A 13-year-old Thai orphan who came to Japan to live with her grandparents following the death of her parents urged immigration authorities Tuesday to grant her a more stable status so she can stay in the country.
In early July, the Justice Ministry reversed an earlier decision and extended a short-term visa to Mevisa Yoshida for three months. Daizo Nozawa, the justice minister at the time, indicated the government may grant her longer-term residency status out of humanitarian consideration.
Yoshida has since applied for a long-term visa.
In a news conference Tuesday in Tokyo, Yoshida said she is worried because she has yet to get a response to her application.
Yoshida’s lawyer, who also attended the news conference, urged authorities to issue her a long-term visa.
Her current visa expires Wednesday. According to the lawyer, she will not be subject to deportation immediately because the immigration bureau is still processing her application for long-term status.
Yoshida currently lives with her Thai grandmother, Bauchan, and the grandmother’s Japanese husband in Arakawa Ward, Tokyo. They adopted her as their child last year. She attends junior high school.
She came to Japan from Thailand in February 2003 following the death of her mother the previous year due to illness. Her father was killed in a traffic accident before she was born.
Immigration authorities have turned down her bid for permanent residency on the grounds that she was too old to be granted that status automatically as an adopted child.
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