A record 303 asylum-seekers in Japan were granted refugee status in 2023, the Justice Ministry announced Tuesday, although the figure is still considerably lower compared with those of Western countries.

Still, it was a jump from the previous record of 202 people in 2022.

Two other foreign nationals were granted quasi-refugee status — a new category for those fleeing from countries in conflict — while another 1,005 were granted permission to reside in Japan on humanitarian grounds despite not qualifying for refugee status.