translated by Brett Larner
Arrested for violating the terms of their athlete visa status, the deportation trial of Kenyan runners Simon Maina Munyi and Joseph Mwaura Kamau is set to begin Nov. 4 at the Nagoya Immigration Violation Detention Center. Both runners were fired by their sponsor teams last year after becoming injured. The government contends that in their current condition Munyi and Kamau are not fit enough to meet the requirements of the athlete visa. Should they be found guilty, the case will set a precedent which will, in the current economic climate, make the situation of all foreign runners in Japan highly precarious.
Translator's note: An earlier article posted last month gives more detail on Munyi and Kamau's situation. This article does not mention that both runners recovered from their injuries, found a new sponsor, and were in training for comeback races this fall at the time of their arrests. Regardless, as foreigners accused of crimes in Japan they will almost certainly be found guilty and deported. As this article suggests, in an economic environment in which companies are looking for convenient ways to make spending cutbacks this trial creates a serious precedent which puts enormous pressure on foreign elites hired by Japanese corporate teams as they will now face being the prospect of fired, arrested and deported should they become injured.