Japan has reportedly granted refugee status to 98 Afghan nationals, including staff who worked at the Japanese embassy in Kabul and their families, who left Afghanistan last year, according to Japanese media citing government sources.
98 Afghan citizens who have fled to Japan since the Taliban retook power last August have been given refugee status, according to the Japan Times reported on Tuesday, the 23rd of August.
Japan’s recognition of the Afghan refugees, an unprecedented gesture for a country with less to no track record of granting asylum, may have an impact on how it approaches refugees in the future from conflict-ridden countries like Myanmar and Ukraine.
Along with their families, employees of the Japan International Cooperation Agency and other private companies are also among the evacuees who are given refugee status.
The Japanese media reported that as more Afghans who worked for Japanese nongovernmental organizations or had previously studied in Japan feel insecure in Afghanistan and want to resettle in Japan, more Afghan evacuees may eventually be recognized as refugees.
If the requisite criteria are fulfilled, Afghan refugees in Japan will be granted permanent residence after five years of residence.
It is said that more than 800 Afghans have been evacuated to Japan since the fall of the country to the Taliban on the 15th of August 2021.