Crisis of Human Rights of Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Japan

doi: 10.32566/ah.2024.2.2


The year 2022 marks the 40th anniversary of the start of Japan’s refugee recognition system. Despite being a prosperous democracy and a staunch supporter of the international system, Japan has consistently admitted only a small number of refugees. According to the Immigration Services Agency of Japan, the number of people recognised as refugees in 2022 reached a record high of 202, while those not recognised exceeded 10,000. Furthermore, the legislative bill to revise the Immigration Control Law, passed by the House of Councillors Judicial Committee on June 8, 2023, limits applications for refugee recognition to twice in principle. From the third application onwards, there is a possibility for forced deportation to the applicants’ home countries. This legislative bill can be seen as violating the human rights of refugees and asylum-seekers, contravening international human rights law, and the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. Therefore, this article specifically explores Japan’s stronger stance on control over protection, whether its low recognition rate indicates non-compliance with international refugee protection criteria, and the reasons behind this. These aspects will be methodically examined, employing rationalist, normative, and domestic institutional theories of international conformity. Finally, the article will suggest measures to improve Japan’s refugee recognition rate and enhance the protection of the human rights of refugees and asylum seekers.


refugee crisis Japan's refugee policy human rights non-refoulement asylum seekers legislative reforms international obligations

Hogyan kell idézni

Erika, M. (2024). Crisis of Human Rights of Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Japan. Acta Humana – Emberi Jogi Közlemények, 12(2), 21–41.


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