After fierce debate and numerous setbacks, Japan has enacted controversial amendments to the immigration and refugee law enabling the government to deport repeat refugee applicants back to their countries of origin.

But while the government has sought to assure its critics that it will "respond appropriately" to refugee cases that it sees, its ability to ensure the safety of the rising number of vulnerable people worldwide is under serious doubt at a time when it has given itself greater powers over them.

Naoko Hashimoto, an associate professor at Hitotsubashi University, said before the House of Representatives Judicial Affairs Committee in April that "if the bill passes as it is, it will be the equivalent of indirectly pressing a button to execute innocent people."