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Japan Cabinet OKs bill to deport repeat refugee applicants

  • February 19, 2021
  • , Jiji Press , 10:56 a.m.
  • English Press

Tokyo, Feb. 19 (Jiji Press)–Japan’s cabinet on Friday approved a bill to allow the deportation of foreigners applying for refugee status for a third or further time, in response to concerns that refugee applications could be used to avoid deportations.

 

The bill will revise the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act to allow exceptions to a clause that suspends deportation procedures while refugee applications are in process.

 

It calls for deporting such repeat applicants if their home countries are basically safe.

 

While foreigners accused of overstaying are held in immigration facilities in principle before they are deported from Japan, the current law sets no limit on the number of refugee applications they can make.

 

There were 1,054 foreigners held in the facilities at the end of 2019, with 462 of them staying there for six months or longer, according to a report by a panel of the Immigration Services Agency of Japan.

 

The bill also calls for introducing a system to allow overstaying foreigners to live outside the facilities under the supervision of their relatives or supporters if they are unlikely to run away.

 

Furthermore, another system is eyed to give certain foreigners “supplementary protection” and allow them to stay in Japan even if they are not recognized as refugees under international law.

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