Japan has continued with its policy of rejecting fake “refugee” claims, and last year only accepted 20 out of 20,000 applications, new data from the Immigration Bureau of Japan has revealed.
The data— which was met with much gnashing of teeth and horror by the controlled media in the west —was contained in a briefing issued by the Japanese government this week.
The release of the figures followed an earlier move in January this year which limited the right to work only to those Japan regards as bona fide refugees.
As a result, the average number of applicants a day in the second half of January fell by 50 percent from December, the ministry said.
Of the 19,628 applicants in 2017, Filipinos accounted for a quarter, followed by Vietnamese and Sri Lankans, the data showed.
Of the 20 people who won asylum last year, five were from Egypt, five from Syria and two from Afghanistan.
The ministry declined to specify the nationalities of the remaining eight, citing concerns that they might be too easily identified.
Japan accepted 28 people as refugees in 2016.
The earlier move to limit the right of “asylum seekers” to work is a bid to clamp down on what Japan views as a system of back-door immigration, media reported.
The new rules mean that repeat applicants and those failing initial checks will be held in detention centers after their permission to stay in Japan expires, the justice ministry said.
Currently, those “asylum seekers” with valid visas now receive renewable permits to work in Japan while their refugee claims are reviewed—a system the government says has spurred people to seek asylum as a means of finding jobs in Japan.
About 60 percent of those asylum seekers would not qualify for work permits under the new system, said justice ministry official Tetsuya Hagioka, who oversees the refugee system.
Japan’s immigration detention centers held 417,383 people in 2016, the latest year for which data is available. The figure includes those detained more than once during the year, however.