Japanese laws making it easier for the country to deport failed asylum seekers took effect Monday, with campaigners warning that the new system will put lives at risk, Report informs via AFP.

The world’s fourth-largest economy has long been criticized for the low number of asylum applications it accepts. Last year refugee status was granted to a record 303 people, mostly from Afghanistan.

Now the government can deport asylum seekers rejected three times, under immigration law changes enacted last year.

Previously, those seeking refugee status had been able to stay in the country while they appealed decisions, regardless of the number of attempts made.

The revised law is “meant to swiftly deport those without permission to stay, and help reduce long-term detentions”, Justice Minister Ryuji Koizumi said in May.

“Those who need protection will be protected, while those who violate the rules will be dealt with sternly,” he added.