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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 October 22 - 29  > JCP Fujino criticizes gov’t intention to impose tighter conditions on parole to long-term foreign detainees
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2019 October 22 - 29 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

JCP Fujino criticizes gov’t intention to impose tighter conditions on parole to long-term foreign detainees

October 24, 2019
Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Representatives Fujino Yasuhumi on October 23 at a House Judicial Affairs Committee meeting said that it is unacceptable for the government to use public safety as a reason to tighten rules on granting parole to long-term foreign detainees.

The Immigration Service Agency of the Justice Ministry recently revealed that 251 foreign nationals have been kept in detention centers for more than 24 months for illegal stays in Japan. Justice Minister Kawai Katsuyuki in the current extraordinary Diet session in regard to the issue of long-term detentions suggested that a temporary release of illegally resident foreigners will pose a threat to public safety, and indicated his intention to tighten parole conditions.

Fujino at the October 23 Diet meeting criticized the Justice Minister’s remark by saying that the argument supporting prolonged confinement of illegal immigrants by labeling them as being harmful to society is ludicrous. He pointed out that such an argument goes counter to the principle of the immigration control act.

The JCP lawmaker stated that the immigration control law allows short-term confinement of foreign nationals in detention facilities immediately prior to their deportation while containing no stipulation regarding long-term confinement for security reasons or as a preventive measure against a second offence. He then cited that the Japan Federation of Bar Associations characterizes the immigration authorities’ detention practices as preventive detention. Pointing out that even the wartime public order maintenance law imposed various requirements including court orders on the use of preventive detention, he said that currently, the confinement of foreigners takes place under extremely lax requirements compared with even those of the notorious wartime law.

Fujino demanded that as proposed by the JFBA, the Justice Ministry begin discussing setting up specific criteria for interning illegal foreigners, such as the necessity and appropriateness of the confinement.

Justice Minister Kawai in response only said that he hopes that an expert panel will decide to discuss points brought up by the JCP lawmaker.

Past related articles:
> Foreign detainee starved to death after huger-strike protesting against long-term confinement in detention center [October 8, 2019]
> One in four foreign detainees placed in confinement for more than 18 months [May 30, 2019]
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