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Lawyer Urges Japan to End Long-Term Detention of Foreigners

Lawyer Urges Japan to End Long-Term Detention of Foreigners

   Tokyo, Nov. 8 (Jiji Press)--A Japanese lawyer on Friday called for an end to the country's practice of detaining foreigners at immigration facilities for a long period, saying that the state of immigration detainment "has reached its worst level in a quarter-century."
   The appeal from Koichi Kodama, 52, who specializes in issues concerning the detention of foreigners in Japan's immigration centers, came after a recent rise in the number of detainees conducting hunger strikes to seek provisional release, with one such person dying of starvation in June.
   Kodama cast doubt on the Immigration Services Agency detaining foreigners for indefinite periods after deportation orders are issued, saying it was often unnecessary to confine such foreigners for an extended time.
   "Japan's immigration law has not changed fundamentally since its enforcement in 1951," he said. "A law made during the confusion of the postwar era, when it was impossible to tell on what date deportations could be conducted, is still around."
   Now it is possible for immigration authorities to set a reasonable detention period and arrange a flight for deportation, but the law "hasn't changed," he said.

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AFP-JIJI PRESS NEWS JOURNAL


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