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Immigration bureau sued for locking up 17 foreigners in small room

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Immigration in Japan is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of (so-called) Justice. This Ministry has little respect for human rights. Stories like this are hardly a suprise to me.

Well said Alan. Agree 100%

12 ( +17 / -5 )

Hopefully, Japan will continue to be on the “world stage” for many years to come... for their routine finger-pointing at ‘others’ yet, continuing their own domestic human rights violations.

10 ( +17 / -7 )

They refused to leave and then wanted out? I understand locking the door when they refused to leave, but when they decided they wanted out, then open the door and let them out! Here is a better idea..don't put them in the facility in the first place. While they are waiting to be in front or a judge or whatever process, let them oit and give them an ankle monitor!

9 ( +18 / -9 )

It is a crime in the UK to overstay your visa.

Any Law institution will teach you immigration violation is a criminal offence, therefore a crime.

You must have got your Law Degree in the Kingdom of Back.

I have a law degree from a Japanese university as it happens, and under Japanese law visa overstays are not a criminal offense (regardless of what UK law says, which is irrelevant in Japan).

You are conflating “illegal” with “criminal”. Not every act which breaks a law is deemed a crime and dealt with in the same way.

Immigration cases are not handled by the criminal justice system in Japan (ie the court system) they are handled administratively by immigration inspectors under the Ministry of Justice. Unlike criminal cases which can result in a sentence of imprisonment, visa overstayers are not sentenced to prison, but like with these guys can be detained at an immigration facility, the purpose of which is not to punish them (unlike criminal sentencing) but to control them pending an administrative decision about what to do with them (deportation, etc).

While they have some similarities (police can detain you for a visa overstay, the state can deprive you of liberty, etc) the criminal and immigration systems operate separately from each other under Japanese law.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

The Ministry of Justice will use the fall back excuse:

“We decline to investigate there ‘due to security reasons”

8 ( +12 / -4 )

Thanks for your time; I also have a Law Degree, in this case, a UK one from the UCL

And I never said UK law is applicable in Japan.

You don't need an LLB to know that.

Well, why bring UK law into it then? I didn’t do that, you did.

Like I said above, immigration law in Japan is subject to a completely different process and serves completely different purposes than criminal law. People under immigration detention like the ones in the article have not been prosecuted for a crime, nor are they being detained pending a prosecution. So it is fundamentally inaccurate to be framing this as a criminal law issue.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Goodlucktoyou

i guess we can pay for their expensive medical costs, put them up in nice hotels and give them room service 24hrs a day. Maybe daytime siteseeing tours?

Strange?

You have posted you overstayed your visa. Was detained and deported and banned from Japan for 10 years.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Immigration in Japan is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of (so-called) Justice. This Ministry has little respect for human rights. Stories like this are hardly a suprise to me.

7 ( +17 / -10 )

When someone is incarcerated, the party that has the keys to the cell is responsible for their welfare. This is a basic principle of jurisprudence that the MoJ doesn't seem able to grasp.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Also wasn't it their own fault because they were ask to return to their own room but they refused, so what else can the officials do then to choose to lock them up inside to teach them a lesson. Is not like the officals can beat them up and drag them back to their room. And they know it. They know officials cannot touch them so they think they can act stubborn.

Exactly, someone that gets it. Some are oh-so eager to consistently jump on the "Japan is all bad" bandwagon, that they refuse to acknowledge common sense. These detainees felt emboldened to act defiantly, because they know that had the authorities tried to forcibly remove them and put them back in their rooms, they'd have violently resisted and then still cried to the media and their fan base about how they were 'tortured.' The authorities had no choice but to leave those law breakers in that cell, they knew better than to take the bait.

5 ( +14 / -9 )

@kennyG

Even if that's true, locking them up like this is not due procedure. Everyone posting here appears to care so much about doing things by the book when if comes to documentation but not when it comes to punishment.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

@Yohan

The "if you don't like it leave" line... Surely foreigners can criticise one or more aspects of Japan and its government. We participate in this society just as much as people who were born here.

Torturing and killing detainees isn't "lifestyle". No Japanese people I've talked to about this are okay with this and I don't see why any foreigners should either, especially on issues that may affect us someday as well.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

This is incorrect. It is a criminal offense to remain in Japan after your period of stay expires. Just look at the penal provisions in the Immigration act, specifically Article 70(1)(v):

Yes, that Is true, it can result in criminal punishment later, under a different process, but my point was that these guys, being in detention at an immigration facility, were not being prosecuted for a crime, but were being detained pending an administrative decision.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

I am missing something or were they detained for breaking laws regarding visas or were they in the detention facility because it was cheaper than a hotel? If you break a country's law, don't complain about the consequences, however harsh you may find them especially if you went to that country voluntarily. If can't do the time, don't do the crime. If this were people with Japanese citizenship, then maybe their grievances are legitimate. These people were here it seems illegally.

3 ( +15 / -12 )

@bokuda they broke the law they refused to leave the room that is why they were locked up in it what about the story don't you understand.

3 ( +11 / -8 )

Good luck to them, but there isn't much reason to believe this lawsuit will lead anywhere.

So far, Japan's immigration officials have been literally getting away with murder.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

...and here we go again!

3 ( +7 / -4 )

In my over 40 years in Japan I was always treated politely by immigration officers at the airports during departure/re-entry (Narita, Haneda, Kansai) or in immigration offices in Tokyo and Okayama.

My documents are in order, they were looking at them, asked sometimes a few questions and - finished.

I can say the same about tax office employees, ward office employees, police officers and some other public servants.

Just keep your documents in order and answer questions politely and be a bit patient and tolerant and you will be fine in Japan when facing authorities.

I see the problem mentioned in this report more about those foreigners and their willful ignorance, negligence and bad behavior and not with Japanese immigration officers - these foreigners overstayed their visa, failed obviously to report their overstay voluntarily to immigration, were finally detained and refused even during their detention to follow instructions - and now they want even money for that?

3 ( +8 / -5 )

About 30 minutes later, when time allowed for visiting other detainees' rooms was up, they were told to return to their rooms but refused, and as a result, all 17 were locked in from the outside. The door remained locked until after noon the following day.

So they chose to go into the room, and then refused to leave. People will sue for anything these days.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Confining people to such a small room constitutes torture which Japan is becoming infamously known...

2 ( +16 / -14 )

@bokuda

overstay is not a crime

Japanese law begs to differ, it's a crime and violators should be detained and subsequently deported.

2 ( +15 / -13 )

Cruel and unnecessary punishment is a crime.

2 ( +13 / -11 )

samuraivunyl

I am missing something or were they detained for breaking laws regarding visas or were they in the detention facility because it was cheaper than a hotel? If you break a country's law, don't complain about the consequences, however harsh you may find them especially if you went to that country voluntarily. 

Agree with breaking laws, but the consequences have to held to the same standards: ie. consequences cannot break laws either.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

I don't criticize japan, just this negligent immigration agents that enclosed 17 grown men on a 20 sqr. meter room.

If you fail to understand that what the agents did was wrong... well, there's a problem.

If you failed to read the part where they went into the room on their own and then failed to obey an order to get out, well there's a problem.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Four foreigners have sued the Osaka immigration bureau over the pain they suffered in 2018 for being locked up with 13 other detainees in a small room

What did the expect? A 5-star hotel? They are breaking the law, the place for people who do not follow the rules isn't meant to be comfortable.

demanding some 3 million yen 

Of course, they need some 'gibs' for their 'pain and suffering'

What about, not breaking the law and thus avoiding such a horrible situation in the first place?

1 ( +16 / -15 )

So, they refused to return to their room and were surprised when they got locked in?

Then again, they room wasn’t unlocked until the next day. I feel both parties are at fault here.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Constitution

Article 36. The infliction of torture by any public officer and cruel punishments are absolutely forbidden.

1 ( +11 / -10 )

@rainyday

I have a law degree from a Japanese university as it happens, and under Japanese law visa overstays are not a criminal offense (regardless of what UK law says, which is irrelevant in Japan).

This is incorrect. It is a criminal offense to remain in Japan after your period of stay expires. Just look at the penal provisions in the Immigration act, specifically Article 70(1)(v):

Article 70 (1) Any person falling under any of the following items shall be punished with imprisonment with or without work for not more than 3 years or a fine not exceeding 3 million yen, or shall be subject to the cumulative imposition of imprisonment with or without work and a fine.

...

(v) A person who has remained in Japan beyond the permitted period of stay (including the period for which a person may reside in Japan pursuant to the provisions of Article 20, paragraph (5) (including case where it is applied mutatis mutandis pursuant to Article 21, paragraph (4))) authorized without obtaining an extension or change thereof.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Sensational headline - before commenting please read the article. It was essentially their choice.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

It was cruel treatment as we were treated like prisoners.

Interesting that they think they have a right to overstay their visas and are not in anyway criminals? In most countries if they ignore instructions, they will be tazered, beaten with batons and cuffed to a cell wall.

i guess we can pay for their expensive medical costs, put them up in nice hotels and give them room service 24hrs a day. Maybe daytime siteseeing tours?

1 ( +11 / -10 )

in a normal society it would be sarcasm.

But, you got your doubts, 'cause it's not the first time you've heard it.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

don't they have rules and procedures?

what they did is highly unprofessional and criminal.

as well as the Sry Lankan lady they killed this year, and the Nigerian one they killed some months ago.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

@Yohan

I don't criticize japan, just this negligent immigration agents that enclosed 17 grown men on a 20 sqr. meter room.

If you fail to understand that what the agents did was wrong... well, there's a problem.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

So they willingly disobeyed a perfectly sensible order to go back to their rooms, and now they are complaining and suing?

Exactly.

Now if they were arrested on false pretenses, sue for that. Otherwise...

1 ( +3 / -2 )

overstay is not a crime

It is.

Only in a few countries in the west is illegal immigration somehow seen as virtuous.

0 ( +11 / -11 )

is it a crime in Japan to conceil 17 people in a 20-square-meters room?

I'm starving for an answer.

everyone is dodging the question, Suga style.

the question has manny implications on torture and human rights.

and yet nobody is able to answer.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Not following the rule/law of he country, no surprise not following the rule/law of the center but just complaining

0 ( +8 / -8 )

i finally got the full picture.

the detainees are not criminals, they were not judged and convicted.

the immigration agents did commit a criminal act and broke the rules.

at least the agents didn't kill anybody this time.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

so far the comments are blaming the detainees.

there's no criticism against the immigration agents.

i find it very confusing.

it's like if you break any law you're no longer a human being.

0 ( +10 / -10 )

@bokuda

Because not having your paperwork in order is a crime while cruelty to fellow human beings isn't. That's the world we seem to live in and a lot of people seem okay with.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

More foolish suing for no reason, needs to be rejected.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

@bokuda

Guessing that was sarcasm?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@Antiquesaving

I suspect many defend the Japanese immigration system because its cruelty doesn't affect people like them.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

I did all formalities alone, I always refused any family member who wanted to go with me 'to help' me.

Why did you bring your wife to the immigration to extend your spouse visa? Immigration officers always want to talk with the foreigner face to face and do not like another person of his choice sitting next to him.

WOW you are so great!

Because they told use to both come in!

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Media including JT do not like heart-warming stories that much, like stories of refugees/foreign students who made efforts here strictly following the law of a host country, living happy life now in Japan. So,  you curse Japan, no wonder.

 

Not only that. Left-biased media hardly report dark-side of the situation by stressing only on “ Why Japan is like that!!”

 

  As of Dec 2020, there are 3100 foreigners illegally staying who got caught but refused the deportation order.

 

Of those 3100,

310 had actually received prison sentence over 3years for committing criminal offense other than overstaying (But about 150 are applying refugee status and their deportation process is being suspended)

150 had received prison sentence over 5years for committing criminal offense other than overstaying (But about 90 are applying refugee status and their deportation process is being suspended)

70 had received prison sentence over 7years for committing criminal offense other than overstaying (But about 50 are applying refugee status and their deportation process is being suspended)

 

You can guess what kind of serious crimes those had committed to receive the sentence of over 3~5~7 years.

 

Please note, of those 3100, 2440 ( about 80%) are being provisionally released.

 

10% of illegal stayers refusing deportation has criminal records (OTHER THAN OVERSTSAY) over 3year-prison-sentence. This is the reality and they are detained at detention center because they received deportation order refused by themselves.

 

I say again. You can guess what kind of serious crimes those had committed to receive the sentence of over 3~5~7 years.

 

Do you want to live in safety or what?  Ask those who followed the law and now have concrete rights to live their lives here........ about them

And those with real criminal records other than over staying are there in detention center.

Get the facts right

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Well! There's a problem.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The four male plaintiffs were held at the Osaka bureau for overstaying their visas and granted provisional releases by May 2020.

According to the complaint, the 17 detainees gathered in the small room with three bunk beds around 11 a.m. on June 17, 2018, to discuss how they felt medical treatment at the facility could be improved.

About 30 minutes later, when time allowed for visiting other detainees' rooms was up, they were told to return to their rooms but refused, and as a result, all 17 were locked in from the outside. The door remained locked until after noon the following day.

So they willingly disobeyed a perfectly sensible order to go back to their rooms, and now they are complaining and suing? What else were the officers there supposed to do? I bet if the officers tried to use force to remove them from the room, they'd all have raised a fuss and resisted violently, and then complained later about brutality.

There are multiple things detention centers can do much better to treat detainees fairly. This incident isn't one of them. Perhaps these detainees should not be breaking immigration laws in the first place, and be thankful they got provisionally released in the first place, instead of acting like rebels and defying authority that proves nothing.

-1 ( +18 / -19 )

What pain? Being lock up for 24hours is considered pain enough to demand 3million yen? Did they get molest or rape? What kind of men are these? Did the detainees expect a 5 star hotel? I am pretty sure they don't want to ever enter a Nigeria, Pakistan or Peru detain facility then.

Also wasn't it their own fault because they were ask to return to their own room but they refused, so what else can the officials do then to choose to lock them up inside to teach them a lesson. Is not like the officals can beat them up and drag them back to their room. And they know it. They know officials cannot touch them so they think they can act stubborn.

-1 ( +12 / -13 )

I hope the law suite is successful so as to shine a light on the immigration department and how they treat people and just to let the world see how funny this country can be.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Love the gaijins so willing to defend anything Japan does, but had it been their country and those complaining were Japanese they would be up in arms.

Japan is a great place to live but pretending the immigration system and department doesn't have some serious problems is just sticking one's head in the sand.

Been here over 30 years married, widower, married, raised 2 mixed children on my own.

My children, my wife, my extended Japanese families, all agree the immigration system here is broken.

But here we are again with the typical Gaijin pretended nothing is wrong.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

AntiquesavingToday 02:30 pm JST

@Yohan

You really will defend immigration and anything else wrong in Japan that is until it happens to you.

Sad!

I am not worried about that. My documents are all valid, no fakes, not expired etc. I am not the only foreigner who is living in Japan since decades and who defends Japan against complaints from illegal immigrants or foreigners who overstay their visa facing deportation.

You are complaining about all and everything in Japan as I see from your comments. If it is really so much better in other countries for you, why do you continue to live in Japan?

I met foreigners who did not like the Japanese way of life and within one or two years they were gone to elsewhere. It depends on the individual what he or she prefers or expects in life.

However to live in Japan since many years and to complain all the time as a foreigner is not the best way to go. This makes you clearly an outsider for local ordinary Japanese people and is a good reason for them to mistrust foreigners and reject all of them.

Japan of course is not the paradise, but by far not the worst place in Asia.

As a foreigner keep in mind, it is not your country and laws and life-style are not the same everywhere.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Why don't they go to Greece? All illegal immigrants are accepted there with few formalities, they are given accommodation with free Wi-Fi and 400 Euros monthly from the European Union for living expenses. Later a number of them finds their way to other European countries. Is there a more friendly country than Greece in this world?

Really? Is Greece such a paradise? It hardly sound so

Greece: Despite EU funds, migrant conditions still lacking

https://www.dw.com/en/greece-eu-funds-migrants-lesbos-asylum/a-57051718

A scene out of the middle ages’: Dead refugee found surrounded by rats at Greek camp

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2021/may/07/a-scene-out-of-the-middle-ages-dead-refugee-found-surrounded-by-rats-at-greek-camp

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

overstay is not a crime, it's a paperwork fault.

they shouldn't be detained, and they shouldn't be tortured.

-2 ( +16 / -18 )

AntiquesavingToday 12:18 pm JST

The immigration officer had the nerve to look at my then wife and ask "is he the father?" 

Nothing wrong with asking that question.

Are you serious?

5 years married 4 in my home country legally entered Japan with a spouse visa!

They had all the information!

There is plenty of fraud going on with fake marriages to obtain a Japanese visa and not only in Japan, same problem in Europe. Immigration officers can be very mistrusting for good reason and are asking provoking questions to see the reaction of the applicants.

When I came to Japan the first time with my Japanese wife (I married in Europe) more than 40 years ago a spouse visa for a foreign husband did not even exist.

You had it easier than me obviously. I was always on a working visa and later on I became a Japanese permanent resident.

I did all formalities alone, I always refused any family member who wanted to go with me 'to help' me.

Why did you bring your wife to the immigration to extend your spouse visa? Immigration officers always want to talk with the foreigner face to face and do not like another person of his choice sitting next to him.

Spouse visa extension is easy, take your passport and residence card, fill up the forms, collect the copies of documents from your ward office to prove that your marriage abroad with a Japanese national is duly registered. If you work bring also your working contract/income tax report to show you are able to support yourself and family - what else? I think, that's all.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

@Yohan

You really will defend immigration and anything else wrong in Japan that is until it happens to you.

Sad!

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

@Jacobo

Did you just write your name at the end of your post?

That's so cute! like a regular handwriting letter.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

@Yotomaya

Even if that's true, locking them up like this is not due procedure. Everyone posting here appears to care so much about doing things by the book when if comes to documentation but not when it comes to punishment.

They refused to return to their room and ranted and banged on the door. What would you suggest the officers should have done instead? According to NHK ( always good to refer to other source) the officer gave them an warning first " Unless you return now, I will close (and lock) the door" The detainees " We want to return but we haven't finished our conversation yet"

Also, murder means in definition, intentionally killing a person or unlawfully killing with premeditation.

If you meant the case of Sri Lank woman, it was no way a murder case. Please refer to my posts in the previous threads.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

17 guys. See? I don't know the number of officers there. one or two? Probably he/they should have asked for help of 30~40 officers, if such many on duty that time, and should have dragged them out and kicked them back in each rooms with force, which then could become inhumane violence case like the one for Nigerian Man reported earlier than Sri Lankan woman case.

Or what, the officer should have begged them to do as rules say?

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

For those misunderstanding, detainees do include actual criminals who got sentence to prison

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

I read such articles and my heart bleeds. Sri Lankan woman killed, Nigerian men killed, Japanese immigration cruelty, etc. But why so many foreigners come to Japan?

Why don't they go to Greece? All illegal immigrants are accepted there with few formalities, they are given accommodation with free Wi-Fi and 400 Euros monthly from the European Union for living expenses. Later a number of them finds their way to other European countries. Is there a more friendly country than Greece in this world?

Jacobo

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

is it a crime in Japan to conceil 17 people in a 20-square-meters room?

-5 ( +8 / -13 )

"You are conflating “illegal” with “criminal”. Not every act which breaks a law is deemed a crime and dealt with in the same way."

Thanks for your time; I also have a Law Degree, in this case, a UK one from the UCL

And I never said UK law is applicable in Japan.

You don't need an LLB to know that.

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

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