Japan immigration centre detainees go on hunger strike

2017-05-12 16:33


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Tokyo - Some 20 foreigners held at an immigration detention centre in Tokyo are on a rare hunger strike in an apparent bid for improved treatment, an official said on Friday.

Activists, lawyers and migrants in Japan have complained for years about harsh treatment by some immigration officials and over conditions at detention centres.

"The detainees began refusing food provided by the centre from Tuesday evening and it is still continuing," Atsushi Sakai, a spokesperson at the Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau said.

It remains unclear exactly why the detainees are refusing food, Sato said, adding the bureau is investigating details, including their nationalities.

"We assume that they're on a hunger strike to complain about treatment at the centre and applications for provisional release," he said, saying this kind of protest action was rare.

A rights group called Provisional Release Association in Japan, wrote on its blog that the hunger strike participants were from 12 countries including China, Myanmar, and Bangladesh, and were aged between 25 and 55.

Currently about 580 people are being held at the immigration centre, Sakai said.

The bureau did not confirm whether asylum seekers were also in custody there but the Japan Association for Refugees, a Tokyo-based charity, said refugee status applicants were held at immigration centres.

Japan, one of the world's wealthiest countries, accepted just 28 refugees in 2016 - one more than the previous year - out of the 8 193 applications reviewed by the Immigration Bureau.

Officials defend the low number, saying applicants are mainly from Asian countries seeking access to Japan solely for economic reasons.

Campaigners and applicants, however, say that the acceptance process is arduous and that it can be difficult to gain acceptance as a foreigner in Japanese society.

Read more on:    japan

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.