HRN has released an oral statement on continuing failures with Japan’s new immigration and refugee law

HRN has released an oral statement on continuing failures with Japan’s new immigration and refugee law including continuing disproportionately long immigration detentions without judicial review and allowing deportations of asylum seekers after more than two attempts applying for refugee status contrary to the fundamental principle of non-refoulement. A transcription of the statement is written below the video.


On June 9, Japan’s Diet amended Japan’s immigration and refugee law, the bill of which several Council mandate holders have already criticized in a joint letter.

Even before the amendment, the law was criticized for allowing disproportionately prolonged periods of detention of migrants without judicial review, which the amended law continues. The amended law also does not distinguish children for detention procedures, inconsistent with protections under the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Numerous persons in immigration detention were subjected to violence or ill-treatment, resulting in the death of at least 17 detainees, including Wishma Sandamali from Sri Lanka; however, institutional reform to address this is not included in the amended law.

Most troubling, it enables the deportation of asylum seekers when they apply for refugee status more than twice. The amended law also violates the fundamental principle of non-refoulement, a particular threat for asylum seekers deported without consideration of their individual circumstances. The recognition rate of refugees in Japan is less than 1%, and the amended law seriously jeopardizes the rights to life and security of thousands of asylum seekers who would be entitled to refugee status according to international standards.

We urge the government of Japan to cease enforcement of the amended law related to deportation. We further call for serious reform of the entire system in accordance with international human rights standards.

Thank you.