Japan permits continued stay of Myanmar residents due to coup

Kyodo -- May 29
Japan will allow Myanmar residents to extend their stay for an additional six months as an emergency measure due to the unrest following the Feb. 1 military coup in the Southeast Asian country, Justice Minister Yoko Kamikawa said Friday.

Those who wish to stay longer in Japan will be allowed to work as well, and the emergency measure can be extended again if the situation in Myanmar does not improve, the immigration authorities said.

According to the Immigration Services Agency of Japan, 35,049 individuals from Myanmar resided in Japan as of the end of last year, and 13,963 of them, the largest group, were technical interns under the government-sponsored program.

For the time being, the agency will allow Myanmar residents who wish to extend their stay to switch their status to foreigners who are allowed to engage in "designated activities," a status that is given based on individual circumstances.

The extension period will be six months, but for those aiming to obtain the status of "specified skilled workers," established in April 2019 to expand employment opportunities for blue-collar foreign workers, the period will be one year.

- Kyodo