Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Japan considers extending foreigners' work visas to 5 years

Well whoopdedoo. I suppose there is no real reason to actually complain, but for people with jobs, getting a visa extension is generally not that big a deal.

Tenure, employment rights, permanent residency and citizenship are where the real issues are. Will the Govt actually address these substantively? I wouldn't advise anyone (gitwizards aside) to hold their breath.

As one of the comments on the news article mentions, the "gaijin tax" otherwise known as pension system is something they could usefully look at too. We have to pay in to the compulsory system, but on leaving the country, the refund is limited to about 3 years' worth of contributions. This makes it basically a state-sponsored theft from the small number of us who have been here for longer than that time. (We have no chance of actually getting a pension out of the system, which would require us to contribute for 25 straight years.) If 5 year visas become standard, they can hardly not give a 5 year refund - or can they?

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