Japan Announces It Will Take In 300 Syrian Refugees Over the Next 5 Years

The Japanese government has announced a new decision to welcome more Syrian refugees beginning this year.

The Japanese government will be accepting Syrian refugees who are international students with the added bonus that they can bring their spouse and children with them. Over the next five years, Japan will accept 300 students and their familes who will also receive a living allowance. After the students have completed their courses, they will also be given the option to settle in Japan with their families, according to Yahoo! Japan.

Japan previously expressed reservations regarding the acceptance of refugees. In a 2015 news conference, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared (via Fox News):

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“As an issue of demography, I would say that before accepting immigrants or refugees we need to have more activities by women, by elderly people and we must raise (the) birth rate. There are many things that we should do before accepting immigrants.”

In the same year, Japan rejected 99% of applicants, RocketNews24 said. The country welcomed a paltry 27 immigrants in 2015, paling in comparison with Germany, which accepted over one million.

Not too long ago, some Japanese spoke with YouTuber Yuta on their assumptions of their country’s reluctance to accept refugees:

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“Maybe because it’s hard to regulate them or they don’t have enough capacity to handle refugee workers.”

“I think we used to have a sort of pride that Japan was only for Japanese people, so we might still have a remnant of that. And since the language is very different, it’s hard to accept them, and the government needs to be involved in supporting them after accepting them. So considering that, it won’t be easy to accept refugees,” said one man.

Another added:

“I think people don’t have the chance to learn about the refugee situation in the news. I do know a few things about other countries because I watch news programs on satellite TV, but I don’t think there’s a lot of foreign news on terrestrial TV. So people don’t have the opportunity to think about refugees.”

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