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Two Japanese may be deported for joining anti-nuclear rally

2011/05/01 14:25:52

Taipei, May 1 (CNA) Two Japanese citizens could be deported forattending an anti-nuclear rally in Taipei Saturday, as Taiwanofficials said the pair's participation in the protest was contraryto the stated purpose of their visit to Taiwan.

The National Immigration Agency (NIA) said Sunday it will assessthe police video footage of the protest and will decide whether ornot to deport Ayako Oga and Saeko Uno.

Thousands of people took to the streets Saturday to urge thegovernment to stop construction of Taiwan's fourth nuclear powerplant and pursue a more sustainable energy policy.

Among them were Oga and Uno, who are both from FukushimaPrefecture where the March 11 earthquake and tsunami caused severedamage to a nuclear power plant and led to the worst nuclear crisisin Japan's history.

The two Japanese citizens gave remarks and sang a song at therally, but police said this was against regulations as the two womenwere in Taiwan on tourist visas.

City police warned the pair that they risked breaking the law,but Oga and Uno, in their late 30s, remained at the rally.

The NIA said their actions were in violation of Article 29 of theEnforcement Rules of the Immigration Act, which bars foreignnationals from taking part in activities or work that do not matchthe stated purpose of their visit to Taiwan.

However, an NIA official said that the Japanese nationals'anti-nuclear stance was understandable in light of the disaster thathad occurred in their hometown.

Based on human rights considerations and the video evidenceproduced by the city police, the NIA will decide whether or not todeport the two Japanese, the official said.

"We will not force them to leave the country simply because theysaid a few words on stage (at the rally)," the official added.

(By Johnson Sun and Alex Jiang)