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A Tokyo-based nongovernmental organization petitioned the government Thursday for a review of its overall policy and legal framework for securing the human rights of foreigners living and working in Japan.

In its petition, addressed to Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and relevant ministers, the National Network in Solidarity with Migrant Workers called on the government to clarify its basic immigration policy and establish a basic law on the rights of foreign residents.

The group also presented a set of policy proposals covering issues such as the rights of laborers, women and children; medical and welfare systems for foreign residents; and the improved operation of immigration facilities.

“The nation’s legal framework basically intends to control foreigners and not protect their rights,” said Rev. Hidetoshi Watanabe, joint representative of the NGO.

In addition to a basic law guaranteeing the rights of foreign residents, he also stressed the importance of enacting a specific law to ban racial discrimination.

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