Burmese Refugees in Tokyo: Livelihoods in the Urban Environment

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Title Burmese Refugees in Tokyo: Livelihoods in the Urban Environment
Author Banki, Susan
Journal Name Journal of Refugee Studies
Year Published 2006
Place of publication United Kingdom
Publisher Oxford University Press
Abstract This paper explores the consequences of Japan's refugee policy for Burmese refugees living in Tokyo by examining refugees' livelihoods and responses to the immigration/ refugee legal system. It begins with a description of Japan's legal framework as it pertains to immigrants and refugees, then examines four elements of refugees' livelihoods in Tokyo: employment, housing, health care and education. Tokyo's urban environment enables Burmese refugees from all backgrounds to generate income and make a living. Finding a place to live is possible with the help of the Burmese community, both legal and illegal. Education is only partially successful, but will prove more challenging as the refugee population grows. The present system is woefully inadequate to meet the health needs of asylum seekers. While refugees manage adequately, this is largely due to the Burmese community's strength and to some extent the response of Japanese civil society in the form of volunteer organizations. This success is in spite of Japan's rusty immigration and refugee system, which, slow to recognize that its temporary population is gradually becoming more permanent, is in need of more than a cosmetic makeover.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Alternative URI http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jrs/fel015
Volume 19
Issue Number 3
Page from 328
Page to 344
ISSN 0951-6328
Date Accessioned 2007-03-14
Date Available 2009-11-09T01:31:20Z
Language en_AU
Faculty Faculty of Arts
Subject PRE2009-Other Policy and Political Science
URI http://hdl.handle.net/10072/26503
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1x

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