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Since the death of Ratnayake Liyanage Wishma Sandamali at a detention center in Nagoya on March 6, Japan’s Immigration Services Agency has been the target of fierce criticism for the way it allowed the 33-year-old Sri Lankan woman to waste away in custody without proper medical attention, and as a result has had to reckon with its reputation for treating foreigners, especially nonwhite foreigners, as if they are potential criminals.

Justice Minister Yoko Kamikawa has apologized and pledged to reform the system that figured in Wishma’s death while promising to punish those responsible. Moreover, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party has since shelved its revision of the immigration law, which many critics say would make it easier to deport asylum-seekers.

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