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The Tokyo District Court on Tuesday rejected a lawsuit filed by two Syrian asylum-seekers — echoing the Immigration Bureau’s decision not to grant them refugee status — in the first such court challenge in Japan since civil war broke out in the Middle Eastern nation in 2011.

Joude Youssef, one of the plaintiffs, claimed that he had been involved in demonstrations against the Syrian government and faced pressure from the authorities due to his activity, but the court said that whether his personal life was in danger as a result of participating in a peaceful demonstration needs to be carefully examined. Thus, it said his claim was insufficient for refugee status.

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