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As the effects of the novel coronavirus pandemic ripple across Japan, asylum seekers here are among the hardest hit, seeing the support available to them curtailed just as times get tougher during a process that can take years and rarely results in success.

Japan is one of the major donors to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, but has been criticized by the world refugee agency for its poor track record of recognizing those who have fled to its shores, with less than 1 percent of applications accepted.

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