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November 15, 2009

Immigration guideline linking health insurance to visa renewal to be withdrawn and revised

images-2.jpegThe Immigration guideline requiring foreign nationals to be registered with government health insurance in order to have their visas renewed is to be withdrawn and sent back to the drawing board. A few weeks ago the Kobe City Assembly sent an official communique to the national government. This, as well as an overwhelming backlash from the foreign   community, certain lawmakers, as well as organizations like the Free   Choice Foundation led to the outcome.

Free Choice has been leading   the campaign to get the guideline withdrawn. Kaj Schwermer, Co- Chairman of the Foundation and Coordinator of ETJ in Osaka, reported   to the ETJ discussion list that 'Although not quite the end of the   road, as the guideline will most likely be re-written at some point,   this is a significant step forward for all of us concerned about human   rights and freedom of choice here in Japan and I would like to thank   all of those who had the courage to stand up and make their voices   heard. I’d also like to thank all the people who came forward with   suggestions on how to improve our message and gave constructive   criticism. The response to our little campaign has been overwhelming.   For all the naysayers out there who believed we were tilting at   windmills from the outset, I have three words for you: YES WE CAN!'    Free Choice is now considering tackling other problems and issues   facing foreigners living in Japan.

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