Eighteen refugees from Myanmar, the second group to be settled in Japan under the new UN-sponsored resettlement program, arrived at Narita airport last Thursday.
The group arrive amid claims of harsh working conditions cited by two families who arrived from Myanmar last year as part of the first group resettled under the program.
The families, who settled in the (Chiba) prefecture in March, are looking for jobs in Tokyo after complaining about the long work hours and low wages paid by the agricultural corporation that is running the farm during the training period, Shogo Watanabe of the Japan Lawyers Network for Refugees said at a news conference Monday.
They have refused to take the farming jobs as labor conditions have not improved despite a work boycott in July, Watanabe added.
Refugee resettlement is not necessarily a straightforward or easy process, and the Japanese Government is fairly new at this. However, we’re only talking about five families here. It shouldn’t be that hard to get right. I only hope the Japanese Government learn from this experience and take action to improve conditions for the second group of refugees to go through the program.