TOKYO: The Immigration Services Agency of Japan gave refugee status this month to 98 people who fled to the country following the collapse of the Afghan government in August last year, sources said Thursday.
The 98 people from 18 households include those who worked at the Japanese Embassy in Afghanistan and their families, according to the Japanese government sources.
The number is unusually large for Japan, which recognized only 74 foreigners as refugees in 2021 though the result was an annual record high for the country.
The record has already been rewritten due to the latest recognition of refugees from Afghanistan.
Japan is known for its strict refugee policies, giving the status to only a fraction of applicants.
People recognized as refugees by the Japanese government are given resident status. They will be granted permanent residency if they meet some conditions.
The Taliban Islamist group took power in Afghanistan after capturing its capital, Kabul.
Japan accepts local staff of the embassy and the Japan International Cooperation Agency who wish to move to the country.
According to the Immigration Services Agency, some 820 people from Afghanistan had entered Japan by Aug. 15 this year.