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Italian detainee dies in apparent suicide at Tokyo immigration

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How many people have been executed in the same time period?

Japanese Death Row might be safer than Immigration Detention facilities.

-13 ( +31 / -44 )

“The Italian man is the 18th person to have died in Japanese immigration facilities since 2007”

This should be cause for concern. Yes, it’s not supposed to be luxury accommodation but something is wrong.

12 ( +41 / -29 )

Foreigners just keep dying in Japan's detention

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/community/2014/01/27/issues/a-death-in-detention-in-tokyo-and-a-bitter-belated-farewell/

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2022/03/07/national/sri-lanka-death-one-year/

-7 ( +20 / -27 )

It was a death that could have been prevented.

If in Japan, a person's residence permit has expired, why does he stay illegal??..

Why does he not return to his country and avoid problems??..

Japan is a country with strict immigration laws and that makes it a very safe country to live..

Look at how Europe and the USA are with so much indiscriminate immigration..

If you're going to be in a foreign country, follow the rules...

Sorry, but it's a big fact..

-33 ( +20 / -53 )

TokyoLiving, yes this death was eminently preventable, by the authorities who failed in their basic duty of care. Why was he still in this detention centre? Either renew his status or deport him, holding people for extended periods is both unnecessary and arbitrary.

There is clearly something fundamentally wrong with the system, “the 18th person to have died in Japanese immigration facilities since 2007” and “Individuals can be detained for extended periods”.

7 ( +30 / -23 )

This might have been an accident. Also any figures about deaths in detention in other countries would be useful.

-2 ( +11 / -13 )

Japan is a country with strict immigration laws and that makes it a very safe country to live..

Unless you overstay your visa in which the penalty is DEATH!!

Yeah real safe country to live in

-15 ( +23 / -38 )

Antiquesaving

Excellent Post!!!!

-7 ( +14 / -21 )

The Italian man could have followed the deportation order and gone back to his country. Or if he loved Japan so much and wanted to continue to live here, he shouldn’t have broken the law of his host country in the first place. The best way to prevent these unfortunate accidents is immediate deportation of illegal aliens.

-5 ( +18 / -23 )

Backstories

Very good report.

Opening the 'Black Box' of Japan's immigration system

There are 17 detention centers with about 3,400 detainees.

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/backstories/1995/

Detainees should not have to experience long terms of detention.

-2 ( +10 / -12 )

And here we have the usual blame everyone but Japan.

There is plenty of room to pass the blame around to all sides. The guy didnt follow the rules, for whatever reason, that's on him. The detention centers and system is screwed up too.

The larger portion of the blame, probably lies with the Japanese side, yet the article does not state why he was held in the first place. Not that it should matter, but he was in detention and the article just infers that it was for the following reason;

Foreign nationals without residency status who cannot quickly comply with orders to leave the country are placed in detention at one of 17 immigration facilities in Japan. Individuals can be detained for extended periods, but there are provisions allowing for temporary release, including for illness.

It may be safe to assume that he over stayed his visa, but that's just an assumption, and it's poor research and reporting by the author of this article to publish it, without providing these important details. For all anyone knows he was an upstanding member of his community or perhaps a criminal, it would be nice, once in a while, to get details, which make it easier to understand the situation.

4 ( +16 / -12 )

Immigration Services Agency

Q&A

https://www.isa.go.jp/en/applications/guide/tetuduki_taikyo_qa.html

3 ( +4 / -1 )

18 detainees have died from 2007-2022. Six were suicides. Ten died from an illness. Two unknowns.

https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20220215/p2a/00m/0na/034000c

8 ( +10 / -2 )

The foreign population has increased since 2007. 2011, 2.05 million. 2020, 2.89 million. 3,500 are in immigration detention centers. Mostly overstayers failed asylum seekers, and people being deported for crimes committed.

 Forced deportation for those who are seeking refugee status is not allowed under Japanese immigration law. Japan has a very low rate of accepting asylum seekers, about 0.2%. The lowest rate in the G7.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

[...]and was detained again from Oct 25.

This article is heavily censured.

Releases the exact date of the re-detention, but avoids saying how long was he detained in the first place.

When was he detained? And why?

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Surprising to me. Why not go back to Italy with much higher standard of living?

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

who cannot quickly compl

I would have been happy to chip in to buy him a one way ticket

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

I can say that Japan is extremely strict about foreigners entering the country on tourist visas.

3 times or more in a year will have you in a small room with threats of being searched etc.

I thought that the dire state of Japan’s overwhelming need for foreign labor might have softened immigration’s stance but it seems to have only gotten stricter.

The question to be answered is why are foreigners killing themselves and others are dying under the control and supervision of the Japanese state?

To die in a foreign country, alone without any sympathy is extremely saddening and tragic.

-8 ( +11 / -19 )

3,500 people are currently detained in immigration centers. But how many in total were detained from 2007-2022?

Those figures are not to be found.

There was a total of 127 civil suits filed against immigration authorities between 2000 and 2019.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Foreign nationals without residency status who cannot quickly comply with orders to leave the country are placed in detention at one of 17 immigration facilities in Japan. Individuals can be detained for extended periods, but there are provisions allowing for temporary release, including for illness.

> > I'm just going to assume they added this little paragraph to infer that he violated the immigration act. Let's say his "residency status" had expired. I can only think of this happening for 2 reasons.

He over-stayed his visa, was then arrested and then sent to immigration detention or...

He committed a crime which violated immigration law, he was detained, released to take care of the problem but was unable to or denied which is why he was re-arrested and sent back to immigration detention again.

In either case, Japanese immigration detention centers are no joke. You're mixed in a room with all kinds of people(20+) who are also being deported. No-one knows when they'll be able to go home. All of your personal belongings are left unprotected. The rooms have bars and locks on them and you can't leave under any circumstance. The only hope you have is that a family member in your home country or contacts in Japan buys a one-way ticket for you and sends your flight information to the detention center in-which then you will be released so it's imperative that you remember important phone numbers and/or addresses before going in there.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

Overstaying visa shouldn’t be a crime especially if you have had paid taxes previously.

-5 ( +10 / -15 )

MumbaiRocks!

Surprising to me. Why not go back to Italy with much higher standard of living?

My brother has lived in Italy for more than 30 years. Works in an opera house. But the standard of living is not better than in Japan. He sometimes waits months just to be paid. The covid was a massive suffering with no government support.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

lets put all emotions away as we dont know who was that guy,why did he overstayed and did not return back home in Italy,if he was not drug user and did not have any mental issues.there are so many facts we dont know so its hard to judge.

back to facts and reality on the ground.

Japan is nice country if you come here legally and doing what is allowed to you to do.and you doont tresapss law in any even smallest case.

same time Japan is strict about immigration and yes once there is issue say with overstaying that japanese reaction is strict and fast/most cases/.

about this ragazzo it seems that he have overstayed visa and violated japanese immigration law.so gov took action and put guy in detention centre.all clear and correct until now.

guy was held in detention for months ,was not deported back home by first available flight than he have comitted suicide-and here is the problem.

since gov took over him and put him in detention-gov is fully responsible for his well being and also for suicide as well.

you may be proven guilty and japanese immigration law trespasser but you are not going to die in detention or stay there for forever.

i am not going to ask why guy was not deported out of Japan right after they have found out that he have trespassed japanese immigration law since I have no idea why gov have decided to him him in detention /maybe guy did not have funds to pay for one way ticket or did not have one in Italy who could pay for it?just guessing/ and he became japanese tax payers burden.

Question is same like about previous case when Srilankan lady have died in detetion-where is eveidence that guy was allright,where are video tapes as evidence that he did comitted suicide /and proof that he was not killed say by guards violent action etc/?

I hope we did not hear about this case first and last time here as will be interesting to see what Italy and EU will do about that and how all of investigation will end?

All of you keep in mins that Japan have two faces and one from faces is ugly one so better stay aware and never ever try to oversmart japanese rules/system or trespass any laws here as punishment may be unexpected and cruel.Even some of us may live here for decades in fact we are still foreigners here and always will be-keep this in mind all the time.

-16 ( +8 / -24 )

I’ve been deported from Japan. I agreed to go voluntarily and pay for everything. I was given a two week temporary visa to sort out all my things, like losing my job and bonus, furniture and key money on my apartment. I came back and got a new Spouse visa. No detention.

a couple of years ago I overstayed my visa by about six months by accident. The immigration department has a special department for voluntary reporting overstaying. No detention, fine, just a bit of paperwork. They then gave me a PR visa. No detention.

I wonder why these people are locked up? They seem like dodgy people. Maybe criminals in their home country? The recent Philippine one was definitely dodgy, could of gone back and would be very wealthy by her countries standards. Is it really worth dying to be in a country that doesn’t want you?

6 ( +20 / -14 )

I'm curious about the details of his 'apparent' suicide. This is a holding cell AKA: Prison cell. Do detainees have access to the electrical outlets and wires? It seems unusual that they would. Aren't these cells set up to prevent this kind of incidents?

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Japan is a country with strict immigration laws and that makes it a very safe country to live..

This article doesn't make it sound very safe.

Nobody deserves to die in this way.

Appalling fourth world treatment. Shame on you, Japan and all those defending such tragedy.

-12 ( +12 / -24 )

But the standard of living is not better than in Japan.

@wallace

Of course it depends what you are doing for a living, but having lived in both Japan and Italy for a decent period of time, the standard of living and lifestyle in Italy is far superior to that of Japan.

What's better in Japan than in Italy?

-8 ( +13 / -21 )

Back on topic please.

The detention center needs to review how the Italian was able to use the power supply for the TV to commit suicide. Then the TV should be boxed in to prevent someone else from doing the same.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Rodney

Today 11:02 am JST

I’ve been deported from Japan. I agreed to go voluntarily and pay for everything. I was given a two week temporary visa to sort out all my things, like losing my job and bonus, furniture and key money on my apartment. I came back and got a new Spouse visa. No detention.

Strange I also did once only a few months, (my son was gravely ill in and out of the hospital multiple surgeries visa was the last thing on my mind) I know several people on spouse Visa that forgot to renew on time.

Never heard of being reported of any fine.

We all had to write apology letters admitting or bad behaviour and make multiple apologies to immigration and or visas renewed back dated to the original expiry date.

Seems strange you had to leave if on a spouse Visa even if you forgot to renew.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

People in detention centers are often detained for years. They don't know how long they'll be there and even if they do get out on a provisional release, they aren't allowed to work or get health insurance. It's a way to stall their lives for years.

The system that criminalizes and administrative issue, which overstaying your visa is, is the problem. If "foreigners" are dangerous (which they aren't more than natives), they should face the legal system if they do break the law, not be detained without trial and a right to dignity. A criminal at least gets a trial (although those in Japan are whole different can of worms). For many, "going back to their country" is not option for a range of reasons. Also, they shouldn't have to make that choice simple because Immigration doesn't want to issue them a piece of paper. Every so-called developed country is strikingly hypocritical when it comes to the free movement of people vs goods/profit made of those very people not allowed within its borders.

The Japanese system is not only inhumane but also a way for the country to shoot itself in the foot. If its purpose is to intimidate even those who have not have to face its harshness, then it works. However, it makes the country an even less desirable destination for people who could live here and contribute to society if they had a chance to do so.

-12 ( +11 / -23 )

I hope the authorities remove the TVs from other detainees rooms to prevent this happening again.

Why do they even have TVs in the first place? This is detention for people who have broken Japanese immigration laws and are refusing to option to leave.

-21 ( +2 / -23 )

I wonder what the colour of his skin was.....I often ask people about the Sri Lankan woman who died in custody, and if her skin colour had been white would she have died or been mistreated? The answer is overwhelmingly, no, probably not. Japan has a deeply rooted race issue, particularly in these institutions. It would be interesting to know what the colour of this mans skin was.

-9 ( +12 / -21 )

The obvious question is, do the guards at the detention center have access to stun guns?

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

It's a sad irony that the people who are most anti-immigration are exactly the type of people you wouldn't want living in your country.

5 ( +12 / -7 )

Japan is a country with strict immigration laws and that makes it a very safe country to live..

This goes down, to me at least, as one of the most ignorant and xenophobic comments I have seen here. Along the lines of Ishihara Shintaro and his ilk.

-8 ( +13 / -21 )

If you wish to see the reality of a Japanese detention centre you only have to see Thomas Ash’s incredible award winning film about Ushiku immigration in Ibaraki. The short trailer on YouTube paints a picture of misery for detainees secretly interviewed who cannot go home but cannot be allowed to enter Japan legally either.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Some of the detainees arrive on a tourist visa and then overstay.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Why dont you deport the man instead of letting him reach to his breaking point.

Some one should hold accountable for the man death.

Rest in peace fella and i hope that u r in better place now.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

There needs to be a grace period at the end of a visa, say one month.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

You can listen to his version of the story on Vimeo, he posted many videos since being homeless starting September 2020, after a classic 21 days of detention without a clear cause (we know a cause is not needed…),

https://vimeo.com/725503586

He clearly also developed mental health issues, but good luck to anyone forced into the streets in a foreign country after living there for 15 years not to develop any trouble…

Anyway, one thing the story certainly is: sad. One thing it shouldn’t have been: a death in a government facility.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

The Tokyo immigration office already has a terrible reputation on the protection of the rights and lives of their detainees, it gives the impression of not assuming the responsibility it has the moment it takes people. There is a point where the problem stops being just isolated incidents and a systematic change becomes necessary.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

First point, Why have the circuit breaker’s not been updated to at least dwelling standards of 10 or 8 amps or less to prevent electrocution. Second point, this could easily be used has a weapon on the guards. Last point. Like his status allow him for 3 months stays. Able to fly out and return the next day to stay for another 3 months. I lived that way for 8 years with no problems. That not opposed. So I wonder why he ended up lock up.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Foreign nationals without residency status who cannot quickly comply with orders to leave the country are placed in detention 

Is this due to not enough money or some other reason?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Wasn't the Italian Embassy notified of his detention ? They must surely have paid him a visit. Or are immigration centers outside of such notification process ?

Was camera surveillance available of this Italian's cell - or even outside of it ? If so, perhaps it should be reviewed to monitor coming's and going's.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Just watched the video link posted by @louisferdinandc

It's very chilling.

@louisferdinandc - How on earth did you find that video ???

His English is clearly Italian English, he definitely has a certain level of Intelligence to communicate in his non-native tongue, in a focused way, and the documents that he presents look authentic, so I guess he also reads/speaks Japanese.

From what he's saying, I don't think he's "mad", however he's certainly got a grievance that appears to be related to being "shafted" by his Wife (a Japanese National). Some of what he says, may be far fetched, and ranking up there with Conspiracy theories - though that aside, it appears that his treatment has been a series of injustices, and quite wrong, and ultimately ending up in his death.... presumably suicide .. or was it ?

Were there a glimmer of truth in what he's said, then that would have given motive for why someone would want to murder him, particularly in the detention center, and then for them to subsequently cover things up afterwards... you could even make a Movie about the whole story presented here.

As a final thought, if you are Married to a Japanese (or even different) National, then perhaps it is worth keeping some funds separate from them, just in case you need it at some point - "Don't place all your eggs in one basket" so to speak.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

""Foreign nationals without residency status who cannot quickly comply with orders to leave the country are placed in detention""

I do not understand the meaning of "Quickly Comply" !? how can a person QC while detained? why isn't the person taken to put on the next plane back to his home country once determined to be illegally staying in Japan?

""extended periods"" is the problem, people should be processed and deported ASAP and sit and rot in a prison cell.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

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