When a Middle Eastern man in his 50s stepped outside of the Omura Immigration Center in Nagasaki Prefecture on Oct. 4, it was his first taste of freedom in four years and 10 months.

He took a deep drag on a cigarette and had a sip of canned coffee, savoring the moment as he left the detention center on provisional release.

"It's like a dream," he said, looking up at the blue sky. "I will never make the same mistake again.”