Government officials gather to tackle illegal immigration

Kyodo

Government officials from various ministries gathered here Thursday for an annual meeting to discuss measures to curb illegal immigration.

Most of the roughly 40,000 people expelled from Japan in 2001 were working here illegally, according to the Justice Ministry. They were found in all 47 prefectures, it said.

It is believed that organized crime syndicates are increasingly involved in illegally bringing immigrants to Japan. Many of the departing people were facing difficulties related to pay cuts or losing their jobs amid Japan’s ongoing recession.

Attending the meeting were around 60 officials, including those from the Public Prosecutors Office, the Foreign Ministry, the Finance Ministry, the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry, and other offices.

The officials have met every year since 1971 to exchange information and cooperate to crack down on illegal immigration.