translated by Brett Larner
Wysela Wylim, 18, a member of Toyokawa High School's 2008 National High School Girls Ekiden-winning ekiden team who disappeared from the school soon afterwards, was deported back to her native Kenya on April 8. Wylem's student visa expired in September last year. In February this year she appeared at the Nagoya Immigration Office to apply for a special extension for her visa. She was immediately arrested and put in the Immigration Office's accompanying prison. Her dream, "I want to run for a Japanese corporate team someday," was left unrealized.
As a 2nd-year at Toyokawa H.S. Wylem went home to Kenya for winter holidays in January 2009. While there her house was robbed and her passport was stolen. Waiting for a new passport, she was unable to return to Japan until April 20. In her absence, when she did not arrive for the start of the new academic year in early April Toyokawa H.S. opted to summarily expel her from the school.
Afterwards Wylem survived through the help of supporters. She sought to sue the school for reneging on its agreement but could not afford a lawyer's fees. On April 2 this year a representative from the Kenyan Embassy visited Toyokawa H.S. to protest Wylem's expulsion and request a review of the school's decision but said officials were unresponsive. After the meeting the diplomat angrily told reporters, "They've just destroyed a young woman's life."