Survey Finds 40% of Non-Japanese Refused as Tenants Due to Being ForeignSociety
Japan may be looking abroad to meet labor shortages, but there are a number of challenges facing these overseas workers when it comes to living conditions, including being refused simply for being foreign. Yolo Japan, a recruitment information service for non-Japanese looking to work in Japan, conducted a survey of 629 foreigners living in the country, asking what kind of issues they have experienced.
Out of 487 people who had searched for a property to rent, 200, or 41% of the total, answered that they had been refused a place because they were a foreigner. A Canadian woman in Tokyo said that a lot of property owners say they won’t rent to foreigners, while an American woman in Aomori Prefecture commented that “even though I explained I could speak Japanese with no problem, I got turned down.”
Of those who were refused, 45% said they had conversational level Japanese and 22% could converse in business situations too, accounting for nearly 70% of the total. In contrast, only 1% could not speak Japanese at all.
When asked what they found difficult about searching for a place (multiple responses), most people indicated the complicated procedure (233 people) and high costs (221 people). People were also confused by the unique renting customs in Japanese. A Filipina in Kanagawa Prefecture said it was hard to pay both the initial security deposit and key money. Discrimination was also apparent. “I was told I had to pay double the normal deposit and key money because I was a foreigner,” noted an Australian woman in Tokyo. Meanwhile, a German man’s comment that he got a smaller place in Tokyo than he expected for what he thought was an appropriate budget would probably find a lot of agreement from Japanese people.
The survey also asked foreign respondents what the main issues were caused by other non-Japanese. The top answers were not disposing of trash correctly and making noise.
(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo © Rina/Pixta.)