GLOCOM Platform
debates Media Reviews Tech Reviews Special Topics Books & Journals
Summary Page
Search with Google
Home > Media Reiews > News Review Last Updated: 14:52 03/09/2007
News Review #36: May 30, 2002

50 from Chinese delegation go missing in Japan

Reviewed By Hitoshi URABE

"50 from Chinese delegation go missing in Japan",1870,122546,00.html?
The Straits Times

Three decades ago Japan and China formally recognized each other and established a normal diplomatic relationship. It might be interesting to note that the decision was made by the then Prime Minister Mr. Tanaka, father of Ms. Tanaka who was dismissed from the task of Foreign Minister a couple months ago due to her erratic behaviors.

There have been a number of events planned to celebrate the occasion, formal and informal, by both countries individually and jointly. One of the highlights would be the Prime Minister's official visit to China in the fall. Understandably, people engaged in planning the various events became very anxious when that incident in Shenyang, where five asylum seekers rushed into the Japanese Consulate and later dragged out by Chinese police, had become a serious political issue.

While everyone's mind was attracted to the events in Shenyang, anniversary celebrations were being carried out as planned, including a visit to Japan by a Chinese group of five thousand people with various professions and backgrounds for two weeks. The article cited here reports that out of this five thousand, fifty people have disappeared.

As is explained in the report, this was already reported ten days ago in Japan, but only in very small articles in a limited number of media. One reason for that could be that there was still a possibility for these people to show up before their visas expire, mostly in a couple of months. Another reason speculated was that it would be too provoking at a time of hassle with the Shenyang incident.

Indeed, it is too early to provide for any conclusive comments at this point and should be careful in speculating. But previous experiences indicate a possibility that many if not all of those fifty people have ran away as economic refugees. In recent years many Chinese have literally drifted to the shores of Japan in scrapped ships to seek sanctuary, paying huge sums of money to human traffickers and risking their lives on the way.

Another affair that comes to the minds of many Japanese is an incident revealed at a junior college in northern Japan late last year. Sakata Junior-College in Yamagata prefecture had been accepting students from China, which itself was of course no problem. It was discovered, however, that out of a little more than three hundred Chinese students there, two hundred were not attending classes at all. As a matter of fact, they were not even in or near Sakata and were working in Tokyo area, some five hundred kilometers away. The college, facing mounting accusations, tried to call back the students. Out of the two hundred, a half refused to return, and the rest of one hundred students were not even able to be contacted as they have apparently disappeared.

Again, the incident referred to in the cited article may have nothing to do with illegal entry of economic refugees into Japan. But it would still be a case to make people think of possible outcomes, which could be an effective reminder for Japan to seriously start formulating its immigration policy.

Copyright © Japanese Institute of Global Communications