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Regarding Philip Brasor’s Medix Mix column July 1, titled “Often-ignored immigration issue raised in new film“: Immigrant labor and the education of the children of immigrants have NOT been ignored. There was substantial television and newspaper coverage of the issue following the 2008 financial crisis.

The need for immigrant labor (or the lack thereof) has been the subject of numerous articles in Japanese weekly and monthly magazines over the years. My students who write essays on this subject have no difficulty finding Japanese language sources.

Brasor cites the 2009 “Nikkei Law,” which “provided cash to unemployed Brazilians and Peruvians if they left Japan and promised to never come back to work.”

The “never return” payment scheme was not absolute. You were not to return under the same visa category. Later it was stated that returns would be allowed after three years. There are currently numerous Japanese-language articles and postings on this subject, specifically on the issue of when the Japanese government will start processing applications.

Although Spain provided for return after three years from the very beginning, given that the unemployment rate there is running at nearly 25 percent, this would appear to have been a very hollow promise. This article should have been fact-checked beforehand.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

earl kinmonth

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