J-VOICES

Interviews with residents in Japan’s “Brazil Town” about the COVID-19 situation (Jun. 2020)

Aired: Jun. 25, 2020

Oizumi is the smallest town in Gunma Prefecture. Many major companies’ factories are located here, and many of the workers come from overseas. About half of these workers are from Brazil, earning Oizumi the nickname: “Brazil Town.” In this segment, we interview foreign residents in Oizumi about how they are coping with the coronavirus situation.

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Brazil Futsal Team of Oizumi Town
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Oizumi Town, Gunma Prefecture
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Interviews with Brazilians living in Oizumi Town
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"BURGER-YA" hamburger shop offering take-outs to cope with the coronavirus situation

Viewers’ Voice

I didn’t know that the Brazilian community in Japan was so big. It was a very interesting segment because we have a chance to see how the pandemic has affected kids’ leisure activities. The rest of the segment, like the difficulties that foreigners have to fill papers in Japanese, deal with unemployment, and understand the new situation that the virus has put us on have been showed previously. This time, however, the scale of things have raised up, since we are talking about a town full of immigrants. I would love to know more about this town and how the people have integrated into society there.

From the Dominican Republic

It warms my heart to see kids playing. I’m sure so many of them just want to be outside with their friends again. It’s great to hear from overseas people living in Japan and how they are dealing with the virus. I’m sure it’s scary for them, however I’m sure they feel some comfort in how the government is helping to address their needs.

From the US

This segment was interesting in that we got to see how the virus was affecting one community outside of Tokyo, and given what’s happening in Brazil it was particularly interesting to hear what the interviewee in the supermarket had to say about the cultural differences in the Japanese and Brazilian response to the pandemic. It was good to see how happy the children looked to be back together and playing in their teams once more.

From the UK

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