Report on Sri Lankan death at immigration facility

Japan's Immigration Services Agency has released an interim report on the death of a Sri Lankan woman while in custody at an immigration detention facility.

The woman, who was in her 30s, died at a facility of the Nagoya Regional Immigration Services Bureau in Nagoya City, Aichi Prefecture, about a month ago.

The report released on Friday said the woman had been overstaying her visa since January 2019. It added that she reported to police last August, claiming that she wanted to return to Sri Lanka. She was then taken into custody under the immigration services bureau.

The report also said the woman later expressed her wish to remain in Japan as the number of flights to Sri Lanka fell amid the coronavirus pandemic. She was applying for a temporary release from the detention.

It said the woman began complaining of nausea and numbness in the middle of January. After seeing four doctors, both inside and outside the facility, she was diagnosed as possibly suffering from reflux esophagitis and mental illness and received medication.

The agency is continuing its investigation into the cause of her death. It is involving third-party members and will also look into whether the facility dealt with the woman appropriately.

Justice Minister Kamikawa Yoko told reporters that the agency is examining what happened, including how the facility responded, as the case resulted in a death. She said the agency will compile a final report and necessary measures after determining the cause of the woman's death.