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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 July 15 - 21  > JCP lawmakers talk with civil groups supporting immigrants and refugee status seekers
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2020 July 15 - 21 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

JCP lawmakers talk with civil groups supporting immigrants and refugee status seekers

July 19, 2020
Following the Justice Ministry’s recent move to promote the deportation of immigration law violators, Japanese Communist Party Dietmembers Fujino Yasufumi and Yamazoe Taku on July 17 had talks with representatives of civil organizations supporting immigrants and refugee status seekers.

A private advisory panel to the Justice Minister recently issued a proposal on measures to deal with the situation in which many people are detained in immigration control centers for an excessively long time. The panel proposed that the Justice Ministry consider imposing a punishment on detainees who refuse to leave Japan and those who lose contact with the authority during a temporary release from detention centers. Regarding an immigration rule giving refugee status applicants an immunity to deportation while their applications are being examined, the panel encouraged the ministry to narrow the scope of the rule so that it will be applied only to first-time applicants.

Lawyer Watanabe Shogo of the Japan Lawyers Network for Refugees said that most detainees have good reasons to refuse to go home, which means that a punishment will not reduce the number of detainees. He stressed that the advisory panel gave little consideration to setting up a system to have a court decide whether an immigrant should be detained as well as setting an upper limit to detention periods.

Japan Association for Refugees representative director Ishikawa Eri pointed out that Japan’s refugee screening system has many problems in terms of human rights protection. Without addressing these problems, she went on to say, the government must not promote the deportation of asylum seekers as it may be a matter of life or death for them.

Solidarity Network with Migrants Japan representative director Torii Ippei expressed his hope that lawmakers will work together across party lines to make a counterproposal to advance the social inclusion of immigrants.

JCP lawmakers Fujino and Yamazoe said that in recent years, not only the JCP but also other opposition parties sometimes took up the issue of human rights of immigrants and refugees at Diet meetings, which indicates a greater possibility for suprapartisan efforts to this effect. They said that they will work hard in collaboration with relevant civil organizations.

Past related articles:
> JCP Dietmembers investigate hunger strike at immigration detention center [August 1, 2019]
> Over 100 foreign detainees staged hunger strike in immigration center in Ibaraki's Ushiku [May 22, 2018]
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