This week’s featured article
Visa overstayers facing deportation orders marched through Tokyo’s Ginza district on Wednesday afternoon, pleading for permission to remain in a country that many have called home for decades.
Organized by the Asian People’s Friendship Society (APFS) nonprofit organization, the parade featured about 70 visa overstayers from countries such as the Philippines, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Iran, as well as their families and supporters.
“We’re deeply sorry that we broke Japan’s rules,” said a Filipino mother of two boys. “But for the future of our children, we beg the Japanese government to let us stay in Japan.”
After losing lawsuits against the government, she and her Filipino husband were told by immigration authorities this year that only their elder son, now aged 18, can remain in Japan. She, her husband and their other son were told to leave.
Like her, many visa overstayers today came to work in Japan in the late 1980s and early ’90s to meet a labor shortage in the bubble economy, said APFS representative Jotaro Kato. Hungry for labor, the country welcomed them in and turned a blind eye to their presence after their initial tourist visas expired, he added. Once demand for their labor subsided, however, authorities began to crack down on overstayers, Kato said.
“Their situation was often caused by some forces beyond their control, such as labor policies by the government,” Kato said.
It’s unjust that the foreigners should be repatriated — not to mention separated from their own children — Kato said.
Article 9 of the U.N.-designated Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Japan has ratified, states that “a child shall not be separated from his or her parents against their will.”
First published in The Japan Times on April 30.
One-minute chat about “If I live abroad.”
Collect words related to foreign countries; e.g., “visa,” “airport,” “travel,” etc.
1) deportation: removal from a country; e.g., “The family got a deportation order.”
2) plead: to beg; e.g., “He pleaded for his life.”
3) expire: to come to an end; e.g., “The ticket has already expired.”
4) subside: to become less active; e.g., “The argument started to subside.”
Guess the headline
Visa o_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _s ma_ _ _ for right to re_ _ _ _ in Japan
1) What did the people in the parade want?
2) Why did the overstayers originally come to Japan?
3) What happened to change the attitude of the Japanese government to foreign workers?
Let’s discuss the article
1) Do you think Japan is welcoming to immigrants who have eligible visas?
2) Do you think visa overstayers should be sent home even when their children remain in Japan?
3) How do you think should this situation should be resolved?
「朝英語の会」とは、お友達や会社の仲間とThe Japan Timesの記事を活用しながら、楽しく英語が学べる朝活イベントです。この記事を教材に、お友達や会社の仲間を集めて、「朝英語の会」を立ち上げませんか？ 朝から英字新聞で英語学習をする事で、英語を話す習慣が身に付き、自然とニュースの教養が身につきます。
Phone: 03-3453-2337 (平日10:00 – 18:00)
email: firstname.lastname@example.org | http://jtimes.jp/asaeigo
In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.