Group of Chinese Immigrants Exploit Welfare System in Osaka

Nishi-ku office of the Osaka city government experienced a sudden increase in the number of Chinese residents applying for welfare in the last month. It turns out most of them were from a group of 48 people who have something in common:

  • All of them had recently immigrated to Japan.
  • All of them came from Fujian province in China.
  • All of them were granted permission to immigrate to Japan so they could care for elderly relatives in Osaka.
  • They all seem to be caring for the same relatives: a pair of Chinese-born women in their seventies who came to Japan last year and recently naturalized.

Osaka city welfare officials had no good reason to turn down most of them, and 32 are already receiving welfare payments.

Most of the applicants had the same Osaka-based real estate company help them with their applications. An investigation is underway to determine whether or not some sort of scam is taking place.

Update: The Mainichi has finally come out with its late afternoon online English edition, which has an article about this case. It notes that the elderly sisters who naturalized had been put on the fast track to citizenship because they were apparently Japanese who had been orphaned and left behind in China after the war. The article also mentions how foreigners can receive welfare:

Under Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare rules, foreign residents with valid visas are eligible for welfare assistance. The 48 Chinese nationals visited the application window for welfare protection an average of eight days after receiving their visas. Some things reportedly struck city employees as odd, such as the visiting applicants being accompanied by the same particular real-estate agent. If the applications are found to have been improper, the city plans to cut off assistance.



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July 2010
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