Global News Blog: Japan Reluctant to Take Refugees

December 1, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

by Adele Le Gardeur

The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees encourages countries to accept numerous refugees throughout the year, however Japan has been lagging.

Japan has always been inconsistent with its own refugee policy. Japan will accept unlikely refugees such as the recent Karen families from the Mera refugee camp. But through the years it has taken far less refugees than other countries.

The U.S. alone took more than 62,000 refugees last year and both Australia and Canada took more than 6,000 through the UNHCR. Japan only took 90 people spanning the last three years.

Japan’s reluctance to accept refugees is a result of its already overcrowded nation. However, since 2005, the population has dropped due to an aging population and low birthrate, thus allowing Japan the freedom to take in more refugees.

Hopefully with this in mind and more push from the UNHCR Japan will begin to take in more refugees.