A planned reform of Japan's asylum law that would make it easier to deport failed applicants for refugee status drew fierce criticism Thursday from lawyers, lawmakers and human rights groups who said it ran counter to international norms.

The government says the proposed reform, which would mean asylum seekers could be deported after a third failed application, will solve the problem of long detentions of asylum seekers while they re-apply, or appeal against a rejection.

As things stand, deportation orders are suspended while new applications or appeals are processed.