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Immigration authorities have issued a formal deportation order for a man who claims he is a North Korean seeking political asylum in Japan, his supporters said Thursday.

After the order was given Wednesday, supporters of Kim Yong Hwa, 45, immediately filed administrative litigation at the Fukuoka District Court to have the order repealed.

The Justice Ministry maintains that Kim, who was caught illegally entering Japan from South Korea, is a Chinese national based on the Chinese identification in his possession at the time he was arrested in April. Kim says the identification is a false document he bribed a Chinese police officer to obtain. Under the present situation, Kim can be deported to China at any time unless the court decides to repeal or suspend the deportation order.

The order came after the justice minister’s final rejection Tuesday of Kim’s appeal for refugee status. Kim has been detained since April 19.

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