TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Japan deported 70 Filipinos overstayers aboard a chartered plane on Saturday to avoid the huge expense of individual enforced repatriations, sources close to the matter said.
The Filipinos, who had been held at detention facilities run by the Justice Ministry's Immigration Bureau for being in Japan illegally, were flown to Manila, the sources said.
According to the Immigration Bureau, Japan previously issued written deportation orders for illegal immigrants to return home at their own expense by air or sea. But in the event an illegal alien refuse to do so, Japan had to pay their travel expenses, as well as the cost of an immigration official escort.
Additionally, there have been cases where illegal immigrants behaved violently to avoid being sent home, prompting airlines to refuse to board them.
Thus the ministry concluded deporting overstayers by chartered aircraft would avoid endangering or inconveniencing the flying public, while saving money compared to the cost of sending overstayers back individually, the sources said.
The ministry has set aside 30 million yen for such expenses in its fiscal 2013 budget, they added.
According to the bureau, there were 62,000 illegal immigrants in Japan as of January, of whom 5,700 were Filipinos.