Beyond "Seclusionist" Japan: Evaluating the Free Afghans/Refugee Law Reform Campaign after September 11

By Kaneko, Mai | Refuge, May 2003 | Go to article overview

Beyond "Seclusionist" Japan: Evaluating the Free Afghans/Refugee Law Reform Campaign after September 11


Kaneko, Mai, Refuge


Abstract

Following the events of September 11, Japan renewed its stance against terrorism and aggressively stepped up regulations against aliens including asylum seekers. Responding to the post-September 11 detention of Afghan asylum seekers, citizens of all walks of life joined forces. The Free Afghan Refugees movement not only succeeded in releasing detainees, but also broke new ground by pushing for reform of the Japanese asylum system for the first time in the twenty-one years since the Refugee Recognition Act was enacted. The success and propagation of their activism is a reflection of the maturity attained by the refugee rights movement in Japan, and the increased awareness among citizens about world issues. On an unprecedented scale, citizens are questioning the government's efforts to maintain a homogeneous social order.

Resume

A la suite des attentats du 11 septembre, le Japon a reitere sa position contre le terrorisme et a vigoureusement renforce ses reglements contre les etrangers, y compris les demandeurs d'asile. Cependant, lorsque des demandeurs d'asile afghans ont ete detenus apres le 11 septembre, des citoyens provenant de routes les couches sociales ont fait cause commune. Le mouvement << Liberez les refugies afghans >> (<< Free Afghan Refugees >>) reussit non seulement obtenir la liberation des detenus, mais innova aussi en reclamant la reforme du systeme d'asile japonais pour la premiere fois depuis les 21 armies d'existence de la Loi sur la reconnaissance des refugies (<< Refugee Recognition Act >>). Le succes et la propagation du militantisme attestent du degre de maturite atteint par le mouvement pour les droits des refugies au Japon et de la sensibilisation accrue des citoyens envers les grandes questions mondiales. Comme jamais auparavant, les citoyens remettent en question les efforts du gouvernement pour preserver un ordre social homogene.

   Ever since I was a kid, I'd always imagined that Japan was the
   most peaceful country in the world ... I was taught that after
   the Hiroshima bombing, Japanese people came to love peace.
   Ever since I was born I've seen nothing but war. I grew up seeing
   people being killed right in front of me.... (1)

   I thought if I came to Japan, I would be safe and would be able
   to make a future for myself. But instead, as soon as I arrived here
   I was detained and treated like a criminal.... All we think about
   is our family. We don't know where they are, how they are ...
   whether they are alive or dead ... All we can do while in
   detention is to keep watching the horrible news on TV about
   the US bombing our hometown ... We just hope and pray
   nothing has happened to them. (Afghan detainee, Hazara, male,
   in his twenties). (2)

   Right after September 11th, I found out that one of my acquaintances
   was killed in the World Trade Center. I thought something
   was wrong with this world and started to become involved
   in social activism for the first time in my life. That is how I came
   to know about detained Afghan asylum seekers. Until then, I
   was just an "ordinary citizen." When I heard the term "refugees,"
   I just imagined these people starving in the refugee camps
   in Asia and Africa. They are part of something happening far
   away from me. I would never have thought that there are people
   who come to Japan seeking "asylum." ... But look at me now,

   I'm in the middle of the Free Afghan refugee movement ...
   Why? Because I came to realize that my life, which I take for
   granted, exists at the expense of these people ... A society not
   livable for refugees is not livable for us Japanese, either.
   (Japanese businessman, in his thirties). (3)

The first comment was made by an Afghan asylum seeker who was detained by the Japanese immigration bureau for seven months, and the second comment was made by a young Japanese activist who became involved in the movement to free them after September 11.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Beyond "Seclusionist" Japan: Evaluating the Free Afghans/Refugee Law Reform Campaign after September 11
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.