Number of refugees recognized in 2018 (Heisei 30)

Press release

March 27, 2019 (Heisei 31)
Immigration Services Agency

  • The number of applicants for recognition of refugee status was 10,493, a decrease of 9,136 (-47%) from the previous year. In addition, there were 9,021 requests for administrative review, an increase of 491 (+6%) from the previous year.
  • As a result of the procedure for recognition of refugee status, 82 foreign nationals were granted residence in Japan. Among them, 42 foreign nationals were recognized as refugees, and 40 foreign nationals 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 10,493, a decrease of 9,136 applicants (-47%) from the previous year. Among them, 749 people (around 7%) were applicants who had submitted an application for recognition of refugee status in the past.
    Applicants were from 74 different countries. The major nationalities were the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, Sri Lanka, the Kingdom of Cambodia, the Republic of the Philippines, and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
  2. Processing status
    13,502 applications for recognition of refugee status were processed, an increase of 2,129 applications (+19%) compared to the previous year. Of these applicants, 38 people were recognized as refugees, 10,541 people were not recognized as refugees, and 2,923 people removed their applications.

2. Requests for administrative review (appeals)

  1. Number of requests for administrative review
    9,021 foreign nationals requested administrative review (Note) to appeal not being recognized as refugees, an increase of 491 people (+6%) compared to the previous year. Requests came from people of 60 different nationalities/regions. The major nationalities were the Republic of the Philippines, the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, the Republic of Indonesia, Socialist Republic of Vietnam, and Sri Lanka.
    (Note) Appeals to not being recognized as a refugee have been changed from "filing of an objection" to "administrative review" based on the revision of the Immigration Control Act executed on April 1, 2016.
  2. Processing status
    8,171 appeals were processed, an increase of 3,780 applicants (+86%) compared to the previous year. Among applicants, the appeals of four people were found to be "within reason"; the remaining 6,013 appeals were dismissed. 2,154 people withdrew their appeals.

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

As a result of the procedure for recognition of refugee status, 82 foreign nationals were granted residence in Japan. Among them, 42 foreign nationals were recognized as refugees (38 people recognized in preliminary inspection and four people recognized as "within reason" during appeal), and 40 were granted residence based on humanitarian grounds despite not being recognized as refugees.

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