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Japan immigration

Japan government ordered to pay $11,500 over Cameroonian man's death

Local court says immigration facility officials should have sent him to hospital

The Mito District Court, pictured here, ruled the immigration bureau failed to carry out its duty.   © Kyodo

MITO, Japan (Kyodo) -- A Japanese court on Friday ordered the government to pay 1.65 million yen ($11,500) in damages to the bereaved family of a Cameroonian man who died while being detained in an immigration control facility in eastern Japan.

The bereaved family of the man, who died aged 43 in the Higashi-Nihon Immigration Center in Ushiku, Ibaraki Prefecture, in March 2014, had demanded that the government pay 10 million yen in damages, alleging that immigration officials failed to send him to a medical institution despite his claims of ill health.

In handing down the judgment, the Mito District Court ruled the immigration bureau failed to carry out its duty, saying it should have sent the man to a hospital immediately.

During a hearing in March 2022, Masahiko Abe, presiding judge of the court, recommended that the two sides reach an out-of-court settlement.

According to the complaint, the Cameroonian man was detained by Japan's Immigration Services Bureau in November 2013 after he was refused entry to the country at Narita airport outside Tokyo a month earlier.

He was reported to have health issues including diabetes, and on March 27, 2014, he was transferred to a recuperation room monitored by a security camera after complaining of feeling unwell.

Although he underwent a medical examination in the facility, his condition worsened until his death days later on March 30.

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