Friday, July 16, 2004

Japan gets tough against human trade

Tokyo, Japan, Jul. 5 (UPI) -- Alerted by USA and other countries, Japan is taking concrete steps to fight human trafficking, especially of foreign women for sexual exploitation.

The Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau decided Saturday to conduct intensive follow-up checks on foreign women who arrive in Japan on entertainment visas, reported the Yomiuri Shimbun Monday.

Justice Ministry figures indicate some 133,000 people entered Japan last year on entertainment visas, many of which were submitted by Japanese recruiting agents.

TRIB's special team will examine working conditions of the women. And when illegal activities are confirmed, their promoters will also be made accountable, unlike existing legal procedures.

Last month TRIB found 10 Philippine women acting as hostesses at a bar in Chiba Prefecture, while they had entered Japan on entertainment visas as performers. It was suspected the bar forced the women to have sex with customers, the paper added.

Monday, July 05, 2004

'Burakumin' descendants still suffering

Links to former outcast class bring misery to relationships, workplace

from the Japan Times/AP:

A daughter's engagement is a time of joy for any proud father.
Not so for Ikuo Aoki: His daughter was thrown out of her boyfriend's family home when the young couple went there to announce their plans to marry.

The reason was unstated but well-understood -- Aoki is a descendant of Japan's former "burakumin" outcast class, a distinction that has brought his family a lifetime of ridicule, discrimination and abuse.