Asylum seekers in Japan oppose deportation bill

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Asylum seekers in Japan and their supporters on Wednesday expressed opposition to a bill allowing the government to forcibly deport those seeking refugee status.

The bill, which revises the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act, would allow Japanese authorities to return asylum seekers who have applied for refugee status three or more times.

According to advocates for supporters, the current law allows people to apply for asylum as many times as they want, which allows them to avoid deportation during the application process.

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At a press conference in Tokyo, a member of an ethnic minority in Myanmar said she feared she would be killed if deported.

The woman, whose father is a senior official in the Kachin Independence Army ethnic rebel group, said she has already filed for the third time. She stressed that she was applying for asylum because her life was in danger.

A Nigerian asylum seeker who has lived in Japan for more than 25 years has accused the Japanese government of intimidating refugees.

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A UN task force said last month that the bill violates international human rights law, as the lives and rights of asylum seekers can be threatened by deportation.

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