2015 Immigration Control (Japan, Immigration Bureau, Ministry of Justice, 2015)

In this age of globalization, the Immigration Bureau, Ministry of Justice plays a vital role in both promoting sound international exchange by enabling foreign nationals visiting Japan for diverse reasons from various countries and regions to smoothly enter and stay in Japan and differentiating between which foreign nationals should and which foreign nationals should not be permitted to enter and stay in Japan so as to maintain the law and order of Japanese society. The Immigration Bureau is also responsible for deporting, pursuant to laws and regulations, those foreign nationals already in the country who are unwelcome in terms of protecting the safety and interests of Japanese citizens. Moreover, another major role played by the Immigration Bureau is that of developing the procedures for refugee recognition and making determinations as to whether a foreign national seeking asylum in Japan should be recognized as a refugee.

The immigration report entitled “Immigration Control”, first published in 1959, has now reached its 21th edition. “Immigration Control” was a publication which only summarized the trends in immigration control administration over a five-year period until 2003. However, given the accelerated pace of changes in the conditions affecting Japan’s immigration control policies, immigration control administration has had to incorporate various new measures so as to be able to respond properly. In line with the rapid changes, starting 2004, the “Immigration Control” report has been published annually mainly summarizing the trends in immigration control administration over a twelve-month period.

The 2015 Immigration Control Report gives a brief description of the operations of the Immigration Bureau and, while looking back over the changes in the operations which took place over the past five years from 2010 to 2014, gives a summary of the recent circumstances and policies of immigration control administration, focusing mainly on the actions taken in FY 2014, such as formulation of the Basic Plan for Immigration Control (5th edition), revision of the system of technical intern training, the efforts toward the achievement of a tourism-oriented country intended to attract more foreign tourists to Japan, and the measures taken for stringent prevention of the entry of possible terrorists at the port of entry. Part I, entitled “Immigration Control in Recent Years,” introduces, based on statistical data, such topics as foreign nationals entering and departing from Japan (Chapter 1), foreign nationals residing in Japan (Chapter 2), implementation of the system of technical intern training (Chapter 3), Japanese nationals departing from and returning to Japan (Chapter 4), deportation procedures for foreign nationals (Chapter 5), recognition of refugee status (Chapter 6), and promotion of measures against trafficking in persons and proper protection of foreign victims of domestic violence (Chapter 7). Part II, entitled “Major Policies Related to Immigration Control Administration”, gives formulation of the Basic Plan for Immigration Control (5th edition) (Chapter 1), outline of the amendment of the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act (Chapter 2), promotion of the acceptance of highly-skilled foreign nationals (Chapter 3), smooth and strict implementation of immigration examination at the port of entry (Chart 4), measures against illegal or imposter foreign residents in Japan (Chapter 5), promotion of appropriate and prompt refugee protection (Chapter 6), responses to international society and international situations (Chapter 7), improvement of public relations activities and public services (Chapter 8), policy for the achievement of a symbiotic society co-existing with foreign nationals (Chart 9). Furthermore, the data section features the outline of Japan’s immigration control system and related statistics in recent years. Finally, we hope through this report that immigration control administration will prove to be beneficial and easy to understand.