Japan allows eleven asylum seekers

Last year Japan granted nearly twice as many people asylum as in 2013. The increase was not by any means spectacular.

In 2013 the country approved six applications for asylum, and in 2014 the number rose to eleven.

Japan, the third largest economy in the world, has long been known for its strict asylum policy.

But the country is becoming more popular. Early last year, a record number of 5,000 people applied for asylum. Only eleven applications, about 0.2 percent, were approved.

Worldwide, an average of 32 percent is accepted as asylum seekers.

Lawyers and activists complain about the low numbers in Japan. The country does not do enough to protect them as refugees. There are hardly any facilities for housing and the system for applying for a residence permit is no good, they say.

A spokesman for the Japanese authorities that many asylum seekers are not political, but economic refugees. “In countries such as Nepal and Sri Lanka, many people think they can find a job in Japan.”