Japan rejects more than 99 per cent of refugees attempting to claim asylum in the country, accepting only 28 people in 2016. That was an increase of one person on 2015’s refugee intake. The country approved a further 97 people for Japanese residence on humanitarian grounds last year.
Japan saw its highest ever number of applicants for refugee status in 2016, at 10,901, an increase of 3,315 compared to the previous year. Around 30 per cent of migrants living in the country said they were abused for being foreign, according to a government survey.
Refugee advocates have argued Japan – which has one of the wealthiest economies in the world - has a humanitarian duty to do more, especially given its shrinking population.
But Japan’s population is ageing rapidly and is predicted to fall by 40 million by 2060, to 87 million people. The population is currently 127 million.