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Five Iranian families who have overstayed their visas visited the Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau in Tokyo’s Kita Ward on Monday to ask the justice minister for special permission to live in Japan. The 17 people, including seven minors, said they made the request either because they have children born or raised in Japan or because they have already established themselves in the country. All of them came to Japan at the outset of the decade in response to the labor shortage the country was experiencing during the bubble economy. It is the second such attempt in which overstaying foreigners who have no Japanese relatives have applied as a group for the justice minister’s amnesty. Twenty-one people presented themselves to the immigration office on Sept. 1, and the Justice Ministry is still scrutinizing their applications.

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