Applications for Refugee Status in Japan Soar 80% in 2017 (News)
Tokyo, Feb. 13 (Jiji Press)—The number of foreigners who applied for refugee status in Japan in 2017 came to a record 19,628, up about 80% from the previous year, the Justice Ministry said in a preliminary report on Tuesday.
Only 20 of them saw their refugee applications accepted, as the ministry believes that most of the applicants simply wanted to work in Japan.
The ministry used to allow all refugee applicants to work in Japan for six months after submitting applications. But after it abolished this rule last month, the daily number of refugee applications fell by about 50%, according to ministry officials.
In 2017, the number of applicants from the Philippines shot up 3.5-fold to 4,895, the largest group by nationality, followed by 3,116 from Vietnam, up 2.9-fold, 2,226 from Sri Lanka, up 2.4-fold, and 2,038 from Indonesia, up 10%.
None in the 10 largest applicant groups by nationality was given refugee status.[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]