The Japan Federation of Bar Associations on Tuesday unveiled several proposals aimed at improving the procedures under which refugees are certified.

Heading the list is a proposal to terminate a 60-day refugee application limit for overseas nationals arriving in Japan.

The lawyers’ group also advocates the establishment of a new organization tasked with examining refugee applications. The organization would operate independently from government bodies that oversee immigration control and diplomacy.

At present, the recognition of refugee status falls under the jurisdiction of the Justice Ministry’s Immigration Bureau.

Earlier this month, an advisory panel to Justice Minister Mayumi Moriyama stated that the 60-day limit on applications for refugee status should be extended to between six months and a year.

Meanwhile, the bar federation said the government should provide asylum seekers with resident status until their applications have been examined in full, allowing them to stay in Japan legally.

It also said that the government, in cooperation with nongovernmental organizations, should establish a support center for refugees aimed at helping them settle in Japan.

Japan’s policies regarding refugees have come under fire, with lawyers and civic activists claiming that asylum seekers are detained without being charged with any crimes and treated poorly, leading to suicide attempts.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.