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Saturday, Jan. 31, 2009

Cabinet Office to aid foreigners caught in recession trap

Staff writer

The Cabinet Office announced Friday it has compiled steps to support foreigners with permanent resident status who have lost their jobs and are facing financial hardships.

Under the plan, the government will offer support in areas including employment, housing and children's education by providing necessary information. It will also help foreign residents return to their home countries, should they decide to do so.

In the area of education, the government will assign counselors and staff who speak foreign languages to support the children of immigrants who wish to transfer to public schools. Japanese-language classes to help prepare children to attend Japanese schools will also be provided.

Because the children of Brazilians with permanent resident status have difficulties attending public schools due to language problems, many parents send them to private Brazilian schools.

However, most Brazilian schools are not recognized as public educational institutions and therefore do not qualify for government support. Thus, parents who have been laid off often find themselves no longer able to afford the high tuition fees.

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