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About 40% of foreigners seeking housing in Japan turned away: survey

  • March 31, 2017
  • , Kyodo News
  • English Press

About 40 percent of foreigners have experienced being turned down when looking for a place to live in Japan because they were not Japanese, the results of a Justice Ministry survey showed Friday.


Of the 2,044 respondents who said they had tried to find residential accommodation in Japan in the past five years, 40 percent said they had been rebuffed in their efforts because they were foreigners.


Around 27 percent said they had given up on a property after seeing a notice saying foreigners are not accepted.


The ministry conducted its first-ever survey to identify the forms of discrimination faced by foreigners in Japan in the run-up to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. It randomly selected 500 foreigners aged 18 and older in each of 37 municipalities across Japan and 4,252 responded from among the 18,500 people surveyed. Multiple answers were allowed in the survey.


Chinese and South Korean nationals comprised more than half the survey participants, followed by Filipinos, Brazilians and Vietnamese.


Among 2,788 people who have either job-hunted or have worked in Japan, 25 percent said they were refused work for being a foreign national and about 20 percent said their wages were lower than Japanese employees engaged in the same work, even though most of the respondents were able to have a conversation in Japanese, the survey added.


In the survey, conducted between mid-November and early December last year, around 30 percent of all the respondents said they had been subjected to discriminatory remarks, while around 80 percent of 4,085 people who said they have either witnessed or heard hate speech developed negative feelings such as “discomfort” or “intolerance.”


Meanwhile, only around 11 percent of the total respondents said they had sought advice from an institution when faced with discrimination while only about 12 percent said they knew of consultation services offered at the Justice Ministry’s legal affairs bureaus across Japan.

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