Sri Lankan family granted special stay permission in Japan

NHK has learned that the Japanese government on Friday granted special stay permission to Sri Lankan children who were born and raised in Japan without a residence status, as well as to their parents.

This is believed to be the first known case following the government's recent decision to issue such permission.

The government decided in August to grant the special permission to children of elementary through senior high school age who were born and raised in Japan, and to their parents if certain requirements were met.

One of these requirements states that the parents must not have a serious criminal record in Japan.

The permission was given to Sri Lankan boys aged 7 and 5, as well as their parents, living in Ibaraki Prefecture, north of Tokyo.

The parents came to Japan in 2012 as technical trainees. They applied for refugee status on the grounds that their lives could be in danger if they return to their home country due to political conflict. But they lost their resident status while their applications were under review.

The 7-year-old boy said he is happy and hopes to study in Japan to become a scholar. The mother said she will work hard to provide for the family so the children's dreams come true.

The special permission will allow the parents to work, the family to enroll in health insurance and the children to enter public high schools.