Sixteen representatives of Japanese emigrants to the Dominican Republic visited the Foreign Ministry on Oct. 3 to protest the nation’s “misguided” emigration plan.The emigrants, accompanied by Lower House member Shozo Azuma, submitted a request demanding an official apology and compensation from the Japanese government. Ryuichi Shoji, director of the ministry’s consular and emigration policy division, said that the ministry will continue to hold constructive talks with the emigrants. He insisted, however, that the Japanese government has done enough for them by providing loans for individuals and official development assistance for the government of the Dominican Republic.A total of 1,319 Japanese emigrated to the Caribbean country on a program led by the Japanese government between 1956 and 1959. The emigrants claim that despite Japan’s promise to provide each family with 18 hectares of agricultural land, it has been never been realized. They also complain that they have been forced to live under the surveillance of the republic’s government.

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