by Leo Kendrick
At a meeting in Istanbul with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu last Friday, Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi announced Japanese plans to issue 410 million dollars worth of loans to Turkey, in order to assist with Turkey’s refugee burden. Improving living conditions of the 3.6 million Syrian immigrants currently living in Turkey was stated by the Motegi as the main goal of the loan.
Japan is known for accepting very few immigration applications. According to statistics from 2020, of 963 refugees who applied for Japanese residency, only 47 were accepted, a rate of approximately 1%. Shortly after the news of the loan was published, various Turkish news outlets reported that Japan has accepted only 12 Syrian refugees to date despite reportedly hundreds of thousands of applications.
Foreign Minister Motegi released a statement the day earlier saying “Japan greatly appreciates the humanitarian support provided by Turkey to nearly 4 million Syrian refugees.” Motegi added that the nearly 550 million dollars to date provided by Japan to assist with the Syrian refugee issue in Turkey is the largest support package provided by any non-NATO member.
To date, the European Union has invested approximately 2.4 billion Euros for humanitarian assistance of Syrian refugees in Turkey. President Erdoğan has claimed cumulative Turkish expenditures hosting Syrian refugees total some 40 billion dollars.