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INTERNATIONAL > East Asia & Pacific

Japan to recognize Myanmar athlete as refugee

  • August 10, 2021
  • , Yomiuri
  • JMH Summary

Yomiuri said the Japanese immigration authorities are likely to recognize as a refugee a Myanmar (Burmese) soccer player who refused to go home when visiting Japan in May to participate in a World Cup game. The athlete reportedly displayed a three-finger salute during the opening ceremony of a match against Japan on May 28 in protest of the coup staged by the Myanmar military. The 27-year-old player sought Japan’s protection at the Kansai International Airport on June 16 by claiming that he would be persecuted if he returned to his home country. The Japanese authorities have allegedly decided that granting him refugee status is appropriate given that his concern about potential persecution by the military regime is legitimate.

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