Foreigners stage a sit-in outside Diet to protest immigration bills

About 20 foreign workers [including members of NUGW Tokyo Nambu] and their supporters staged a sit-in Tuesday in front of the Diet to demand that bills to revise the immigration law be scrapped.

The bills, now before the Lower House Judicial Affairs Committee, would put a greater burden on foreign workers and violate their rights, participants at the sit-in argued.

“The government says the immigration law revision would make administrative procedures more convenient for foreigners living in Japan legally, but the realities would be vice versa,” Catherine Campbell said in Japanese.

The revision would impose a fine of up to ¥200,000 on people who fail to notify the government of a change in address within 14 days, and their residency status could be revoked if they fail to report the change within 90 days.

Kunio Ozwaldo Hiramoto, 46, a second-generation Japanese-Brazilian from Odawara, Kanagawa Prefecture, said the purpose of the revision is to increase control over foreign workers. “I want the Japanese government to stop xenophobia and treat foreigners warmly,” he said.