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Ukraine war

Ukraine war tests Japan's refugee policy that admits just 1%

Bill to expand asylum eligibility scrapped under criticism

Refugees from Ukraine at Berlin's central station on March 8. Over 2 million have fled the country since Russia's invasion, according to UNHCR.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- As millions flee Russian bombing in Ukraine, Japan has pledged to take in some of them to help ease the brewing humanitarian crisis, a test for the country's refugee policy that admits just 1% of asylum-seekers. 

"We will first accept those with family and friends in Japan, but we will engage in a further response from a humanitarian standpoint as well," Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters last week. He relayed his stance to Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki of Poland, which has received the bulk of Ukrainian refugees so far.

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