You can check 'use utf8', or binmode.
'use uft8' enables you to use utf8 characters while you are writing your program, i.e. in your source code--not read utf8 text from an outside source.
- binmode() is for reading binary data, i.e. data that consists of single bytes; and binmode turns off newline conversions. The op doesn't want to read binary data, the op wants to read utf8 characters, which can be multiple bytes long; and there is no reason for the op to turn off newline conversions.