Japan and international refugee protection norms : explaining non-complianceJapan and international refugee protection norms : explaining non-compliance
Faculty of Law
Law and Development
Asian and Pacific migration journal
24(2015):4, p. 409-431
University of Antwerp
Despite being a wealthy democracy and strong supporter of the international system, Japan has consistently recognized very few refugees. This article explores this conundrum. Specifically, it asks whether Japans low recognition rate signifies a lack of compliance with norms of international refugee protection and, after concluding in the affirmative, why this might be the case. The latter question is addressed systematically, using rationalist, normative and domestic institutional theories of international compliance. After proposing several potential factors, this article concludes by discussing how these factors can be addressed so as to promote a higher rate of Japanese refugee recognition.