Japan will ease its rigid criteria for recognizing people as refugees while boosting efforts to detect bogus or unqualified applicants, the Justice Ministry said Tuesday in what it is touting as a systemic overhaul.

But the plan to revamp Japan’s conservative refugee recognition system — unveiled as part of a seven-tier ministry review of immigration policy — is “completely ineffectual,” one expert said, arguing the new approach indicates the government doesn’t want to change the status quo whatsoever.

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