A persistent health crisis | Immigration Control Act

A persistent health crisis | Immigration Control Act | Harassed karateka

In the press review of Wednesday April 7, we will discuss: the anniversary of the first state of emergency, the UN intervening on a bill, and a harassed karate champion who makes the technical director resign.

Japan, 1 year after the state of emergency

It has now been a year since the Japanese government declared a state of emergency linked to the coronavirus. The country is still in a precarious situation today and fears a new wave of COVID-19 cases. A fourth wave seems imminent, as variant cases continue to spread with less effective restrictions. Experts say if the government had not lifted its first state of emergency on May 25, the virus would not have continued to grow so much. Experts at the time wanted to extend it until mid-June. However, there are issues in tackling the virus that weren’t there a year ago. “With an increase in the movement of people at all times of the day and with the issue of variant strains, we are facing a more difficult situation than before”, said Shigeru Omi, chairman of the Japanese National Health Agency.

UN oversees immigration bill

In February, the government introduced a bill to revise the Immigration Control Act to address the issue of long-term detention of foreign nationals. A UN panel of experts calls on the Japanese government to review its immigration control bill. The group pointed out that a bill could violate the international covenant on civil rights. The UN said to itself “Seriously concerned” by a clause which allows the expulsion of people who have applied for refugee status more than three times. This clause could violate the principle of non-refoulement, which prohibits the expulsion of people to a country where they could be persecuted. Under a revision of the bill, new provisions on a “Surveillance measure” and an “Additional protection” would be added to the law. The surveillance measure would allow detained foreigners to live outside detention facilities under certain conditions.

A karateka files a harassment complaint

Japan Karate Federation (FJK) technical director Masao Kagawa resigned on April 7. This following harassment complaints from world champion Ayumi Uekusa. Kagawa is also leaving the Federation’s board of directors. According to Uekusa, Kagawa hit his face with a bamboo sword during practice on January 27, resulting in a bruise in his left eye, and it damaged his self-esteem. She was not allowed to join the national team’s training camp in March. The federation had previously declared that bamboo swords are dangerous and should not be used in training. The technical director claimed that he did not intentionally injure the champion’s eye and that “Part of the training”. However, he apologized on the morning of April 7, “I’ve been teaching karate to athletes for many years, but it’s all my fault”. Then he added: “I’m really sorry for her”. The Federation is expected to hold a board meeting on April 9 and decide on punitive measures against Kagawa.


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