Number of refugees recognized in 2019 (Reiwa 1)

Press release

March 27, 2020 (Reiwa 2)
Immigration Services Agency

  • The number of applicants for recognition of refugee status was 10,375, a decrease of 118 people (about 1%) from the previous year. In addition, the number of people who filed requests for administrative review was 5,130, a decrease of 3,891 people (about 43%) from the previous year.
  • As a result of the procedure for recognition of refugee status, 81 foreign nationals were granted residence in Japan. Among them, 44 foreign nationals were recognized as refugees while 37 were granted residence based on humanitarian grounds, despite not being recognized as refugees.
  1. Application for recognition of refugee status (preliminary inspection)

    (1) Number of applicants for recognition of refugee status

    The number of foreign nationals who applied for recognition of refugee status (hereinafter referred to as "applicants") was 10,375, a decrease of 118 people (about 1%) from the previous year.
    Among them, 461 people (around 4%) were applicants who had submitted an application for recognition of refugee status in the past.
    Applicants were from 76 different countries. The major nationalities were the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, the Republic of Turkey, the Kingdom of Cambodia, the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

    (2) Processing status

    7,131 applicants for recognition of refugee status were processed, a decrease of 6,371 people (around 47%) compared to the previous year.
    Of these applicants, 43 people were recognized as refugees, 4,936 people were not recognized as refugees, and 2,152 people removed their applications.

  2. Requests for administrative review (appeals)

    (1) Number of requests for administrative review

    5,130 foreign nationals requested administrative review (Note) as appeals to not being recognized as refugees, a decrease of 3,891 people (around 43%) compared to the previous year.
    Requests came from people of 58 different nationalities/regions. The major regions were the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, the Republic of the Philippines, the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, the Republic of Turkey, and the Republic of the Union of Myanmar.
    (Note) Appeals to not being recognized as a refugee have been changed from "filing an objection" to "administrative review" based on the revision of the Immigration Control Act executed on April 1, 2016.

    (2) Processing status

    8,291 appeals were processed, an increase of 120 applicants (around 1%) compared to the previous year.
    Among applicants, the appeal of one person was found to be "within reason" while 6,021 people were "without reason." 2,269 people withdrew their appeals.

  3. Approval of residence for those based on humanitarian grounds and for recognized refugees

    As a result of the procedure for recognition of refugee status, 81 foreign nationals were granted residence in Japan. Among them, 44 foreign nationals were recognized as refugees (43 people recognized in preliminary inspection and 1 person recognized as "within reason" during appeal), while 37 were granted residence based on humanitarian grounds despite not being recognized as refugees.

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