don’t live here, why are you inserting your gaijin opinion onto the Japanese? What makes you think they either want or need the advice from outsiders? Can’t they take care of their societal problems themselves? What even gives you the right to interfere?

        Go back to your country, gaijin. Stop interfering with Japan. Leave Japan for the Japanese. They can take care of themselves and don’t need outsiders here on *their* government projects. They can stand alone so as to keep outsiders from influencing their way and culture.

        Or can they….? ;)

      • Baby Shoes

        What were doing here is NOT your concern at all. But know this, we are not here to turn Japanese into us. We live quietly and Fulfill a need the Japanese have for us, nothing more or nothing less. We are most importantly not trying to change the CULTURE & RELIGION unlike the muslims.

      • Baby Shoes

        You should keep your MARXIST, LEFTIST the World is ONE NONSENSE for the West and the Jews that taught you that RUBBISH.

      • Baby Shoes

        You should keep your MARXIST, LEFTIST the World is ONE NONSENSE for the West and the Jews that taught you that RUBBISH.

    • xexex

      I suppose you should practice what you preach and show yourself to the door, then.

      • blondein_tokyo

        Exactly. :)

  • Paul Brady

    Japan, protect your culture and country. Don’t become like Britain and Sweden and France.

    • Edward Kyle

      Yep!

  • Toolonggone

    Even so, the Abe regime is luring foreigners to ‘the Land of the Sunset’ for the 2020 Olympic Games. Oh well.

  • Yuki

    Don’t do it Japan! My country did and they’re everywhere, hanging out in the streets day and night. They don’t learn the local language or respect our customs. They just leave garbage everywhere and break into cars at night. I can’t walk to school without my brother or boyfriend.

    • Steve Bland

      Where is your country?

      • Yuki

        Canada

      • Steve Bland

        Where are ‘they’ from? Sounds such a shame to a great country like Canada, but it’s just the same as here in England, many areas are ruined. Japan should keep its supposedly racist attitude and keep japan as it is, Japanese.

      • Baby Shoes

        Unfortunately social justice warriors like blondein_tokyo insist on changing all of that. The good thing for Japanese is that they don’t speak English and actually care about their culture. If 4th generation Koreans still aren’t considered Japanese, what hope is there for Syrians?

        Westerners should take lessons from Japanese on self preservation.

      • Edward Kyle

        I agree!

    • Steve Bland

      Where is your country?

    • Paul Johnny Lynn

      With a nasty, racist attitude like that you’ll fit in well in Japan if you ever get here. Until, that is, the locals turn that same attitude to you.

      • Baby Shoes

        It’s none of your business how Japan treats aliens and that includes you.

    • Edward Kyle

      Originally from Japan?

  • KietaZou

    I expected the lead comment to be a bigot. Three turned up. Paul, Paul and “Yuki” – you’re all not simply wrong, but awful, stupid, horrible and dishonest people.

    Would that I could show you just how awful I think you are in person (BTW, I would NEVER use violence or threats, just bitter, compassionate words hopefully sharp enough to piece that armor of bigotry and fear you’ve encased your humanity within.)

    You’re all dead inside, which explains why your comments reek so.

  • EmmaDelores

    Good on Japan, Keep them out. Even Saudi Arabs and all other gulf states are not accepting refugees and no one says a word against them. Why does Japan have to sacrifice when their own muzlim brothers are not taking them in. Most of these muzlims have such a sanctimonious better than thou attitude (note I said most). It wont be long before they are telling you that they are offended because you are eating pork and drinking wine, kinda like LOOOL
    OMg I cant even believe that people are attacking Japan for not letting them in. That is kinda like so lame.

  • J.P. Bunny

    Yokoso Japan.

  • Kessek

    I love that the same people who cry and whine about injustice towards gaijin are the same people crying and whining about Japan accepting refugees.

    Pathetic.

  • Kessek

    I love that the same people who cry and whine about injustice towards gaijin are the same people crying and whining about Japan accepting refugees.

    Pathetic.

  • Kessek

    Ah the bigots are surely thin-skinned these days.

    • Edward Kyle

      And since when is being proud of who you are and having a willingness to defend you way of life bigotry? Do the Japanese rape and maim those that they disagree with; wish them harm or harbor ill will? Do they refuse to help the less fortunate, monetarily or otherwise? Mock the afflicted? You slander them and their way of life. You,sir, are the only bigot here! When the diversity cult gets exposed for what it is you and your ilk will have to answer for have done. You have a stain upon your soul!

      • Paul Johnny Lynn

        Please Edward, tell us all where your impressive knowledge of Japan comes from, your many years of residing here? Your ancestral links? Your decades of research?

      • Edward Kyle

        My is from there – born and raised. That is how I know you tool!

      • Paul Johnny Lynn

        Your ????? is from there??? Mother? Wife? Car? C.D. player?

      • Edward Kyle

        Wife. Again you can only comment on the typos. You can’t counter my argument with facts!

  • Baby Shoes

    Don’t let in any at all Japan, do not become fools like Westerners. These are a detriment to Japanese culture and society. Let them deal with their own problems in Syria.

    • Paul Johnny Lynn

      Yes, let those children deal with those barrel bombs themselves.

  • ジャシンダ(Jashinda)

    Don’t take them in. You don’t want a situation where they do take all the jobs in understaffed fields and then pull a 180, stop working and start protesting and being a genuine nuisance.

    • Paul Johnny Lynn

      So..let’s put no-one in those understaffed fields eh, like nursing and aged care?

      • Baby Shoes

        Maybe you should go back to America and let them live with your relatives.

      • Paul Johnny Lynn

        Never been to America, therefore impossible for me to “go back”. Next category, Sport for 20?

      • Baby Shoes

        Limey

      • Edward Kyle

        Or how about the Japanese man up, put down the gadgets, and impregnate their women!

    • Edward Kyle

      Or burn down a Buddha and rape scores of young women and girls. The US Army already does this and it must end. Do not import the dregs of the world! Kick the dregs out!

  • Evolutionary1

    Mohammed–soon to become the most common baby name in Japan too, if the New World Order has its way.

    Japan is going extinct. It’s tragic. They’re too conscientious and industrious to reproduce.

    • Edward Kyle

      Japan does have some hope. It is a long, long way from the Hell-hole that goes by the name of the Middle East and that nationalism still runs strong. But you are right: the people need to start reproducing. If they don’t they are not long for this world. And will cease to be industrious.

  • darksoulcatchingLight

    If Japan lets in hoards of muslims they will lose their culture! Muslims reproduce like rabbits and their religion/culture is what matters the most to them, they will build many masque and seek to convert others into their religion/culture. And then the country will lose it’s original identity because islam is not tolerant of opposing views.

  • Km1000

    It’s telling that many foreign posters here are encouraging Japan not to let in these refugees and middle eastern immigrants… A few years ago the majority of European posters here would be shouting that Japan should accept thousands of middle eastern immigrants. Now however after seeing the mess that the UK, Canada, France, Germany etc are in the Japanese have to visit these counties and understand that if they give Japanese nationality to children of immigrants born here, or accept thousands of middle eastern immigrants Japan faces a dark future.

  • Edward Kyle

    Watch or read the international news! Watch and read all the news that you can. Watch Alex Jones; read VDARE; Takimag! Or take it from my own family in France: Middle Eastern/ African “refugees”/ immigrants are filthy, dangerous, parasites. Every year “refugees”, “asylum” seekers, and immigrants in general, rape, murder, and assault scores – thousands – of native European women, suck-off the government welfare teat, steal jobs, depress wages, destroy priceless, irreplaceable cultural artifacts and landmarks, and make themselves a all around nuisance.

    Japan is on the right side of history. The winds of history are blowing in your direction. Europe and the USA is waking to the fact that it cannot accommodate any more “refugees”, Asylees, or immigrants. Nationalism is the way of the future. Japan’s way will soon be the way of the future!

    True diversity is predicated on separation, seclusion, segregation. Leftist diversity is homogenization by racial mixing and cultural suicide. The USA used to a great place; Britain used to be a great place; France used to be a great place; until the left and its suicidal diversity cult took hold. There is not a stable and safe multi-cultural/ multi-racial nation on the face of the Earth that is, safe, secure, and free.

    I implore you: do not follow down the road to perdition. Be proud of who you are. Being proud does not mean that you must hate others. On the contrary. But it doesn’t mean you must celebrate and accommodate other either.

    If you do this and allow foreigners into your nation you will not a have a nation in 100 years time. It is time for Japan to man up, put down its gadgets, start making babies, and taking responsibility for its own defense; not to import unassimiable, undesirable foreigners, depressing your economy more than it already is, and endangering your elderly, women, and children.

  • Edward Kyle

    Really? But Islam was not the only group to be singled out. I suspect that it had something to do with the Puerto Ricans that tried to assassinate Pres. Truman (the attempt occurred around that time; he incident is not mentioned in the article). Just like the 1996 anti-terrorism act that is being abused to incarcerate the Oregon ranchers was a reaction to the Okla. City bombing; which was a reaction to Federal Murder at Waco and Ruby Ridge.

    Who cares? Do you? Should you? I care. And I hope that you care, one way or the other, too. The protections the Constitution affords end at the border. I am a libertarian, but the one thing the government (if it must exist at all) has the obligation to do is control/secure the nations borders. So if the nation – the people – does not like Muslims it has the right to keep them out! If you make it in, well, that is a different story.

  • Edward Kyle

    Paul Johnny Lynn must live in his mother’s basement in Munice or something. If he had ever been out in the real world and looked around a bit would see that the world – his own country! – is in flames and on the verge of collapse. Nope. We are the bigots who point out the truth. We must be rounded up and corralled! We can’t have free men tell the truth and fighting back!

  • Edward Kyle

    Thanks for the link. It is very interesting. The USA used to be sane country.