Japanese Supreme Court Rules Against Foreign Residents on Welfare

Clint Richards, The Diplomat, July 23, 2014

Japan’s Supreme Court made a controversial and potentially damaging ruling concerning the country’s long-term foreign population last Friday. The Second Petty Bench of the Supreme Court ruled that foreigners in Japan with permanent residency status are not guaranteed to receive social welfare benefits under existing law. This would be the first time Japan’s highest court has ruled against foreigners receiving welfare under the current legislation. While it will still be up to the discretion of local and municipal government’s as to whether these residents receive benefits, this ruling sets a very serious precedent for Japan’s long-term and permanent foreign residents. Without the ability to access this social safety net, an already vulnerable portion of the population could become further marginalized, possibly posing a risk to social stability that Japan is ultimately seeking to avoid.

The Supreme Court ruled that only “citizens” have the right to public assistance, and that foreign residents do not meet the legal definition of that term. The court further said that, “Foreigners do not possess the right to receive assistance based on the law and are only limited to being subjects for public assistance in a practical sense based on administrative decisions.” The case before the court was brought by an 82-year-old woman Chinese woman who was born and grew up in Japan. Her initial application for assistance was declined by the Oita municipal government in 2008, which claimed the woman had sufficient savings to survive without welfare. The case was then appealed to the Fukuoka High Court and overturned, which stated that foreigners were entitled to public social welfare programs under the Public Assistance Law. The Supreme Court then overturned the Fukuoka court’s decision. Despite Japan’s highest court’s ruling, Oita public officials have said that the ruling would not affect their current policy of providing assistance to permanent foreign residents, “including the plaintiff.”


The ruling poses a problem for the government. It is in the awkward and unwelcome position of levying a specific tax on a portion of the population that cannot claim legal recourse to funds raised by the tax. Not only will this be viewed unfavorably by Japan’s foreign population, it is highly likely to met with skepticism by the international community as to the real intent behind the ruling. While Japan’s foreign population is relatively small (estimated at just 2.5 million in a country of 127.6 million in 2012) and the international outcry will in all likelihood not be great enough to cause Japan to reconsider the ruling, there will be larger problems created by the verdict.

This case is reflective of the state of Japan’s social welfare system. As its population ages and eventually declines, the pressure on the government to provide its promised assistance will be stretched to its limit, and without significant reforms this generous regime of social safety nets could fall apart. {snip} Long-term foreigners will be less inclined to continue their residence if the generous social welfare system, which they pay into just like Japanese nationals, is withheld from them in order to maintain a safety net past its ability to sustain itself.

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  • E_Pluribus_Pluribus

    Japan for the Japanese! What a startling concept.

    Who knows? Maybe someday it will be Sweden for the Swedes, France for the French, Italy for the Italians, even . . . dare I say it, America for the Americans…

    • Mark

      Slight correction, if i may. America for White Americans.

    • Einsatzgrenadier

      America for the Americans, but only after the Third American Revolution.

  • Oil Can Harry

    How lucky for the Japanese people that their Supreme Court doesn’t include Kagan, Breyer, Ginsburg or that unwise Latina Senorita Sotomayor.

  • Dave4088

    It must be nice to belong to a race who is collectively illiberal, race conscious and common sensical. I’m green with envy.

  • Luca

    I would like to give assistance to the foreigners in our country seeking help. I’d like to assist them right out of the country.

  • Shadow

    If only our Supreme Court were as heroic as the one Japan is blessed with…

    A man can always dream.

    … ((( Sigh ))) …

    • Paleoconn

      Our Supreme Court is composed of ethnicities other than ours. In Japan, their judges are Japanese.

      • Luca

        You mean a Jew, a feminist,a lesbian, a Latina and radical Liberals aren’t looking out for America’s best interests?

        I suppose the next thing you’ll tell me is that they reach decisions based on party agenda and not the letter of the law.

        • Paleoconn

          More than one of the tribe, but besides that you’re bang on.

        • Ngati Pakeha

          The ironic thing is that one of the more conservative justices on SCOTUS is Clarence Thomas. That must drive blacks wild.

  • dd121

    Imagine that! Some places in the world want to protect their people and civilization from foreign invasion.

  • Truthseeker

    That’s why many of us advocate splitting this country along ethnic lines and becoming true nation-states. My loyalty is not to the political entity known as the United States of America, which is now run by people who hate my race and everything I believe in, my loyalty is to the European stock that built it.

    • monster

      I agree in part of what you say but disagree with advocating splitting along any lines. There are enough divisions already. There just needs to be a push back by the states towards the federal government’s overreaching. Politicians gerrymander for gain now, wouldn’t want to imagine if it were for straight ethnic boundaries.

      • Truthseeker

        I’m suggesting we split the U.S. into smaller countries. We’re already divided by race, ethnicity, politics, etc. As much as I love the United States, it’s a dying empire. In the long run, we’ll be better off if all the peoples of this country are able to exercise their own self-determination separately, and not be in a constant competition for spoils.

        • Einsatzgrenadier

          The idea of giving away the country to evil, hostile nonwhite invaders makes me want to vomit. They should be repatriated to their countries of origin, not rewarded for their trespassing, theft and freeloading. Yes, getting rid of the racial foreigners and the traitors in power will take a war, a great and bloody war, but it must be done if the white race is to survive and have more than enough land and natural resources to pass on to future generations of whites. The most important thing to remember is that there is nothing inevitable about the third world invasion of our countries and that all of this is completely reversible.

          • whiteisright

            The best for whites to do is declare the Midwest and the Rockies/Northwest for normal, nonliberal whites. Let the blacks, browns, stupid white liberals, race traitors, whites who race mix, whites who adopt nonwhite kids live somewhere else. They are nothing to me! I even give them dirty looks in public and they know why I’m doing it, too.

    • kenfrombayside

      In Japan, ethnic Japanese treat each other just like they are first cousins. My true fellow citizens are other oppressed whites. Blacks and mestizos are not and never will be fellow citizens.

    • saxonsun


  • monster

    We need to get back to what was the way of thinking when this country was founded, there needs to be skin in the game. Anyone just showing up or not making contributions isn’t due anything. Other countries demand that new immigrants are capable of being self-sufficient, why can’t we?

  • Einsatzgrenadier

    The Japanese elite still practices some elements of bushido, the “way of the warrior,” which stresses family honor, endurance of all physical hardship, and suicide in the face of defeat. This warrior thought culminated in the cry of “Revere the emperor and expel the barbarian!” during the late Tokugawa period and the “Rich country, strong military!” of WWII.

    The Japanese still possess a healthy instinct for racial and national self-preservation. This has neither been suppressed by the policy of westernization initiated by the 19th century Meiji Restoration, nor by the post-WWII American occupation of the islands. The 250-year period of isolation imposed on the country by the Tokugawa shogunate has served the Japanese well, preserving and reinforcing their collective ethnoracial identity as a community of blood and soil. At least the government isn’t trying to destroy its own people through massive third world immigration and multiculturalism, despite pressure from the power-mad globalist elite.

    The rulers of Japan love and respect their own people. They will remain a vibrant, organic, racial community long after the west has been absorbed into the third world.

  • Well, here’s one country that the freeloading Africans, muzzies, and Mexicans won’t be heading to. By resisting the multiculturalism of the West, Japan ensures the existence of Japanese children. Kind of wishing I was Japanese right now. What a paradise to see only faces of my own people and not the ugly black ones so common in the States on TV, mashing with white women.

  • willbest

    The solution will be to start thinking of us as a nation of conquerors We conquered the Indians, the Mexicans, and even the Southerns when they got a bit uppity.

    • propagandaoftruth

      When you conquered us Southerners you laid the groundwork for all our destruction.

      • benvad

        My sincerest apologies for that transgression.

        • propagandaoftruth

          In all fairness we should have listened to Hinton Helper. Meh…

    • Kit Ingoldby

      Insulting the Southerners seems a really bad way to go if you genuinely want to pro White society.

      • willbest

        I don’t see how it is insulting to point out that factually it was conquered. If it wasn’t then there would be 2 countries between Canada and Mexico.

        • Kit Ingoldby

          If you don’t see how that was insulting then my explaining it will do no good.

          Assuming that you weren’t deliberately being crass I suppose that you just can’t help it, perhaps you are somewhere on the autistic spectrum.

  • NoMosqueHere

    US is a nation of laws, predicated on a contract, the US constitution, as well as numerous federal and state statutes. The wholesale breaking of these contracts and statutes has produced chaos. Why are the american people in general and the republican party in particular so blase about this?

  • kenfrombayside

    It is correct to say that Japan is a nation of immigrants. The present population of Japan is the result of a historic migration from mainland Asia. If memory serves me correctly, the immigrants displaced another group, the Ainu, who were already established. In fact, the populations of all nations, including the demographically changing USA, is the result of a previous migration. Yet, our corrupt academic, political and political elite love to say the we are a “nation of immigrants.” Based on this reasoning, we have to absorb millions of useless, illiterate, low IQ, unskilled and fertile mestizos. Anyone who objects is called a raycess.

    • Rhialto

      Your are complicating the issue with relevant facts. That’s Rassisss and evil White male patriarchialism.

    • rebelcelt

      How many Caucasians live in the Caucuses today?

  • WR_the_realist

    If only we had such sanity here.

  • Sloppo

    “Japan’s Supreme Court made a controversial and potentially damaging ruling”

    Damaging? I suppose this could damage Japan’s chances of being destroyed by foreign colonization.

  • WhiteGuyInJapan

    This issue has got the expat community quite upset. There are some details that should be pointed out here. This person was born and raised in Japan. And, as I understand it, used to have Japanese citizenship (some of the third generation Japan-born Chinese and Koreans have gained and lost Japanese citizenship). They are labelled as special permanent residents and tend to receive special consideration by the Japanese government.
    This is all completely separate from people such as myself who come to Japan as adults and decide to reside longterm. I qualify for unemployment and a pension (in theory, haven’t collected yet) based on my employment and paying taxes, but I do not qualify for welfare as I am not a citizen of Japan. (On a personal level, I prefer to work.)
    Some of the more PC sort of Western expats (most of them, to be honest) see this move as sliding towards xenophobia and discrimination. Not sure I see it that way. It is their country after all and I am merely a longterm (and legal) guest.

  • John R

    And to think that WE were the ones after WWII who told THEM how to set up a government and to run their society! Looks like they have more than a few lessons to teach us.

    • Dave West

      In the years following WWII we were still a sane society. Luckily for them they haven’t taken any lessons from us regarding our failed 50 year, and still going strong, social experiments.

      • John R

        Good point. They were taught by the America of the “Greatest Generation” and before. (Remember, the leaders during WWII actually were young during World War ONE!) But today we are governed by people taught by the cultural Marxist professors who cut their teeth during the social upheavals of the 1960’s, and whose parents were the Communist Party members back in the 1930’s. (Even the word “racism” was invented by communists in the 1930’s I believe.)

  • Ella

    Japan also has a large nagging national debt much like the USA; of course, the Japanese do not see the revenue system as a bottomless pit of tax payer’s earnings.

  • LHathaway

    “2.5 million in a country of 127.6 million in 2012”

    I’m willing to bet a fair amount of the ‘2.5 million’ are foreigners who keep Leaving their country only to be replaced by more foreigners (such as english teachers) who will also Leave.

  • David Ashton

    The Land of the Rising Sun versus the lands of the rising scum.

  • Dave West

    How does Japan do it? How do they manage to maintain the third largest economy in the world without high immigration and scores of “vibrant” blacks, arabs, and latinos? They must be cheating, because as everyone in the “enlightened” countries knows that the only way to prosperity is to replace your native population with less intelligent and more criminally prone immigrants!

  • redpill99

    this basically vindicates Norway shooter Anders Breivik view that Japan and S Korea are model nations.

  • Kit Ingoldby

    ”Long-term foreigners will be less inclined to continue their residence if the generous social welfare system, which they pay into just like Japanese nationals, is withheld from them”

    That’s the point! It’s not a flaw, it’s a feature.

    The Japanese don’t want a bunch of foreigners in their country. Do they really not understand that? The Japanese don’t care about ‘diversity’ or ‘multiculturalism’ or any of the other shibboleths of the Western PC brigade. And that seems to drive some people nuts….