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HOME  > Past issues  > 2023 May 10 - 16  > Immigration control bill which tramples on asylum seekers' human rights passed in Lower House
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2023 May 10 - 16 TOP3 [POLITICS]

Immigration control bill which tramples on asylum seekers' human rights passed in Lower House

May 10, 2023
A bill to adversely revise the Immigration Control Act was passed through the House of Representatives on May 9 by the majority vote of the ruling parties, "Nippon Ishin no Kai" party, and the Democratic Party for the People, and was sent to the House of Councilors.

In opposition to the bill, the Japanese Communist Party, Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, Social Democratic Party, "Reiwa Shinsengumi" party, and the Okinawa Whirlwind jointly submitted to the Upper House two bills concerning immigration control and the protection of refugees. Their bills aim to upgrade Japan's immigration and refugee administration policies to meet international human rights standards.

The adversely-revised bill will make it possible to deport overstayers, even those in the process of applying for asylum, to their own countries and will impose on supporters or lawyers the responsibility for placing refugee-status seekers under surveillance.

Prior to the vote in the Lower House plenary session, JCP Motomura Nobuko said that taking a vote without holding hearings with parties concerned, families, supporters, and legal experts is tantamount to dismissing fundamental human rights and abandoning the duties of the Japanese Diet. She added, "I cannot stand treating human life and rights so lightly."

Motomura criticized the bill for failing to have special screening mechanisms related to the Principle of Non-Refoulement under the UN Refugee Convention which prohibits removal or forced repatriation of individuals who may be in danger of persecution upon their return. She said, "Japan must have a third-party body specialized in refugee status determination."

Past related articles:
> JCP Motomura demands scrapping of immigration control bill as it violates UN Refugee Convention [April 14, 2023]
> Motomura: Detention decisions should be made by courts, not by immigration bureau [March 9, 2023]
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