Recent articles about foreign residents’ claim to welfare benefits have misrepresented the Japanese Supreme Court ruling. It did not say that foreigners are “ineligible” or “can’t claim” welfare benefits. It said they don’t have the “right.”

This is exactly as it has been for decades, so it’s far from a landmark ruling. It upholds the status quo. Foreigners can and do still get welfare just as Japanese do. Even the plaintiff in the Supreme Court case currently gets welfare.

The only difference — as before this court case — is that foreigners cannot appeal a rejection of their claims for welfare, but Japanese can. That is the only impact of not having the “right” to welfare benefits.

louis carlet

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.

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