Brazilian woman in Japan files petition claiming city official made discriminatory comments

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Aichi Prefecture

ANJO, Aichi — A Brazilian woman who tried to apply for public assistance in Anjo, Aichi Prefecture, filed a petition for human rights relief claiming a city official repeatedly said discriminatory comments to her.

According to the petition filed with the Aichi Bar Association on Tuesday, the 41-year-old woman, a third-generation Brazilian woman of Japanese descent with a long-term residence status and a mother of two, visited the Anjo city office on Nov. 1.

At the time, an official incorrectly informed her that “Welfare benefits are not given to foreigners.” On Nov. 22, she was told, “You should go back to your country if you can’t make a living.”

Her application for public assistance was finally accepted on Nov. 30 and then approved on Dec. 14.

“There must be a considerable number of other foreign nationals who cannot receive welfare payments for unjust reasons,” said the woman’s lawyer.

The Anjo city government denies that an official made those remarks, but released a statement on Wednesday that read, “We regret that there was inadequate communication and deeply apologize for any inconvenience we have caused the woman.”