• Kyodo


The Hiroshima High Court denied refugee status Wednesday to a 33-year-old Afghan man, overturning a district court ruling last year.

“There was no threat of persecution” at home for Abdul Aziz, a member of an anti-Taliban Hazara ethnic group, because the Taliban government had already collapsed in February 2002 when the Justice Ministry denied the status, the high court said.

In granting refugee status in March 2005, the Fukuoka District Court ruled that there were circumstances at home that made Aziz fear persecution by remnants of the Taliban.

He entered Japan in June 2001 at Fukuoka airport and applied for refugee status in November that year, claiming he would be persecuted by the Taliban if he returned home, but the application was rejected.

The high court said it believed he arrived in Japan to buy secondhand auto parts, not to escape from persecution.

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