Myanmar soccer goalie receives official refugee status in Japan

Japan Times -- Aug 21
OSAKA – Pyae Lyan Aung, a Myanmar national soccer goalkeeper who refused to return home after protesting against the February military coup in his country, officially received a certificate of refugee status in Japan on Friday, the player and his lawyer said.

The Immigration Service Agency granted him the status of long-term resident, which allows him to stay in Japan for five years, saying he could face persecution if he returns to Myanmar.

“I am grateful to Japanese people, the Japanese government and everyone who has supported me so far. I am relieved,” he told reporters after receiving the certificate at the Osaka Regional Immigration Services Bureau, adding he wishes to study Japanese and work in Japan.

In late July, Pyae Lyan Aung, 27, joined a J-League third division team in Yokohama as a trainee.

The substitute goalie flashed a three-finger salute in protest at the military junta at a World Cup qualifier between Japan and Myanmar in late May. He entered Japan earlier in the month as a member of the national soccer team on a short-term visa allowing a stay of up to 90 days.

- Japan Times

サッカー・ワールドカップ予選で来日後、日本に難民申請をしたミャンマー代表の選手を入管当局が正式に難民と認めました。 - ANNnewsCH