Stratification of rights and entitlements among refugees and other displaced persons in Japan
This chapter provides details of rights and entitlements guaranteed in law and principle for each category. It analyses the logic behind a distorted relation between Indo-Chinese refugees and Convention refugees. As is clear from the previous discussions on residential status and assistance arrangements, there is virtually no difference in rights, entitlements, and service available for Convention refugees, Indo-Chinese refugees, and resettled refugees, at least since 2003. The basic principle regarding the residential status of resettled refugees under the recent programme launched in 2008 is effectively the same as that for Indo-Chinese refugees. Public assistance provided for Indo-Chinese refugees particularly at the initial phase between 1975 and 1979 was extremely meagre or almost non-existent. This was partially because the term ‘refugee’ did not exist in Japanese domestic law until accession to the Refugee Convention in 1981, and no public entity had the statutory authority, mandate, or budget to provide assistance for refugees or displaced persons.