Japan | Guidelines for Refugee Status Updated

The Japanese Immigration Agency released clarifying guidelines for obtaining refugee status.

  • The guidelines define a refugee as someone who is outside of their country of origin due to a well-founded fear of persecution based on factors including race, religion, nationality, being part of a particular social group, political opinion, and those who cannot be protected by their country of origin, or who, because of fear, do not want to receive the protection of the country.
  • “Members of particular social groups,” for the basis of persecution under the refugee convention, will include LGBTQ individuals in countries that punish homosexuality and women subjected to forced marriages or female genital mutilation.

Refugee advocacy groups in Japan contend that the definition of “persecution” is too narrow and that the guidelines won’t increase the number of refugees accepted into the country.