Japan will let Myanmar citizens remain in the country legally even after their visas expire, in response to deteriorating political conditions in the Southeast Asian nation following the military coup, reported Nikkei Asia.
The exemption applies to students and technical interns who could face trouble returning home. They can choose to study or work in Japan for another six or 12 months, according to the plans outlined by the country’s Immigration Services Agency to lawmakers on Wednesday.
If the political situation in Myanmar fails to improve, these Myanmar citizens will be able to apply for another extension.
On February 1, the Myanmar military overthrew the civilian government and declared a year-long state of emergency. The coup triggered mass protests and was met by deadly violence.
According to Nikkei Asia, Japan also will accelerate the screening process for refugees, and allow applicants from Myanmar to stay and work in the country without that status.
It further reported that the Myanmar junta has fired two diplomats stationed in Tokyo for speaking out against the military’s crackdown on pro-democracy protesters. The Japanese government is looking to grant the diplomats visas, such as those designated for highly skilled professionals.
There were 35,049 Myanmar citizens living in Japan as of the end of 2020, Nikkei Asia reported citing a preliminary data released by the Immigration Services Agency. A total of 2,944 were seeking asylum at the end of March.
At least 828 people have been confirmed to be killed since the military takeover on February 1, according to Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP). (ANI)