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October 22, 2009

Kobe City gets involved in the immigration/health insurance issue

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The port city of Kobe, which has a long history of openness and acceptance toward non-Japanese, has sent a letter to the national government about the new Immigration guidelines. The Kobe City Assembly has drafted a consensus demanding clarification of the proposed guidelines and the criteria that Immigration will use when determining whether to renew visas. The letter was sent to Prime Minister Hatoyama, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the President of the House of Councilors, the Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications and the Minister of Justice.

The letter questions the ambiguity of the guideline's provision that "an applicant for visa renewal must present their social health insurance card." The guideline does not identify or even address the rules or standards that would be applied should an applicant not be enrolled in the social health plan. Click here for details.

The Free Choice Foundation is running a petition drive to revoke or revise the new guideline.

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