The Immigration Services Agency will consider measures to swiftly deport foreign nationals detained in Japan for illegal stays, sources have said.

The agency aims to address the issue of prolonged detention of non-Japanese subject to deportation orders for overstaying and other violations, the sources said.

The agency will set up an expert group to devise the measures under a private panel of the justice minister on immigration control policies as early as October.

As of the end of 2018, a total of 1,246 foreign nationals were being detained in 17 immigration facilities across the country.

Of them, those who had been detained for at least six months accounted for 54.7 percent, nearly double the level of 28.8 percent five years earlier.

Some of them are believed to be repeat applicants for refugee status who take advantage of a system allowing such applicants to stay in Japan during the application processing periods.

The agency sees this as a problem.

The expert group is expected to have around 10 members including academic experts and lawyers. It will meet once or twice a month and release a report on the results of its discussions by around March next year.

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