CNA Correspondent Podcast: Refugees and former gangsters find a new lease of life in Hong Kong and Japan

Here’s an extract from the radio: &nbsp,

Teresa Tang:
You mentioned that some Yakuza members have left. They’ve tried to start a new career, but there are obstacles, not least of which is the shame of their history, right? &nbsp,

Michiyo Ishida:
Yes, allow me clarify what Tatsuya Shindo said to me. He was detained numerous times, three times for improper drugs, and was in prison. Actually though he completed his name in jail, Chinese culture, he said, was cruel. If he wanted to find a good work, he had to keep any remnants of his Yakuza past a secret. So he had to, for example, cover his tattoo. 20 years ago, when he was ( in the ) Yakuza, the law was not as tough as today towards crime syndicates. Still, there were major hurdles for him to ( integrate ) into society. Tatsuya Shindo explained this to me, exactly. &nbsp,

Tatsuya Shindo:
” For five decades after you are released from prison, deals may be signed. You may get a credit card, book a location, apply for a loan for a vehicle or opened a bank account. Today, if you ca n’t open an account, you ca n’t work. If your money may be remitted, they know why”.

Teresa Tang:
Some refugees, asylum applicants in Hong Kong, Deb, they’re living in purgatory actually, as they wait to get processed. They’re handcuffed, so to speak. What is the atmosphere like in Hong Kong when it is all about them? Are they usually accepted? Are they shunned, or are they ignored? &nbsp,

Deborah Wong: &nbsp,
You know, it’s exciting that you use the term lock, because that’s exactly what happened to Aimé Girimana, the person that we heard at the start of this radio, and he was talking about how no one plans to become a refugee. Then, Aimé’s history was very intriguing. He was a Burundi-based human rights lawyer when he learned that he was a target of death in the time, and he only learned this two days before the document was scheduled to take place. Therefore, he emigrated to Hong Kong with just a single suitcase, and that is where he was actually the only person who may enter the country without a visa 20 years earlier. But upon getting in Hong Kong, he was handcuffed. And Aimé told me that he was shocked, because he thought that Hong Kong was an international capital, and so… with that notion in mind, he was quite surprised you know, that he was being handcuffed without ( be ) given the chance to discuss his position. That is how it was twenty-five years before. Aimé is still awaiting relocation to a host nation, and he claims that over the past 20 years, public conversation has definitely improved. Hong Kong does include Charities like the Justice Centre and the Christian Action Centre for Refugees, both of whom advocate for refugees, but by and large, the migrant society is still largely unidentified.