Several scuffles broke out in Japan's parliament on Friday after a bill to revise the country's immigration law was passed - enabling authorities to quickly deport foreign nationals seeking refugee status in the country.
Left-wing political leader Taro Yamamoto, a former actor, attempted to block passage of the bill by using physical force - flinging himself toward other lawmakers to try and stop the vote.
Here is some longer footage of the scuffle from NHK: pic.twitter.com/tN0Xs0s6gp— Jeffrey J. Hall 🇯🇵🇺🇸 (@mrjeffu) June 8, 2023
Yamamoto later told supporters that his actions were driven by concern over loss of life.
The immigration reform was passed by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's governing coalition and other conservative parties.
The bill allows Japan to deport foreign nationals who have applied for refugee status more than twice and have failed to provide legitimate justification for doing so. Currently, foreign nationals applying for asylum are protected from deportation, however the government said people have abused the system in order to remain in Japan for extended periods of time.
The revision will also allow foreign nationals facing deportation to stay outside of detention facilities, provided they are under the supervision of relatives or supporters. The decision on whether to allow detained foreigners to live outside detention facilities under the supervisory system will be reviewed on a three-month basis.
However, opponents have raised concerns that the revision could lead to the repatriation of individuals who may face persecution or even risk losing their lives if they were to be returned to their home countries.
Dozens of protesters stood outside the parliament building on Friday holding banners and shouting, “Stop bad revision!” and “Scrap the bill!” Inside parliament, opposition lawmakers took turns making protest speeches. -Epoch Times
"The amendment bill does not contain sufficient procedural safeguards to ensure that refugees are not returned to countries in which they would be in probable danger of persecution based on race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, as required under refugee law," said Human Rights Now (HRN) in a statement.