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HOME  > Past issues  > 2021 May 19 - 25  > Unified efforts by opposition parties working with public movement activists block adverse revision of immigration law: Shii
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2021 May 19 - 25 TOP3 [POLITICS]

Unified efforts by opposition parties working with public movement activists block adverse revision of immigration law: Shii

May 19, 2021

Amid growing public criticism over inhumane issues at immigration detention centers in Japan, including the death of a Sri Lankan woman and cases of unreasonably long-term confinement, the government and the ruling Liberal Democratic Party have given up enacting a bill to revise the Immigration Control Act in the current Diet session.

The LDP conveyed this decision to the largest opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan in their meeting on May 18. The bill that has been under discussion in the House of Representatives Judicial Affairs Committee will be scrapped.

Later in the same day, Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo at a press conference in the Diet building said that the withdrawal of the revision bill is a victory of opposition parties/public movement joint struggles. He also expressed his determination to continue pushing the government to make public all information regarding the death of the Sri Lankan woman at a Nagoya immigration detention center, including disclosing surveillance camera footage of the woman at the facility which is believed to clearly show the deterioration of her health condition.

Furthermore, Shii as a major issue in the immigration system cited the current policy under which overstaying foreigners are held in immigration detention centers at the authority’s own discretion. Stating that among major powers, only Japan employs such a policy, he stressed the need to drastically change Japan’s immigration system to a humanitarian one which respects foreigners’ basic human rights.

Outside the Diet building, people joining in a sit-in protest against the revision bill welcomed the news that the government and the ruling party decided to withdraw the bill.

Representing the action organizers, Torii Ippei of the Solidarity Network with Migrants Japan (SMJ or Ijuuren) said, “The abolition of the bill was achieved through the unified efforts of concerned citizens and opposition parties.” Lawyer Kodama Koichi, who works on immigration issues, said, “Based on this achievement, let us work even harder to realize a just immigration system.”

The JCP together with other opposition parties has opposed the bill and urged the government to disclose the whole truth behind the death in March of the 33-year-old Sri Lankan woman, Wishma Sandamali.

Past related articles:
> JCP resolves to work to scrap adverse revision of immigration law in cooperation with other opposition parties [May 11, 2021]
> Young people rally to oppose revision of Immigration Control Act that runs counter to refugee protection [May 1, 2021]

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