World

Japan Debates Refugee Issue But Takes In Few

| by Ray Brown

The opposition party in Japan has called upon Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to oppose President Donald Trump's refugee ban, but the country has a mixed record on refugees.

Renho, the leader of Japan's Democratic Party, urged Abe to "express his thoughts on Trump’s action in terms of human rights" and said the U.S. and Japan share a common goal of "making human rights the top priority," reported Japan Today.

Abe has been hesitant when it comes to the matter of accepting refugees.

Back in 2015, Abe said his country must take care of its own people before letting in refugees.

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"As an issue of demography, I would say that before accepting immigrants or refugees we need to have more activities by women, by elderly people and we must raise (the) birth rate," Abe said, according to The Associated Press. "There are many things that we should do before accepting immigrants."

The following year, however, Abe pledged $2.8 billion to help address the refugee crisis world wide. But he also stressed that the money was intended to promote "self-reliance."

"In short, we provide seamless assistance to both refugees and host communities from emergency assistance to economic development," Abe said, according to the Japan Times. "Japan will continue to play a leading role to bring solutions to the refugee and migrant issues by collaborating closely with the international community."

According to Al Jazeera, Japan rejected 99 percent of all refugee applications in 2016, accepting only 27 people out of 7,586 applicants.

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In 2015, Japan accepted only 11 refugees.

The United States, meanwhile, accepted nearly 85,000 refugees in 2016, including a record-number of Muslim refugees -- about 39,000, according to Pew Research.

Sources: AP via Fox News, Japan Times, Japan Today, Al Jazeera, Pew Research / Photo credit: JitiJiti/Wikimedia Commons

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