TOKYO - The Justice Ministry has begun preparations to put into force a hooligan provision of the immigration law to prevent anti-globalization activists from entering the country to protest the Group of Eight summit meeting to be held in Hokkaido in July.
Relevant ministries and agencies will discuss criteria for defining anti-globalization activists, to whom the provision will be applied for the first time, and seek additional information from other countries.
The hooligan provision was added when Japan's Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Law was revised in 2001 and enforced in 2002 to keep hooligans out of the country for the 2002 World Cup soccer finals.
The provision states immigration authorities can refuse entry to people who have injured, assaulted, threatened or killed people or damaged buildings to disrupt international sports events or meetings.
It also disallows entry to people who have been imprisoned in Japan or other countries or have been deported before if immigration officials believe they might be involved in similar actions again.
Under the provision, 19 hooligans were prohibited from entering the country in 2002. The provision has not been applied in other cases.
Unions and environmental protection groups have often been involved in protests against economic globalization, which activists assert has widened the gaps between rich and poor and harmed the environment.
© 2007 Times Argus