Japan's Strict Refugee Screening System Drawing Attention

Society

Tokyo, June 20 (Jiji Press)--Japan's strict refugee screening system is drawing renewed attention after a Myanmarese national soccer team member visiting Japan refused to go home days before World Refugee Day on Sunday.

Japan grants refugee status to only a fraction of applicants, while Myanmarese people seeking the status see the urgent need for protection following a military coup in their home country in February.

A handbook of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees says that refugee applicants should be given the benefit of the doubt. But the Japanese rules are "too strict," an expert says.

Pyae Lyan Aung, a substitute goalkeeper of the Myanmarese team, which was visiting Japan for FIFA World Cup qualifier matches, refused to board his flight home Wednesday.

Speaking to reporters in Osaka Prefecture, western Japan, on Sunday, he said he will apply for refugee status Tuesday.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press