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HOME  > Past issues  > 2022 April 20 - 26  > JCP Yamazoe demands that Japan grant refugee status to Ukraine evacuees
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2022 April 20 - 26 TOP3 [POLITICS]

JCP Yamazoe demands that Japan grant refugee status to Ukraine evacuees

April 20, 2022

Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Councilors Yamazoe Taku on April 19 at a House Judicial Affairs Committee meeting demanded that the Japanese government drastically revise its refugee recognition procedures and grant refugee status to people who were forced to leave Ukraine due to Russia’s invasion.

Yamazoe pointed out that the Japanese government, based on its interpretation of the UN Refugee Convention which was made in 1979, has refused to recognize people fleeing from wars as “refugees”, and said, “The government should stop sticking to such a stance which was abandoned half a century ago internationally.” He referred to the 2016 UNHCR guidelines for refugee recognition related to situations of armed conflict and violence, and said that the guidelines indicate that refugees may include people escaping from violence between two or more states.

The JCP lawmaker asked about the possibility that the government will recognize people fleeing the war in Ukraine as refugees. In reply, an Immigration Services Agency official said that their recognition as refugee depends on whether each case meets the requirements under the Refugee Convention.

Yamazoe welcomed the government decision to provide people evacuated from Ukraine with financial support for medical and living expenses, but said, “If you are aware of the need to support them, you should grant refugee status to them from the viewpoint of providing humanitarian aid.” He also demanded a drastic revision of the government policy regarding refuge recognition procedures.

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