Japan limits asylum claims under revised immigration control law

Japan is starting to enforce the revised Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act on Monday. It makes foreign nationals who have applied for asylum status three or more times subject to deportation unless they have reasonable grounds.

Authorities say some foreigners try to avoid deportation by abusing a system that suspends it while their asylum claims are being processed.

The revised law also allows those facing deportation to live under the supervision of authorized individuals, rather than at detention facilities.

The Immigration Services Agency says it has witnessed prolonged detentions and screenings for repeat asylum seekers who refused to leave Japan for their home countries.

The agency adds that the situation made it difficult to swiftly safeguard those who really needed protection.

However, groups supporting foreigners are pointing out drawbacks in the revised law, such as failing to ensure sufficient transparency and fairness in asylum screenings.

They say the legislation could allow asylum seekers to be deported to nations where they may be persecuted.