Vietnamese lead list of people stripped of residency status in Japan

By Nguyen Quy   November 8, 2018 | 07:10 pm PT
Vietnamese lead list of people stripped of residency status in Japan
People gather at the pedestrian square in Shibuya, Tokyo. Photo by Shuttershock/ Sean Pavone
Vietnamese nationals accounted for almost half of the foreign residents whose residency rights were revoked in Japan last year.

A report from the Japan’s Justice Ministry last month said the resident status of 385 foreigners had been revoked in 2017, the highest since 2005.

Of these Vietnamese people accounted for 46.5 percent, followed by China (21.8 percent) and the Philippines (7.8 percent).

The ministry said that the number of cases linked to overseas students have doubled against a year earlier, when many students were found illegally staying in Japan after graduation.

Last September, 165 international students, a majority of them Vietnamese, were sent back home after their visa renewal requests were denied, the Nikkei Asian Review reported.

The ministry also revoked the resident status given to foreign nationals under the Japanese government-sponsored technical training program after they left their original workplace to work for other companies.

Over the past years, many young Vietnamese people have gone to Japan through training programs, but have suffered overwork, other forms of labor exploitation and mental stress, reports say.

According to Japan’s Immigration Department, Vietnam has surpassed China to become the largest group of technical intern trainees in the country, with around 127,000 last year.

Once their resident status is revoked, foreign nationals could be detained at immigration centers and be deported.

As of October last year, the number of foreign non-permanent residents living in Japan climbed to 1.28 million, double the figure in 2012, the Japan Times reported.

The Vietnamese expat population in Japan increased four times from 2012-2016 to reached 232,562 last year, making it the fourth biggest minority group in the Northeast Asian country.

However, the reputation of Vietnamese people living in Japan has been tarnished following a Japanese police report last year that said they committed more crimes than any other foreign non-permanent residents in the country.

Police recorded 5,140 crimes committed by Vietnamese people in 2017, up from 3,177 the year earlier, accounting for 30.2 percent of the total number of crimes committed by foreign nationals.

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