Japan: protest against restrictive immigration bill

Open the Gate for All

A rally in Tokyo on April 22 highlighted opposition to a proposed immigration law currently under consideration in Japan’s National Diet, seen as a yet further tightening of the country’s already highly selective refugee system. The rally, under the slogan “Open the Gate for All,” was organized by opposition lawmakers and human rights organizations including Amnesty International Japan and the┬áSolidarity Network with Migrants Japan, all seeking to halt the legislation currently under consideration in the Diet. The proposed reform would permit asylum-seekers to be deported after a third failed application, and introduce new procedures for forcible deportation┬áof individuals who entered Japan illegally or overstayed their visas. As the bill includes no cap on the length of detention or judicial review of cases, it has been criticized by human rights experts at the United Nations.

More than 100,000 signatures were collected in an online petition prior to the rally, which was delivered to the Diet. This rally is the most recent of several protests that have been held in Japan against the proposed asylum reform. The Solidarity Network with Migrants Japan helda sit-in at the Diet on April 16, with hundreds of participants.

Japan has been subject to international criticism for accepting few refugees, even in comparison to the United States. Fewer than 1% of refugee applications were approved in Japan in 2019.

From Jurist, April 24. Used with permission.

Photo via Twitter

  1. Japan withdraws restrictive immigration bill

    The government of Japan on May 18 pulled a bill meant to amend the Immigration Control & Refugee Recognition Act. The decision follows criticism stemming from the death of a 33-year-old Sri Lankan woman at an immigration detention center in Nagoya in March. The woman had been held at the detention center since August 2020 after her visa had expired. She had arrived in Japan in 2017 on a student visa, but her cause of death remains unknown. (Jurist)