4,895 Filipinos head Japan's refugee queueWorld | 13 Feb 2018 10:03 pm
Filipinos made up the largest group of refugee status claimants in Japan last year, with 4,895 seeking refuge in the country, reports say.
They were followed by 3,116 Vietnamese.
A record 19,628, people filed refugee claims last year, up by 80 percent from the previous year, the Justice Ministry said, the Japan Times reported. Only 20 were given refugee status and they were mainly from Egypt, Syria and Afghanistan.
Japan allowed a further 45 individuals to stay based on humanitarian grounds. The ministry also rejected 9,730 applications.
Long criticized for being reluctant to accept refugees, Japan has not officially adopted an immigration policy. But many foreign workers enter to work in Japan through the Technical Intern Training Program, which was created in response to labor shortages for low-level jobs. Currently, an estimated 230,000 people are working under the program.
The Immigration Bureau’s Tetsuro Isob, the director of the refugee recognition office, said an increasing number of Filipinos and Vietnamese coming to Japan as technical trainees apply for refugee status when their visas expire, the paper reports.