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HOME  > Past issues  > 2024 May 29 - June 4  > JCP Motomura: Special permission to stay in Japan should be granted to all children of visa overstayers
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2024 May 29 - June 4 TOP3 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

JCP Motomura: Special permission to stay in Japan should be granted to all children of visa overstayers

May 30, 2024

Japanese Communist Party lawmaker Motomura Nobuko on May 29 demanded that in compliance with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), the government grant special permission to stay in Japan to all visa overstayers’ children who are on provisional release from detention.

At a House of Representatives Judicial Affairs Committee meeting on the day, Motomura referred to the UNCRC’s four key principles: non-discrimination; devotion to the best interests of the child; the right to life, survival and development; and respect for the views of the child. She asked if the UN convention is applied to children of undocumented foreign nationals. Justice Minister Koizumi Ryuji replied, “Non-Japanese children without residency status are covered by the UNCRC.”

Motomura pointed out that foreign nationals on provisional release, including children, are not eligible for Japan’s public health insurance program and thus have to pay 100% of their medical bills. She cited the case of a 15-year-old child who was taken to the hospital after passing out from a high fever, diagnosed with influenza, and was charged 240,000 yen for medical treatment.

Motomura pointed out that children whose parents overstay their visas often hesitate to go to doctors due to payment anxiety, which goes counter to the UNCRC’s principles. She said that the government should give special permission for residence to visa overstayers’ children in order to ensure their right to health care.

In addition, Motomura pointed out that the deportation of overstayers’ children raised in Japan constitutes a crime against humanity.

Justice Minister Koizumi replied that the ministry will consider the necessity to protect the interests of overstayers’ children living with their family members, and expressed his intent to issue special permission for residence, if necessary, based on individual circumstances and from a humanitarian perspective.

Past related articles:
> JCP demands that gov't ensure foreigners' right to work, health, and education [August 19, 2023]
> JCP Nihi comments on gov’t policy to grant Japan-born foreign minors special permission to stay in Japan [August 5, 2023]
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