Parliament on June 9 passed a bill to revise an immigration and refugee law to enable authorities to deport individuals who repeatedly apply for asylum status, despite objections from some opposition parties.
Opponents to the legislation gathered in front of the Diet building in Tokyo in the rain, demanding the bill be scrapped, while opposition lawmakers criticized the ruling camp for having “bulldozed” the bill.
The House of Councillors enacted the law with the support of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner, Komeito, as well as other relatively conservative opposition forces.
Under the current system, Japan cannot send a foreign national whose refugee status application is being processed back to their home country. Immigration authorities suspect many have abused the system by applying multiple times to remain in the nation.
Under the amended law, the government will aim to reduce long-term detention in immigration facilities and encourage the expulsion of foreign individuals who do not comply with deportation orders issued for overstaying.
Opponents have argued that the revised legislation could result in the repatriation of those who are at risk of persecution in their home countries, and also lead to the expulsion of children who were born and brought up in Japan. (Kyodo)