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A total of 116 Asians suspected of illegally entering Japan were taken into custody in Tokyo, Osaka, Aichi, Kanagawa and Shizuoka prefectures on May 1, police said.

Osaka Prefectural Police took into custody 46 foreigners, in and around JR Shin-Osaka Station at about 5:30 a.m., they said.

Aichi Prefectural Police also took into protective custody 46 foreigners who arrived at Nagoya at 7 a.m. the same day aboard a bullet train bound for Tokyo, police said. In addition, the Metropolitan Police Department took into custody 14 foreigners who arrived at Tokyo Station aboard a bullet train in the morning.

Police said those taken into custody claim to be Bangladeshis, Pakistanis, Philippines and Iranians. Later in the day, maritime safety authorities spotted a suspicious tugboat off Nissei Port, Okayama Prefecture, and questioned two South Korean crew members. They admitted that they had helped foreigners illegally enter Japan and were later arrested on suspicion of violating the Immigration Law.

Many Asians taken into custody told police that a group of about 170 people entered a Japanese port early that day aboard a vessel from the South Korean port of Pusan. After boarding refrigerated trucks and other vehicles, they drove for about three hours and arrived at Shin-Osaka Station, they reportedly said. They were heading for Nagoya or Tokyo when they were taken into custody, the suspects said.

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