Japan eyes 'quasi-refugee' status for people fleeing conflicts

PM Kishida says envisioned system would not discriminate against certain countries

Nikkei -- Apr 17
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Saturday the government is considering creating a more loosely defined refugee category to accept people fleeing conflicts in light of the humanitarian crisis stemming from Russia's war in Ukraine.

"The Justice Ministry is considering a system for accepting people as refugee equivalents from a humanitarian standpoint even if they do not fall under" the 1951 refugee convention, Kishida said at a meeting in Niigata.

The prime minister stressed the envisioned system would not discriminate against certain countries, adding that Japan will strive to do its work in accordance with the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees.

Japan has accepted more than 500 evacuees fleeing the war in Ukraine since it began in late February.