The government and ruling parties plan to resubmit a revision bill to Japan's immigration law, government sources said Thursday, retaining a controversial proposal that triggered criticism and led to its withdrawal in 2021.

The proposal is that foreign nationals who apply for refugee status more than twice would be eligible for deportation, an issue almost certain to provoke a backlash from opposition parties when the bill is submitted to the ordinary Diet session set to convene Jan. 23.

The move also comes as the government aims to revise the principle of detaining illegal immigrants in immigration facilities.

In 2021, cross-party discussions to amend the proposed changes made progress but later broke down after ruling parties refused to authorize the release of security camera footage showing 33-year-old Sri Lankan detainee Ratnayake Liyanage Wishma Sandamali before her death at the Nagoya Regional Immigration Services Bureau that year.

Deceased Sri Lankan detainee Ratnayake Liyanage Wishma Sandamali's sisters, Wayomi (L) and Poornima, attend a press conference on Jan. 12, 2023, at the parliament building in Tokyo to oppose a bill the government plans to resubmit to an upcoming Diet session to revise Japan's immigration law. (Kyodo)

In 2022, the government and ruling bloc also shelved plans to table the bill.

The bill would make clear Japan's intention to depart from its current "detention-centered" model, the sources said.

Under the new system, supporters are required to oversee detainees under the "supervisory measures" system to temporarily allow individuals who overstay and others to live in society.

The latest version of the bill reduces the initially proposed level of responsibility on such supporters by removing the requirements for them to submit regular reports.

The possible changes also include clear stipulations on how it is determined that a person should be put under supervisory measures, and says judgment must be taken every three months over whether an individual should continue to be detained.

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