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are dealt with,” she said. “Indeed, we do have a more liberal approach, and what we’re calling for is truly humanitarian spirit based on human rights, not immigration concerns.”

Karsenty pointed out that Japan also has a similar system of giving special residence permits on humanitarian grounds to those who may not exactly meet the requirements to be called a refugee under the U.N. convention.

“There are ways to provide protection to everybody in need of international protection, be it the convention or other forms of protection,” she said.

According to Karsenty, there are currently 25 cases of asylum-seekers with UNHCR mandate refugee status who have not been recognized as refugees by the Japanese government. The cases include the Kazankiran family.

The remaining five member of Kazankiran’s family are required to appear before the Immigration Bureau on Monday. Orders for their deportation have also been issued.

Erdal Dogan, another Kurdish asylum-seeker who staged a protest sit-in in front of United Nations University in Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward last summer with the Kazankirans, is due to renew his provisional release Friday, and the rest of his family on Feb. 10.

Deportation orders for them have also been issued.

“I’m afraid that we will all be deported just like Ahmet and Ramazan,” Dogan said. “All of our lives depend on this.”

After deporting Kazankiran and his son, a senior Justice Ministry official claimed Japan made the decision to send them back after determining the two did not face persecution in Turkey — as had been claimed by the family and their supporters.

But the Kazankirans and Dogans have argued that the risk of persecution increased after Japanese officials visited Turkey and cooperated with Turkish authorities to “examine” whether their refugee plea was valid.

Kazankiran’s family in Tokyo received a call Wednesday from him, saying he and his son would soon be released after being detained by Turkish authorities upon arrival at Istanbul airport. But the family said they have since not heard from him.

Fumio Azuma, a supporter of the Kazankirans and the Dogans, told reporters that he had been naive to think the Justice Ministry would grant the Kazankirans refugee status based on the UNHCR designation.

“The least they could have done is to have sent them to a third country,” Azuma said. “Is that so difficult?”

But the ministry didn’t yield.

“How can we send them to a third country when the Justice Ministry and the courts judged that (the Kazankirans) were not refugees?” a ministry official asked.

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