Refugee Applications in Japan January–September Exceed 7,900 (News)
Tokyo, Nov. 25 (Jiji Press)—The number of foreigners who applied for refugee status in Japan reached 7,926 from January through September, surpassing the record high for the entire previous year, Justice Minister Kaneda Katsutoshi said on Friday.
The nine-month preliminary figure exceeded the previous annual high of 7,586 marked in 2015.
"A considerable number of applications seem to have been made for work," Kaneda told a press conference, adding that the ministry will strengthen measures against illegal immigrants who pose as refugees with the aim of working outside their home countries.
The number has increased since 2010, when Japan switched to allow applicants for refugee status to work in the country six months after their applications. The 2010 tally stood at 1,202.
Also behind the increase is an easing of visa requirements to promote tourism in Japan.[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]