For some foreign parents who have been separated from their children due to divorce from their Japanese spouses, the expiration of their spousal visa makes matters worse as intervention by immigration officials can easily sever their ties with their kids.

Supporters of these foreign parents say immigration authorities often view their visitation rights as not being enough to permit their continued residence in the country and issue deportation orders, thereby depriving children of access to one of their parents.

Md Shahidul Huq, a 42-year-old Bangladeshi freelance photographer, and a 28-year-old man from Mali were detained at immigration facilities for extended periods as they faced deportation orders after their spousal visas expired.