A first in Japan: Tokyo will grant refugee status to Turkish Kurd

The Tokyo government will give refugee status to a Kurdish man from Turkey in what is seen as the first such case in Japan.

A photo exhibition is held in Tokyo in June 2020 on Kurds seeking asylum in Japan. | KYODO

Duvar English 

Japan is preparing for the first time to grant refugee status to a Kurdish man from Turkey, according to reporting by Medyascope. The man in his 20s will be the first Turkish Kurd that will be granted this status.

The Turkish national went to Japan in 2014 and later applied for refugee status. However, his application was initially turned down by the Japanese authorities. The man filed an appeal with the High Court, seeking a revocation of the ruling. The Japanese High Court recognized the man as a refugee on the grounds that he had been tortured by the military and others for “sending food to a separatist group in Turkey,” Medyascope said, citing Kyodo News agency. 

The High Court reportedly ruled that there were "objective circumstances that would lead to a fear of his persecution" in Turkey.

The Japan Lawyers Network for Refugees said that the refugee applications of Iranian and Syrian Kurds were previously accepted, but this is the first time that a Turkish Kurd will be granted such status.