Japan Reverses Pregnant Syrian Refugees Ban

A Japanese program aimed at accepting a small number of refugees from war-torn Syria promised Wednesday to remove language from documents which implied that pregnant women are not welcome to apply.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced in May that immigration-shy Japan, with a population of about 127 million, would accept up to 150 Syrian students over five years from 2017.

That number compares with vastly higher figures in other countries. Norway, with a population of about 5.1 million, has pledged to accept some 9,000 Syrians.

Abe separately pledged at a refugee summit hosted by US President Barack Obama in September that Japan was also prepared to “warmly welcome” family members of the students.

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