Russian Man Seeks Refugee Status in Japan


Tokyo, Sept. 2 (Jiji Press)--A Russian man who claims to have swum to Japan from one of the four islands at the center of the long-standing territorial row between Tokyo and Moscow has filed for a refugee status in Japan, it has been learned.

The man, who said he swam from the island of Kunashiri, submitted his refugee application to the Sapporo Regional Immigration Services Bureau in Sapporo, the capital of the northernmost Japan prefecture of Hokkaido, sources familiar with the matter said.

He will stay in Japan for the time being as the nation's immigration control and refugee recognition law stipulates that foreigners who have filed for a refugee status should not be deported to their countries while their applications are being examined.

Police took the man into protective custody in Hokkaido Aug. 19. He then sought temporary protection, saying he was seeking asylum in Japan, according to the sources. But his request was turned down.

The man is now staying at a facility of the Sapporo immigration bureau, the sources said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press