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HOME  > Past issues  > 2023 August 16 - 22  > JCP demands that gov't ensure foreigners' right to work, health, and education
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2023 August 16 - 22 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

JCP demands that gov't ensure foreigners' right to work, health, and education

August 19, 2023
The Japanese Communist Party Commission on the Protection of Human Rights and Employment of Foreigners in Japan on August 18 made representations to relevant ministries, demanding that the government guarantee the right to work, access to healthcare, and education for foreigners without residency status.

Visa overstayers are not allowed to work, move freely in Japan, or hold healthcare insurance cards.

JCP member of the House of Representatives Miyamoto Toru pointed out that the Medical Practitioners Act obliges doctors to provide assistance to people in need of medical treatment, but that many overstayers cannot afford to go and see a doctor because they do not have healthcare insurance cards. Miyamoto said that some medical institutions shoulder the expense of treating foreigners without residency status, adding, "Japan should guarantee foreigners access to medical care from the viewpoint of the protection of human rights."

An official of the Health and Welfare Ministry responded, "Your opinion has been noted."

An official of the Children and Families Agency, in regard to the issuance of maternity passbooks and antenatal checkups to pregnant women, said, "Regardless of visa status, they are eligible to receive maternal and child health services."

An official of the Ministry of Education answered that compulsory education (6 to 15 years old) is free for everyone in the same way as Japanese.

Based on a fact-finding survey conducted by the JCP on a Kurdish community in Saitama Prefecture, Umemura Saeko, a former House of Representatives member, said that overstayers' children need to obtain permission from the Immigration Bureau each time they go on school trips, or go to club camps or on club activities outside their prefectures.

Yamazaki Sunao, a Saitama Prefectural Assemblymember, said, "To receive permission without undue difficulties will be very important for children to be able to stay in Japan." She asked an Immigration Bureau official if there are cases in which children ran away during their school-related trips. The official answered, "We have no awareness of such a case."

Past related articles:
> JCP Nihi comments on gov’t policy to grant Japan-born foreign minors special permission to stay in Japan [August 5, 2023]
> JCP will urge gov't to grant special residency permit to overstayers' children and families [August 2, 2023]
> JCP Nihi talks with Kurdish children without residency status [July 28, 2023]
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