|| Japan acceded to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination on 15 December 1995. The Constitution of Japan stipulates in Paragraph 1 of Article 14 that all the people are equal under the law. The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Japan became party in 1979, also prohibit discrimination on the grounds of race or ethnicity. Based on the above principle of the Constitution and the Covenants, Japan has been striving to realize a society without any form of racial or ethnic discrimination. In concluding the Convention, Japan reconfirmed the principle of the Constitution, and will continue to make efforts to achieve a society in which each person is respected as an individual and can fully develop his or her own personality.
|| Guided by this principle, Japan engages in various activities against racial discrimination in international settings. Japan consistently expresses its position against racial discrimination in the United Nations fora by calling for the necessity to adopt all necessary measures to eliminate any racial or ethnic prejudice. It also contributes to international society by supporting adoption of resolutions aiming at elimination of racial discriminations, establishment of related funds and convening related conferences as well as by making contributions to the Trust Fund for the Programme for the Decade for Action to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination each year. |
Respect for Fundamental Human Rights in the Constitution of Japan
|| The Constitution of Japan, the supreme law in Japan's legal system, is based on the principle of people's sovereignty. Respect for fundamental human rights is one of its important pillars, together with pacifism. The fundamental human rights guaranteed by the Constitution are "conferred upon this and future generations in trust, to be held for all time inviolate" (Article 97), and the philosophy of respect for fundamental human rights is clearly shown in Article 13, which provides that "all of the people shall be respected as individuals." The fundamental human rights include: (1) civil liberties such as the right to liberty, the right to freedom of expression, thought, conscience and religion; and (2) social rights such as the right to receive education and the right to maintain the minimum standards of wholesome and cultured living. Paragraph 1 of Article 14 of the Constitution provides that "all of the people are equal under the law and there shall be no discrimination in political, economic or social relations because of race, creed, sex, social status or family origin," guaranteeing equality before the law without any discrimination, including either racial or ethnic discrimination, which is the subject of this Convention. Foreign residents in Japan are also guaranteed fundamental human rights under the Constitution except the rights which, owing to their nature, are interpreted to be applicable only to Japanese nationals (*1).
*1 In this report, the fact that the treatment of foreigners in Japan has been focused on does not mean that Japan considers distinction based on nationality as the subject of the Convention.
|| These provisions stipulated in the Constitution bind together the three sources of power, the legislative, administrative and judicial. The three powers of legislation, administration and judicature belong to the Diet, the Cabinet and the Court, respectively. The protection of human rights, including the elimination of racial discrimination, is ensured through rigorous mutual restraint.|
The Diet, the highest organ of State power, consists of duly elected representatives of the people and exercises legislative power to protect the people's rights and freedom as the sole legislative organ. The Cabinet (the administrative organ) protects the people's rights and freedom by duly implementing the laws enacted by the Diet. (See Article 6 for the structure of Human Rights Organs established within administrative organs to protect human rights) Furthermore, in cases where the rights of the people are infringed, the Court can offer them redress. (Article 32 of the Constitution provides that "no person shall be denied the right of access to the courts.")
The Constitution guarantees the judges of their tenure and ensures independent and fair trials, providing that "all judges shall be independent in the exercise of their conscience and shall be bound only by this Constitution and the laws." (Article 76, Paragraph 3)
|| Provisions of treaties concluded by Japan have legal effect as a part of domestic laws in accordance with Paragraph 2 of Article 98 of the Constitution, which provides the obligation to observe treaties and international laws and regulations. Whether or not to apply provisions of the conventions directly is judged in each specific case, taking into consideration the purpose, meaning and wording of the provisions concerned.
Land and Population
|| Japan's total land area is 377,819 square kilometers and is comprised of 6,852 islands including the four major islands of Honshu (227,909 square kilometers), Hokkaido (77,979 square kilometers), Kyushu (36,719 square kilometers), and Shikoku (18,294 square kilometers). (See Annex 1 for economic and social indexes.)|
|| As of 1 October 1997, Japan's total population was estimated at 126,166,000. However, the ethnic characteristics of Japan are not clear since Japan does not conduct population surveys from an ethnic viewpoint. (*2)|
On the other hand, the Ainu, who lived in Hokkaido before the arrival of Wajin (*3), continue to maintain their ethnic identity with continuous efforts to pass on their own language and culture. Their population in Hokkaido was estimated at 23,830 according to the Survey on the Hokkaido Utari Living Conditions conducted by the government of Hokkaido Prefecture in 1993. (*4 See Annex 2.)
*2 The number of naturalized Japanese nationals was 301,828 as of the end of 1998. The ratio of naturalized people to Japan's total population is not clear since it is difficult to obtain information on the exact number of persons deceased after naturalization.
*3 Wajin refers to all other Japanese, except the Ainu themselves.
*4 In this survey, "Ainu" refers to "the people in the local community who are considered to have inherited the Ainu blood and those who reside with the Ainu people due to marriage or adoption." However, a person is not included in the survey when that person refuses to be identified as Ainu in spite of the likelihood of his or her being of Ainu descent. "Ainu" are sometimes called "Utari." In the Ainu language, "Ainu" means a "human being"; "Utari", "a compatriot."
|| Recently, the number of registered aliens in Japan has been increasing. (*5 See Annex 3) According to Ministry of Justice statistics on alien registration, the number of foreigners registered in each municipality as of the end of 1998 is 1,512,116 (1.20% of Japan's total population), a record high. This figure is 191,368 (14.5%) larger than that of five years ago (end of 1999), and 571,111 (60.7%) larger than that of ten years ago (end of 1988). As for classification by nationality (birthplace), Koreans are the largest (42.2% of the total), followed by Chinese (18.0%), and Brazilians (14.7%). (See Annex 4 and 5.)
*5 A foreigner is to apply for his/her registration to the head of the municipality in which his/her residence is located within ninety days of the day of his/her entry into Japan (within sixty days of the day of his/her birth, etc.), and the registration is closed due to departure from Japan, naturalization as a Japanese citizen, or death. Often no registration takes place when a foreigner leaves Japan within ninety days of entry.
|| With regard to refugees, Japan concluded, in 1981, the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees of 1951, and in 1982, the Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees of 1967. As a result, Japan revamped the Immigration Control Order as the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act, establishing the refugee recognition system and has implemented it since January 1982. In all, 234 persons have been recognized as refugees as of the end of June 1999. Japan allows settlement of the refugees from three Indochinese countries (Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia), and its number reached 10,465 persons as of the end of June 1999.
The Ainu People
Survey on Hokkaido Utari Living Conditions
|| The government of Hokkaido Prefecture conducted four surveys in 1972, 1979, 1986 and 1993, respectively, on the living conditions of the Ainu people. (See Annex 2.) According to the "1993 Hokkaido Utari Living Conditions Survey," the Ainu people's living standard is continuing to improve as explained below, although the gap with other residents in the district of the Ainu people's residence has not yet diminished.
As for their education, the ratio of Ainu youth who go on to high school is 87.4%, and the ratio of Ainu youth who go on to university (including junior college) is 11.8%. The change of the ratio indicates a steady improvement in the Ainu access to high school and college. However, a gap still exists as 96.3% of all youth enter high school and 27.5% of all youth enter college in municipalities where the Ainu people reside.
Concerning the employment ratio by industry, 34.6% of the Ainu people work in primary industries (22.2% for fisheries), 32.4% work in secondary industries (22.3%in construction), and 32.0% work in tertiary industries (13.1% in the service industry). The ratio of workers in the primary industries decreased and the ratio of workers in the tertiary industries increased from the previous survey. This is the same trend as in the municipalities.
The ratio of application of public assistance for the Ainu (the ratio of public assistance recipients among the population of 1,000) is 38.8%, which is a 22.1 point decrease from the 1986 survey. The gap is slowly continuing to decrease. In the 1972 survey, the ratio for the Ainu was 6.6 times more than that of the total population in the municipalities where the Ainu people resided, but the difference dropped to 3.5 times in the 1979 survey, 2.8 times in 1986 survey, and 2.3 times in 1993 survey. The decrease in the public assistance application ratio shows the positive effects of the Hokkaido Utari measures, which include a facility improvement project to ameliorate overall living environment such as local roads and community centers, the consolidation of infrastructure in the area of agriculture, forestry and fisheries, the development of small and medium enterprises to expand sales channels of Ainu arts and crafts, and measures for employment stability and technology training.
||According to the 1993 survey, 17.4% of the Ainu answered that they have experienced discrimination at school, at job interviews or in making marriages, or that they knew of someone who had experienced such discrimination, although conditions had greatly improved since the previous survey. |
Hokkaido Utari Welfare Measures
||The government of Hokkaido Prefecture works to improve the living standard of the Ainu people, taking into account the results of the aforementioned Living Conditions Survey, to redress the imbalance with other Hokkaido residents by means of the "Hokkaido Utari Welfare Measures," which have been implemented four times since 1974. These measures include the promotion of education and culture, the maintenance of livelihood opportunities, and the promotion of industries. For example, the government offers entrance allowances and grants (loans for college students) to encourage Ainu students to attend high school and college to eliminate the existing gap in educational opportunities between the Ainu and other residents.|
The Government of Japan held the "Joint Meeting of the Related Ministries Engaged in the Hokkaido Utari Measures " in 1974 to cooperate with and promote the above- mentioned measures led by the government of Hokkaido Prefecture. Thus, the Government ensures close cooperation among the related administrative organs to obtain sufficient budget for the Hokkaido Utari Welfare Measures.
||The human rights organs of the Ministry of Justice promote nationwide public relations activities to raise awareness of the human rights of the Ainu. They have prepared and distributed a material titled "The Ainu People and Human Rights." Legal Affairs Bureaus in Hokkaido and District Legal Affairs Bureaus consider the motto, "Eliminate Discrimination against the Ainu People," as their major goal. They discuss the Ainu problem at lectures and study groups on human rights in general and hand out brochures and leaflets on such occasions as well as on the streets.|
Round Table on the Policy for the Ainu People
||Under these circumstances, a "Round Table on a Policy for the Ainu People" started up in March 1995, following a request by the Chief Cabinet Secretary to study the future measures for the Ainu people. The group discussed the status of the Ainu people in Japan from various angles, calling for hearings with specialists in academic spheres such as natural anthropology, history, ethnology and international law. They have also studied new fundamental concepts and policies for future concrete measures and submitted a report in April 1996 to the Chief Cabinet Secretary. The report states that, at present, the Ainu people lead lives that differ little from those of any other constituents of the society, linguistically as well as culturally; moreover, that there is an extremely limited number of people who can speak Ainu language. However, it states that the Ainu people are recognized to maintain their ethnic identity in view of their sense of belonging and their various activities. The report also states that, considering the characteristics and circumstances of the Ainu people, who have lived in Hokkaido, Japan's inherent territory, since the end of the middle ages even before the arrival of Wajin, the Government should take all possible measures, including legislative measures, to realize a society in which the pride of the Ainu people is respected, by conserving and promoting the Ainu language and traditional culture. |
|| Having studied the content of the report with due respect to its spirit, the Government submitted the Law for the Promotion of the Ainu Culture and for the Dissemination and Advocacy for the Traditions of the Ainu and the Ainu culture, in view of the current situation of the Ainu tradition and culture (hereinafter "the Ainu tradition"), which is the source of their ethnic pride. The said law was adopted in May 1997 and took effect in July 1997, and accordingly, the Government, local governments and designated legal persons have carried out the necessary measures to promote the Ainu culture including the Ainu language and to raise awareness on the knowledge about the Ainu tradition.
Foreigners in Japan
||Japan adopts a system of status of residence as a basic framework for foreigners to enter and stay in Japan. That is, to accept foreigners in harmony with the development of Japanese society, the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act sets "the status of residence" by categorizing activities which foreigners are authorized to engage in by entering and staying, or personal relationship or status with which foreigners are authorized to enter and stay. Foreigners are not allowed to enter or stay in Japan unless foreigners fall under any of the status of residence. Thus, the Government controls the entry and length of stay of foreigners. A foreigner is given one of the statuses upon permission of entry and stay. The Alien Registration Law requires a foreigner to register to the head of the municipalities in which his/her residence is located in order to put under proper control over the aliens residing in Japan by clarifying matters pertaining to their residence and status.
||As for classification by status of residence as of the end of 1998, 41.4% of the total number of registered foreigners stay under the status of "Special Permanent Resident" or "Permanent Resident," 17.5% stay under "Spouse or Child of Japanese national" and 14.0% stay under "Long-Term Resident." Some 7.9% of all foreigners are under the statuses with which those foreigners are allowed to work. As of the end of 1998, their number reached 118,996 which is 11,698 (10.9%) more than in the previous year. As for classification by region of origin, 91.6% of the total number of registered foreigners under "Entertainer," 85.5% under "Engineer" and 88.2% under "Skilled Labor" are from Asia. Some 64.6% under "Instructor" and 53.7% under "Religious Activities" are from North America. (*6)
*6 "Entertainer" refers to activities to engage in theatrical performances, musical performances, sports or any other show business. "Engineer" refers to activities to engage in service, which requires technology and/or knowledge pertinent to physical science, engineering or other natural science field. "Skilled Labor" refers to activities to engage in service, which requires industrial techniques or skills belonging to special field. "Instuctor" refers to activities to engage in language instruction and other education at elementary schools, junior high schools, high schools, advanced vocational schools or the other educational institutions equivalent to vocational schools in facilities and curriculum.
"Religious Activities" refers to activities to engage in Missionary and other religious activities conducted by foreign religionists dispatched by foreign religious organizations.
Those who have already entered the country and illegally engaged in labor activities against the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act will be deported. Should cases of non-payment of wages or labor accidents (protection under workmen's compensation insurance applies also to illegal residents.) be discovered, however, related administrative organs will, in close cooperation with each other, take necessary remedial measures.
||Regarding the acceptance of foreign workers, "the Eighth Employment Measure Basic Plan" in December 1995 in the Cabinet decided the principle as follows: the plan calls for acceptance of foreign workers in professional and technical fields as long as possible, and conditions for inspection regarding the statuses of residence should be reviewed in accordance with changes in the economic and social situation in Japan. |
On the other hand, with respect to the matter of accepting workers for so-called unskilled labour, there is concern that a wide range of influences may occur in the Japanese economy and society as a result of this, such as pressure on older Japanese workers for whom employment opportunities are rather insufficient; occurrence of new dual structure in the labour market; concern about unemployment as a result of business fluctuations; occurrence of additional new social burdens; etc. These matters also have an extremely great influence upon foreign workers themselves as well as on the countries to which they belong. For these reasons, the plan requires careful consideration of this matter in accordance with consensus among the Japanese people. Based on the aforementioned policy, in principle, no foreigner is permitted to enter the country to engage in unskilled labour.
||The number of foreigners illegally overstaying in Japan was 106,497 as of 1 July 1990, and increased dramatically in 1991 and 1992, hitting a peak of 298,646 on May 1, 1993. Since then, the number, though still large, has slightly declined. It was 271,048 as of 1 Jan. 1999. More than half of the total number of these illegal foreign used to work for a period of less than one year, but recently, approximately 70% of the total illegal aliens have been working for a period of more than one year, indicating a trend toward a longer illegal working period.|
The increase of illegal workers not only makes the proper management of immigration control difficult but also gives rise to criminal acts such as intermediary exploitation, forced labor and infringements on human rights. To prevent illegal labor, the authorities concerned, in cooperation with each other, give several guidance to the employers and apprehend job brokers, organized crime members and disreputable employers who might have connections with illegal workers' entry and/or employment. The human rights protection authorities of the Legal Affairs Bureau offer counseling services regarding human rights to even illegal workers and illegal foreign residents to protect their human rights. In counseling, the authorities treat these people equally as any other foreigners, and take care to protect their privacy.
Human Rights of Foreigners in Japan
||The Constitution of Japan guarantees fundamental human rights to foreign residents in Japan except the rights which, owing to their nature, are interpreted to be applicable only to Japanese nationals. Thus, the Government actively pursues the goals of (1) ensuring equal rights and opportunities for foreigners, (2) respecting foreigners' own cultures and values, and (3) promoting mutual understanding to realize a society in which Japanese and foreigners can live together comfortably.|
In 1979, Japan ratified the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Japan acceded in 1981 to the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees of 28 July 1951 and in 1982 to the Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees of 31 January 1967. In accordance with these conventions, the Government ensures equality between Japanese nationals and foreign nationals in many areas.
|| With regard to education, for example, Japan guarantees equal rights to education and equal treatment (no tuition fees, free textbooks, etc.) for the children of foreign nationals who wish to study at public schools for compulsory education. Employment exchange service is also provided to all people without racial or ethnic discrimination. Moreover, discriminatory treatment with regard to labor conditions based on nationality is prohibited and punishable by law. Furthermore, public housing is available for foreign nationals as well as Japanese nationals as long as they register their domicile and identity at the municipalities of their residence. Social security is also granted on the basis of the principle of equality regardless of nationality. For example, the nationality requirement for joining the National Pension and the National Health Insurance as well as for receiving Child Allowance and Child-Rearing Allowance has been abolished. In addition, permanent residents and settled residents residing in Japan in the same way as Japanese nationals can be provided, as an administrative measure, public assistance under conditions identical to those of Japanese nationals. (See Article 5.)|
To improve administrative services for foreigners, local governments provide various kinds of information in major foreign languages by distributing brochures, offering counseling services and taking measures for Japanese language education. Moreover, foreign language training is conducted for civil servants who have frequent contact with foreign residents on the job.
||On the other hand, with the rapid increase in the number of foreign residents, there are reported incidents of human rights violation against foreigners among individuals due to differences of language, religion, custom and practice. These include discriminatory treatment of foreigners in various daily life situation. Some of the cases handled by the human rights organs of the Ministry of Justice include the refusals of apartment rental or entrance to a public swimming pool on the grounds of being a foreigner. The Government takes these incidents as serious human rights violations against foreign residents in Japan, and it requests that the related groups and authorities remove the prejudice and misunderstanding against foreigners at all possible times with a view to realizing a society in which all Japanese nationals and foreigners can live comfortably together. It also promotes nationwide campaigns to raise public awareness of this issue. (See Articles 6 and 7.)|
Koreans Residents in Japan
||The majority of Korean residents, who constitute about half of the foreign population in Japan, are Koreans or their descendants who came to reside in Japan for various reasons during 36 years (1910-1945) of Japan's so-called rule over Korea and continued to reside in Japan after having lost Japanese nationality, which they held during the time of Japan's rule, with the enforcement of the San Francisco Peace Treaty (April 28, 1952). |
The Korean residents are divided into those who have obtained the nationality of the Republic of Korea of their own will and those who have not, under the current circumstances in which the Korean Peninsula is divided into the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
These residents stay in Japan under the status of "Special Permanent Resident". Its number is 528,450 as of the end of 1998. (The total number of "Special Permanent Resident" is 533,396, including 4,349 Chinese nationals and people of other nationalities) As for region of their residence, about half of these Korean residents live in the Kinki region centering around Osaka, and about 20 % of them live in the Kanto region such as Tokyo and Kanagawa Prefecture.
The number of "Special Permanent Resident" continues to decrease every year due to the settlement and naturalization of the Korean residents in Japanese society.
||The Constitution guarantees the human rights of these people as mentioned before, although they do not have the rights that are not applicable to foreign nationals such as suffrage or freedom of entry into Japan, because they do not have Japanese nationality. Thus, Korean residents in Japan are basically treated in the same way as other foreign residents under the domestic law. However, in light of their historical background and their permanent living conditions, the Government has taken various measures so that these people can have a stable life in Japan.
(1) Legal Status
|| The Governments of Japan and the Republic of Korea had discussed the legal status of third- generation Korean residents and their descendants since 1988 based on the "Agreement on the Legal Status and the Treatment of Nationals of the Republic of Korea Residing in Japan." (*7) The negotiations came to an end when the (then) Prime Minister Kaifu visited the Republic of Korea in 1991, and a memorandum was signed by the Foreign Ministers of Japan and the Republic of Korea.|
Following the above-mentioned consultations, the Government of Japan has been making sincere efforts to stabilize the life of Korean residents in Japan as follows:
*7 It was concluded to normalize diplomatic relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea by solving various issues. This is an agreement which entered into force simultaneously with "the Agreement on the Basic Relationship between Japan and the Republic of Korea" (Agreement No. 25 in 1965), stipulating the permanent residence, education, public assistance, national health insurance, ownership of property, and remittance of the Korean residents in Japan.
(a) Special Conditions for Deportation
||Following the said Agreement in January 1991, "the Special Law on the Immigration Control of Those Who Have Lost Japanese Nationality and Others on the Basis of the Treaty of Peace with Japan" (hereinafter, referred to as "the Immigration Control Special Law") was promulgated on 10 May 1991, and took effect on 1 November 1991. The said Special Law aims to stabilize the legal status of the people and their descendants who have continued to reside in Japan since before the end of World War II and lost their Japanese nationality with the enforcement of the Peace Treaty with Japan. The said Law was enacted on the basis of the results of discussions on the legal status agreement between Japan and the Republic of Korea as mentioned above. However, the said Law is applicable, regardless of nationality, to the people and their descendants who lost Japanese nationality based on the San Francisco Peace Treaty, because it is appropriate to give the same legal status to the North Korean and the Taiwanese residents in Japan who have a similar historical background and settlement status to the South Korean residents in Japan.
The Immigration Control Special Law includes the following favorable measures:
(b) Special Valid Period for Re-entry Permit
||The reasons for deportation for special permanent resident are restricted to the extreme minimum to further stabilize the legal status of the special permanent residents: the reasons are restricted to crimes concerning insurrection and foreign aggression; crimes concerning foreign relations (damage or destruction of foreign flag, etc., preparation and plots for private war, violation of neutrality ordinances); crimes affecting diplomatic relations (violence and defamation of the heads of foreign states or diplomatic missions); and, crimes gravely harming national interests (the violation of the Explosive Control Act for the purpose of destroying the democratic judicial order, homicide, or arson). So far no one has been deported for the aforementioned reasons set out in Article 9 of the Immigration Control Special Law.
(c) Special Conditions for Landing Examination
||For cases in which the special permanent residents work abroad as corporate representatives or study abroad, the valid period for re-entry permit is set at within four years (one year for foreigners stayed under other status). One year of extension within five years in total from the original permit (within two years for foreigners stayed under other status) is permitted in the case of an application made outside of Japan. This facilitates the special permanent residents who live abroad for a long period of time.
||When the special permanent residents who have left Japan with a re-entry permit re-enter the country, Immigration Inspectors examine only the validity of their passport among landing conditions under Article 7, Paragraph 1, item 1 of the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act, and do not examine items for landing refusal. Thus, the Government tries to stabilize the status of the permanent resident. |
||Japanese public schools at the compulsory education level accept foreign nationals if they wish to attend school. These persons are treated in the same way as Japanese nationals with regard to free tuition, free textbooks and qualification to enter upper schools. (See Article 5, Education.) Scholarship are also granted to Korean and other foreign residents with permanent resident status under the same conditions as Japanese nationals.|
In the memorandum (refer to para. 25) of the Consultation between Japan and the Republic of Korea on the third-generation of Korean residents in Japan, it is stated that the Government of Japan would take proper measures to continue smoothly the extracurricular study of the Korean language and culture conducted with the concurrence of the local governments, with the understanding of the Korean society's wish to maintain their ethnic traditions and culture including the study of the Korean language. In line with the above-mentioned memorandum, the Japanese Government instructs the local governments to take appropriate measures so that such study can be continued without any difficulties. Actually, several local public entities offer such educational opportunities.
At the social education level likewise, opportunities to learn the foreign cultures of South/North Korea and the Korean language are offered, according to the local needs, in classes and lectures for youth, adults and women at social education facilities such as citizen's public halls.
||Most of the Korean residents who do not wish to be educated in Japanese schools attend North/South Korean schools. Most of these schools have been approved by prefectural governors as miscellaneous schools (*8). However, because no specific legal provisions have been stipulated on the educational content of these schools, and because it is difficult to confirm that the graduates of these schools have an academic ability equal to or higher than that of graduates of regular high schools (*9), these graduates are not considered to meet college entry qualifications.
The Ministry of Education, Science, Sports, and Culture will decide to ease the qualification for taking the University Entrance Qualification Examination in September 1999 so that students studying in foreign schools in Japan can institutionally have a chance to enter Japanese universities. In addition, the Ministry will also decide in August 1999 to ease the qualification for entering Japanese graduate schools so that even persons who have not graduated from universities will be able to enter them through the examination of his/her research ability conducted in the graduate schools concerned.
*8 "Miscellaneous school" refers to an educational institution giving education as school education other than schools specified in Article 1 of the School Education Law. However, it does not include human resources development center, etc. which has special provisions under other laws and specialized school.
*9 "High school" refers to one of the educational institutions specified in Article 1 of the School Education Law, which gives high-level ordinary education and professional education according to physical and mental development based on the foundation laid by junior high school education. The high school educational curricula is based on the Course of Study prescribed by the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture in accordance with Article 43 of the School Education Law and Article 57-2 of the Regulation of the said Law.
||With regard to employment exchange and labor conditions, discriminatory treatment on the basis of race or nationality is strictly prohibited. The Government, for the sake of Korean residents in Japan, makes efforts to instruct and enlighten employers by conducting public relations activities to provide a proper understanding and recognition of equal employment opportunities and by giving individual guidance to companies engaged in improper businesses.|
Japanese nationality is required for civil servants who participates in the exercise of public power or in the public decision-making, but it is understood that Japanese nationality is not necessarily required for civil servants who do not engage in the above-mentioned work. Korean residents in Japan have been employed as civil servants according to the above-mentioned principle.
||The Government recognizes that an understanding of Korean residents among the Japanese people has deepened and there is less discrimination against them owing to such factors as the change of their social circumstances inside as well as outside of Japan, the dissemination of the spirit of respect for human rights among people, education to promote understanding of these people at school and in social education facilities, the guidance and awareness activities by each ministry including the human rights organs of the Ministry of Justice, and awareness-raising efforts of NGOs. On the other hand, however, discrimination among individuals still exists in daily life such as discrimination on occasions of employment and housing rentals, in discriminatory remarks and graffiti. (See Articles 4 and 6.) Under such circumstances, some Korean residents in Japan use Japanese names as common names in daily life for fear that they may face prejudice or discrimination if they use their native Korean names. The Government is seriously concerned that misguided prejudice and discrimination, which are counter to the principle of equality of all persons, still exists among the Japanese people. Thus, the Japanese government will make further efforts to consolidate measures on remedies for victims as well as to promote, through the related authorities, human rights education at school and social education facilities, continuous guidance, and PR activities to the related organizations and groups. (See Article 7.)|
(a) Treatment of Refugees
||Japan concluded, in 1981, the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees of 28 July 1951, and in 1982, the Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees of 1967. As a result, Japan revamped the Immigration Control Order as the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act, establishing the refugee recognition system, and has implemented it since January 1982. When an application for the refugee recognition is submitted, the Minister of Justice conducts an investigation into the case and thereafter judges properly whether it is applicable to the difinition of Article 1 of the Convention and the Protocol or not. Therefore the Government sincerely and strictly implements its obligations provided in the Convention and the Protocol. Japan ensures, after accepting the person as a refugee, equal treatment for the refugee with its own nationals in accordance with the Convention, providing various protection and humanitarian aid including employment, education, social security and housing.
Data on the process of refugee recognition from 1982 to the end of June 1999 are as follows:
(b) Indochinese Refugees
(i) Acceptance of settlement in Japan
(ii) Settlement Facilitation Measures for the Indochinese Refugees
After having permitted settlement of the Vietnamese refugees who had been staying in Japan temporarily in 1978, Japan expanded the condition of the settlement permit to include the Indochinese refugees staying in Asian countries in 1979. Japan then eased permit conditions twice, allowing settlement of those who had been staying in Japan as foreign students before the political changes took place in the three Indochinese nations and those who have entered Japan as family members under the Official Departure Program (ODP). With the development of the settlement facilitation system, the quata to accept has been gradually enlarged and the limit on the acceptance number was abolished in 1994. As of the end of June 1999, the number of Indochinese refugees settled in Japan is 10,465.
The breakdown is as follows:
|Total No. of settled residents
||From facilities in Japan
||From facilities abroad
||Former foreign students
|(As of June, 1999)|
(iii) Living Conditions
||With Cabinet approval in 1979, the Government decided to offer Japanese language education, occupational training and employment service to Indochinese refugees with a view to facilitating their settlement in Japan, and entrusted the implementation of these projects to the Asia Welfare Education Foundation. The said Foundation established the Refugee Project Headquarters followed by the Himeji Settlement Facilitation Center in Hyogo Prefecture (closed in March 1996) and the Yamato Settlement Facilitation Center in Kanagawa Prefecture in 1980 (closed in March 1998). In 1983, it opened the International Rescue Center in Tokyo. Most refugees stay in one of these centers for six months, at which time they learn the Japanese language and the means to adjust to life in Japan while receiving living expenses. Moreover, these centers arrange for adoption or seek foster parents for refugee children upon their request. They also offer employment exchange and occupational training to refugees who wish to get a job. The total number of users of the centers since their opening is 10,596 as of the end of June 1999.
|| A Summary of the 1992 Survey of the Settlement Conditions of Indochinese Refugees (conducted by the Asia Welfare Education Foundation Refugee Project Headquarters), indicates a relatively smooth settlement of refugees. Employment conditions for these refugees have become somewhat more difficult, reflecting the recent sluggish Japanese economy. Therefore, the centers proclaim every November as "the Indochinese Refugee Employment Facilitation Month," and hold seminars for employers at many locations. As a result, all 54 refugees who had completed an occupational training course at the centers were employed in 1998. A large number of refugees work in metal processing, electric/machinery/automobile construction, printing and bookbinding.
||As described above, most of Indochinese refugees settled in Japan are considered to be well adjusted to their work and the local communities, supported by the understanding and aid of employers and the local communities. With an increasing number of settled Indochinese refugees, however, there are cases of those faced with various problems in their daily life due to differences of language and custom. Therefore, the Refugee Project Headquarters places "counselors for refugees" in its Headquarters and the International Rescue Center to cope with the complicated and specialized details of consultation and offers thorough and continuous counseling for the refugees themselves, their family members, and their employers.|
The understanding and cooperation of local residents is indispensable for the smooth settlement of the Indochinese refugees. The said Foundation annually holds a "Meeting with the Settled Indochinese Refugees" in major cities to promote exchanges with local residents and to deepen their mutual understanding.
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