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Japan welcomes 20 Ukrainian refugees despite strict immigration laws

The Japanese government, which currently observes strict bans on foreign entry, made a rare exception to that policy on Tuesday when it welcomed 20 Ukrainians fleeing their country’s latest war with Russia to Tokyo on a government plane accompanying the minister. Japanese Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa on his return from a recent trip to Poland.

Japanese agency Kyodo News described the arrival of 20 Ukrainians in Tokyo on April 5 as an “exceptional decision” by the Japanese government, which currently prohibits any foreigner who has been in certain countries (including Ukraine) in the past 14 last days of entering Japan. due to concerns about the transmission of the Chinese coronavirus.

“For the time being, foreign nationals who have stayed in any of the following 159 countries/regions within 14 days prior to the disembarkation request are denied entry to Japan in accordance with Article 5, paragraph (1), point (xiv) of the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act, unless special exceptional circumstances are found,” the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs states on its website in an updated notice for the last time on March 30.

Ukraine is among the 159 countries and regions currently included in Japan’s “entry permit denial”.

Japanese Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa on Monday revealed Tokyo’s plans to allow 20 Ukrainians to enter Japan at a press conference held as part of his official visit to Poland from April 2-4.

“We have decided that 20 evacuees, who want to go to Japan but cannot find transportation on their own, will board a relief government plane when I return to Japan,” Hayashi told reporters on April 4. April before his return. to Tokyo from Warsaw, Poland later the same day.

Japanese Deputy Justice Minister Jun Tsushima, who accompanied Hayashi to Poland on April 2, told reporters on April 4 that the Japanese government planned to provide housing, employment and language learning services. to the group of 20 Ukrainians for about six months.

Hayashi visited Poland in recent days as special envoy of Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio. Tokyo orchestrated the foreign minister’s visit to demonstrate “the Japanese government’s commitment to global efforts to help Ukrainians fleeing war,” Kyodo News reported Monday.

The news agency referred to Ukraine’s latest war with neighboring Russia. Moscow launched the military conflict on February 24, just 72 hours after announcing its intention to formally recognize the independence of two Russian-backed breakaway states in Ukraine’s eastern Donbass region, known as the name of People’s Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk (DPR and LPR).


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