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Locked up in Japan

Duna

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My friend, a filipino citizen, got arrested about 3 weeks ago. Her crime: overstay without a valid visa. She has a job, a home, a daughter living with her and no criminal precedents. And now ?
She is detained at a police station facing criminal charges. Visits are allowed only 3 times a week, 15 miuntes each time. Communication only in Japanese. She is moved around handcuffed. A glass in between her and the visitors, one policewoman listening and watching. No visits on the weekend. She stays in a tatami room with 2 other inmates, no window, no daylight, the same crappy obento every day. She lost 4 kilos already. 2 sets of underwear are allowed, limited chances to wash them. A shower every 3rd day. No medical support given. No clear indications about the length of detention and the process. If lucky, she will be passed over to immigration, stay another 4-6 weeks and then be deported. Otherwise she will face criminal charges.
All this in one of the most advanced countries. Humanity is obviously not part of this system. You break the rules and your're out.

The irony of all this: whenever there is a razzia in the entertainment industry, the shop owners are warned on time. They do not only know the day of the intended police control, but even the time. The connection police-yakuza works perfectly for the big crimes. Not so for the small things with individual fates involved - at least not with a minimum of humanity.
 

Mike Cash

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So she committed a crime and is now being detained as a criminal.

What's the problem?
 

Mikawa Ossan

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If it makes you feel any better, I very much doubt that Japanese nationals taken under police custody receive treatment any different.

I know of a guy who just happened to be a witness at an..."incident", and although he was not a suspect, he was taken in for questioning for 4 or 5 hours.
 

Mike Cash

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Mikawa Ossan said:
If it makes you feel any better, I very much doubt that Japanese nationals taken under police custody receive treatment any different.

It's the same.
 

Carlson

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heh bush should hire some of the Japense police to work the Mexico borders.

to some the crime (and it is a crime) is not much. Im not sure on what the normal line of rules would be for something like this so i really dont have much else to say.
 

Mike Cash

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She's being held in pre-trial detention under the same conditions as Japanese are. It was entirely avoidable and she brought it on herself. How much sympathy am I supposed to have?
 

Mars Man

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Although I do agree with Mikawa Ossan and Mike Cash, I still think it is sad, even for a Japanese national to be deprived in such a manner is sad.

Of course we do not have a lot of information here, and the OP is a one time post, so I'm not quite sure what to think of this. A lot of questions actually remain to be asked.

It is sad, though, nonetheless.
 

Kakulin

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Visas are a violation of the #1 human right... freedom.
 

Alma

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Duna said:
The irony of all this: whenever there is a razzia in the entertainment industry, the shop owners are warned on time. They do not only know the day of the intended police control, but even the time. The connection police-yakuza works perfectly for the big crimes. Not so for the small things with individual fates involved - at least not with a minimum of humanity.

same thing everywhere, unfortunately...

Kakulin said:
Visas are a violation of the #1 human right... freedom.

👍 you're right... unfortunately, too..
 

Mike Cash

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Kakulin said:
Visas are a violation of the #1 human right... freedom.

I'm going to bring all my family and all my stuff and move into your house. Leave the porch light on for us.
 

Carlson

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Kakulin said:
Visas are a violation of the #1 human right... freedom.

its also everyones right to form a nation move to another country conquer and kill and then require to have a visa to enter.
 

Duna

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I am not justifying the violation of laws here. I do believe that you must be familiar with the local rules when entering a foreign country. The point here is: extremely selective rights for visits; no exposure to daylight for about 3 weeks now; no right to make any phone call during this period; separation from the daughter; personal hygiene reduced to a minimum - all this is not in accordance with international standards to which Japan is a signatory in
various UN agreements
 

Mars Man

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Duna said:
I am not justifying the violation of laws here. I do believe that you must be familiar with the local rules when entering a foreign country. The point here is: extremely selective rights for visits; no exposure to daylight for about 3 weeks now; no right to make any phone call during this period; separation from the daughter; personal hygiene reduced to a minimum - all this is not in accordance with international standards to which Japan is a signatory in
various UN agreements

That is right, in my opinion. That situation is obviously somewhat extreme, I'd agree.
 

Index

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Duna said:
I am not justifying the violation of laws here. I do believe that you must be familiar with the local rules when entering a foreign country. The point here is: extremely selective rights for visits; no exposure to daylight for about 3 weeks now; no right to make any phone call during this period; separation from the daughter; personal hygiene reduced to a minimum - all this is not in accordance with international standards to which Japan is a signatory in
various UN agreements

It does sound fairly extreme and out of proportion. Indeed Japan was recently urged in a UN report to "bring its internal social, human and cultural structures into line with its global dimension and build a multicultural society"

http://english.people.com.cn/200511/09/eng20051109_220083.html.

It is a little inconsistent for Japan to be promoting 'human security', overseas development aid and the promotion of democracy as pillars of its foreign policy, whilst not adhering to these principles by reforming its institutions domestically. It could be construed as somewhat hypocritical.
 

Mike Cash

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Duna said:
I am not justifying the violation of laws here. I do believe that you must be familiar with the local rules when entering a foreign country. The point here is: extremely selective rights for visits; no exposure to daylight for about 3 weeks now; no right to make any phone call during this period; separation from the daughter; personal hygiene reduced to a minimum - all this is not in accordance with international standards to which Japan is a signatory in
various UN agreements

In case you have missed the many iterations of the point thus far in the thread....Those are the same conditions Japanese are held under.
 

Mikawa Ossan

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At the risk of speaking out of the wrong end, I think Duna is saying that such conditions are fundamentally unacceptable, whether it is a foreign national or a Japanese national.

It's just that in this case, what made him/her come to this realization is a foreign national being held. Most likely the outrage will subside once said conditions are no longer a direct issue. (This is not a jab, but human nature as I see it)
 

avocado

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Wow, that's harsh. Unecessarily so, it seems. Can she get a new visa? Or leave? Best of luck to your friend Duna.
 

Mike Cash

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She was there awaiting deportation. She didn't have the option of applying for a new visa and leaving or not wasn't up to her.

If her daughter was a Japanese citizen, it is possible that she could petition the courts for special dispensation. Unfortunately, the Immigration folks have a history of carrying out the deportation prior to the courts issuing a ruling. (The Japanese judicial system is notorious for its glacial pace and it is not unusual for civil cases to drag out quite literally for many decades).

Unless Duna comes back and gives us an update, quite unlikely, we'll never know what happened to her.
 

KirinMan

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To add one thing here, this isn't the first time and probably not the last time either, that people overstaying their visa's get deported or are taken into custody for breaking the immigration laws here in Japan. From what I understand there is a pretty long list of people that have been or are currently going through the same thing. She isn't alone.
Purely out of curiosity here, I wonder who is taking care of the child, most of the comments so far have been focused on the woman in question.
She has a job, a home, a daughter living with her and no criminal precedents. And now ?

Another question here, if she has a job was she paying taxes and getting health insurance coverage from the government? You say she had a home is she living with her child's father, and if so are they married? If they are married then why didn't they go through the immigration process of getting her visa changed to a spouse visa?

I think there is more to the story then just one woman facing deportation for overstaying her visa. Was her daughter even born here in Japan?

However sad people may think this case is she is guilty of breaking the law and probably was well aware of it as well. I find it difficult to believe that any foreigner living here in Japan is not aware when their visa expires and the penalties involved for overstaying them, no matter if she had a child or not.
 

Jpstw

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Mike did you ever think about the situation she was in?
could be anything, maybe in debt? not even enough to support a plane ride?
hard to even put food on the table? someone wouldn't let her leave?
all sorts of possibilities, I'm pretty sure she knew she was overstaying the visa, hopefully in the meantime trying not to be a criminal either.
show some mercy :eek:, America is that way >>>.
 

KirinMan

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Mike did you ever think about the situation she was in?
could be anything, maybe in debt? not even enough to support a plane ride?
hard to even put food on the table? someone wouldn't let her leave?
all sorts of possibilities, I'm pretty sure she knew she was overstaying the visa, hopefully in the meantime trying not to be a criminal either.
show some mercy :eek:, America is that way >>>.

I'm pretty sure you realize this and it may sound cold, but this isn't America and her laws and procedures don't count for anything here in Japan.
 

Mikawa Ossan

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Mike did you ever think about the situation she was in?
could be anything, maybe in debt? not even enough to support a plane ride?
hard to even put food on the table? someone wouldn't let her leave?
all sorts of possibilities, I'm pretty sure she knew she was overstaying the visa, hopefully in the meantime trying not to be a criminal either.
show some mercy :eek:, America is that way >>>.
You are correct; we do not know the whole story. However, from what information we do have, it is hard to be very sympathetic. Whenever I have to renew my visa, I make damn well sure that it gets done in time. I expect the same of every other foreigner here on a visa. I find it hard to have much sympathy for the woman in the OP with only the information at hand.
 

Mike Cash

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Mike did you ever think about the situation she was in?
could be anything, maybe in debt? not even enough to support a plane ride?
hard to even put food on the table? someone wouldn't let her leave?
all sorts of possibilities,

And none of them relevant. Also, you seem to have leapt to the unsubstantiable conclusion that I was judmental of her. Also possible (probable, actually) is that she had a better life here than back home. I've been to the Phillipines many times, and if I lived like many of the people there lived, I'd do pretty much anything to get out. I don't sit in judgment of Filipinas. (And, legally, whoever was the guarantor on her visa is responsible for the cost of her return plane trip).

I'm pretty sure she knew she was overstaying the visa, hopefully in the meantime trying not to be a criminal either.

You don't see the contradiction in that?

show some mercy :eek:, America is that way >>>.
You're confusing "pity" and "mercy". I am in a position to show pity; I am not in a position to show mercy.

I'm not clear what you meant by that last bit. And whatever America is or is not is irrelevant here.
 

junjunforever

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It is more difficult for people from richer countries to understand the visa situation of foreigners from the poorer countries. For americans or europeans visa denial would be unlikely and even if they dont get visa, they can easily go back and have a happy life.

But for Iranians or Philippinos, it is a matter of life and death. The lady wasnt lazy about not getting a visa. She knew she would be rejected.

The lady here wanted to live a happy life with her child in Japan. What could she do back home in the Philippines? She may just become homeless along with her little daughter.

Of course, anyone is free to say that she should not have broken the law, and whether she lives in poverty or not is of no interest to the Japanese society.

But I think for me, the humanitarian importance of one family's happiness overcomes the need to follow legal rules in this case. She has a job, a daughter, and a happy life here. I think she should have had the opportunity to present her case. Japan is overly protective anyway. I would say the happiness of one family, without any detriment to the Japanese society, is worth breaking a visa law or three.
 
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