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Japan immigration

Japan takes step toward recognizing 'quasi-refugees' fleeing war

Revamped legislation adds European-style complementary path to admission

Refugees from the war in Ukraine arrive at Tokyo's Haneda Airport in April 2022.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- The Japanese government submitted reworked legislation to the parliament Tuesday that would establish a more formal framework for accepting "quasi-refugees" escaping from conflicts like the war in Ukraine.

The measure, which retains the overall structure of scrapped 2021 legislation, follows the approach of many European countries in creating a "complementary protection" pathway for those who do not meet the formal definition of refugees. This would offer similar access to such benefits as child-rearing allowances and possible qualification for permanent residency.

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