APFS had a negotiation with Ministry of Justice regarding special permission for residence.


Appeal seeking special permission for residence in front of Ministry of Justice
During August, 2015 through January, 2016 APFS had been working on “100 days action to foster the dream of children” to realize the society where the dream of all the children including overstayers comes true

Through the 100 days action a number of media have taken up the issue. Also the signature campaign spread. As a result we were able to convey the problem of overstayers’ children to the society.

On Sunday January 17, 2016, a summary discussion regarding the 100 days action was held. It was decided during the discussion that a request to obtain special resident permission is to be made in March.

Not only children but also adults are not able to draw future outlook under the overstayer’s status.

We invited adults to participate in the request to Ministry of Justice to be made on Tuesday March 1. This is because there are such adults who wish to stay in Japan as those who are married with Japanese (permanent residents), or spent more than half of their life in Japan.

APFS made three appeals as below in order for overstayers with provisional release to grant special permission for residence as soon as possible:

(1) Admit the residence permit to children to live with parents together
(2) Admit that the husband and wife to form a family in Japan
(3) Admit special residence permit to refugee applicants in a more flexible way

The negotiation with Ministry of Justice were attended by Mr. Toyotaka Kawabata and Ms. Narumi Yokokawa, both Assistant Judge and Mr. Makoto Harada, Chief Clerk from Judgment Division of Immigration Bureau and Mr. Kato, Representative, Ms. Yoshida, Vice Representative and Mr. Yoshinari, Director from APFS.

Many overstayers with provisional release apply for retrial application (request for review due to changes in the situation after with deportation order). We confirmed Mr. Yokokawa’s statement that the existence of retrial application is admitted, although residence status is difficult to be permitted in accordance with retrial application since 2011.

We confirmed that about 150 sheets of postcard to cheer the children worked with the 100 days actions as well as the agreement of 22 researchers against “Decision document of 100 days action to foster the dream of children” were delivered to and investigated by Ministry of Justice.

APFS pointed out that Immigration Bureau is responsible for the fact that overstayer is left in provisional release state for a long time and also pointed out the inconsistency between the case of permission granted before 2010 to obtain a special permission residence by retrial application and the case of waiting families who has no difference in terms of the guideline of special permission for residence. We also explained that overstayers are important human resources to contribute to Japanese society for example children who are attending vocational school aims to become a care work, and requested to relief with a generosity.

We submitted a name list of 37 persons in 20 cases of overstayers seeking special permission together with APFS. Mr. Kawabata clearly stated that the cases in the name list will be reviewed once again. We cannot move forward without raising voice. The negotiation with Ministry of Justice delivered the result of re-recognizing the existence of the cases

We questioned about permission of special permission of refugee applicants and could confirm that permission is granted if the case applies to “positive elements” under “Guidelines relating to special residence permit” though refugee status is not approved.

We got an answer that we are requested to clearly mention at refugee application (primary stage) the points to be considered on humanitarian since at the time of the opposition (secondary examination), almost no review about special residence permit is made. We could grasp the guideline and understand how we should appeal.

The persons concerned have continued to appeal holding the microphone despite cold weather in front of Ministry of Justice. One of the children was speaking “even young children understand the importance of family and it is impossible to imagine the status where either only children or only adults remain as residence. Please listen to the wishes.” Adults appealed through microphone that we want to foster children in Japan and we want to continue living in Japan with the spouse.