2023年7月3日月曜日

JAPAN LOWER HOUSE APPROVES CONTROVERSIONAL IMMIGRATION BILL

JAPAN LOWER HOUSE APPROVES CONTROVERSIONAL IMMIGRATION BILL

@Jackie San


A controversial bill to amend Japan's immigration rules is one step closer to becoming law. Supporters say it will help end long detentions for asylum seekers. Others call the proposal inhumane.

Currently, foreigners cannot be deported while their refugee status applications are being processed.

The government says some are applying multiple times to remain in Japan indefinitely. The bill would allow deportation if they applied three or more times unless adequate reasons are given.

It would also allow those facing deportation to stay out of immigration detention facilities. They would be able to live elsewhere under the supervision of authorized supporters.

A majority of Japan's Lower House lawmakers, including the ruling coalition, approved the bill Tuesday.

Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker Kumada Hiromichi said, "Of course human rights must be respected. However, we also have to set necessary rules and foreigners must abide by them."

The largest opposition party was among those who voted no. The Constitutional Democratic Party says the bill goes against what the international community expects.

CDP lawmaker Yoneyama Ryuichi said, "We must establish an immigration system that ensures fair and equal treatment to protect the human rights of foreigners and refugees. This bill is totally insufficient in that regard."

Lawmakers considered a similar bill two years ago.
It was shelved amid growing backlash over the death of Wishma Sandamali. The Sri Lankan woman died while being held at an immigration facility.

Human rights groups have protested against the bill. They call it inhumane and argue it may lead to asylum-seekers being sent to their home countries, where they could face violence and discrimination.

The bill still has to clear Japan's Upper House.


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@Jackie San

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