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Rallies against revising immigration law held across Japan after Sri Lankan detainee's death

People take to the streets to protest against issues including moves to revise Japan's immigration law, in Nagoya's Naka Ward on Sept. 4, 2022. (Mainichi/Shunsuke Yamashita) =Click/tap photo for more images.

NAGOYA -- People took to the streets in 10 cities across Japan on Sept. 4 to protest against issues including moves to amend the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act to make controls on the residency of foreign nationals in the country even stricter.

    Some 70 people marched through the bustling streets of Nagoya's Sakae downtown area holding banners and signs, such as ones reading "We oppose revising the immigration law."

    The rallies were organized by the Nyukan no Minzoku Sabetsu Jinken Shingai to Tatakau Zenkoku Shimin Rengo (National citizens union to tackle ethnic discrimination and human rights violations by immigration bureaus). Participants also demanded the full disclosure of security camera footage of Wishma Sandamali, a Sri Lankan woman who died at age 33 while she was detained at the Nagoya Regional Immigration Services Bureau in the city of Nagoya in March 2021.

    The woman's younger sister Poornima, who joined the rally, urged, "By having people of Japan watch the (security camera) footage, they can understand how foreigners are being treated. We want the establishment of rules to prevent similar victims."

    In a lawsuit filed by Wishma's bereaved family seeking damages from the Japanese government, the state has refused to disclose the entire footage saying that it is not necessary to examine all of it.

    (Japanese original by Shunsuke Yamashita, Nagoya News Center)

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