The Philippines on Tuesday plans to repatriate two of four Japanese detainees believed to be involved in a string of robberies across Japan, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla said Monday.
Having been cleared of local charges, Kiyoto Imamura and Toshiya Fujita, both 38, are set to be deported to Japan.
A decision on whether to dismiss local charges pending against the remaining two -- Yuki Watanabe, 38, considered a leader in the robberies, and Tomonobu Kojima, 45 -- will be made Tuesday morning, the judge in charge of the case said Monday.
The criminal lawsuits they are facing are unrelated to the robberies in Japan and have hampered the deportation process.
Japan has sought the transfer of all four Japanese suspects after police obtained arrest warrants on suspicion of theft in connection with a scam targeting elderly people in the country.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department on Monday dispatched around 15 investigators to Manila to facilitate the transfer.
The four suspects likely include the person or persons thought to have masterminded several robberies in Japan under the pseudonyms "Luffy" and "Kim" since last year.
They have also allegedly stolen more than 6 billion yen ($46 million) in scams targeting elderly people in Japan, according to police.