News/Japan: Filipinos overstaying in Japan face stiff sanctions - consulate

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Subject: News/Japan: Filipinos overstaying in Japan face stiff sanctions - consulate
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Fri Oct 08 1999 - 11:08:10 EDT


Filipinos overstaying in Japan face stiff sanctions - consulate
BusinessWorld, October 6, 1999

Filipinos and other foreigners overstaying in Japan face arrest and high
penalties after the Japanese government recently approved a new immigration
law.

An advisory issued by the Philippine Consulate in Osaka, Japan, a copy of
which was given to the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE), said the
new Japanese Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act provides for
stiffer penalties for foreign illegal entrants and overstayers.

"The undocumented stay of foreigners in Japan shall henceforth be
considered a continuing offense punishable by up to three years in prison
or a fine of up to 300,000," the advisory quoted the law as saying. "There
has been a proliferation of cases of human smuggling by foreign as well as
Japanese ships and fishing vessels. Although the number of foreign
nationals staying illegally in Japan has stopped increasing with the peak
in 1993, the approximate number is still high at 283,000."

The advisory said foreign nationals deported for this offense can return to
Japan only after five years, compared with the previous waiting period of
only one year. Deported individuals who are spouses of Japanese nationals
and children of Filipino and Japanese parents may be allowed to return to
Japan earlier.

The new immigration law will take effect on February 18 next year.

The advisory asked illegal immigrants and entrants to voluntarily surrender
to avoid arrest or fine.

Consul General Pedro B. Firmalino said the Philippine Consulate in Japan is
now holding talks with the Ministry of Justice in Osaka to ensure the
protection of rights of Filipino citizens under the new law.

Melanie Orhant
morhant@igc.org
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