23,487 asylum-seekers applied for refugee status in Japan in the past three years, but only 66 were recognized!

Now the worst refugee crisis since World War II has been emerging. About 65 million men, women and children are now in urgent need of protection worldwide (in 2015). This means one in every 113 people in the world is either an asylum-seeker, an internally displaced person or a refugee, and the number of such forcibly displaced people is still growing.

Many people have come to seek asylum to Japan as well. The number of people applying for refugee status in Japan has been increasing sharply in recent years. In 2016, 10,901 people applied for refugee status in Japan while only 28 were recognized as refugees. The total number of the last three years (2014-2016) amounts to 23,487 applicants, but only 66 were recognized.
What can we do in Japan? Refugee crisis shaking the world

If you find refugees escaping from war and persecution around you, what do you do?

When we realize the reality that our lives in Japan are closely connected to the world, the international responsibility sharing is inevitable. But Japan has gained a bad reputation as hosting very limited number of refugees and being sealed off to the outside world. Nevertheless, we would like to pay attention that grass-roots activities of opening our heart to refugees and providing help for them are now growing. The acceptance of refugees through private sponsorship has just started.

As we live on the same planet in the same period, we do not want to exclude displaced people. What can we do in Japan in order to say, "Refugees Welcome"? Let's think this over and discuss it!


Date: Sunday, 2 July 2017, 11:00-16:30
Osaka Municipal Housing Information Center


Part 1: What can we do in Japan? Refugee crises shaking the world (11:00-13:00)
  • Introduction
  • Lecture 1: "Because we are living on the same planet" / Ms. Yukari Ando, specially appointed assistant professor, Osaka University
  • Lecture 2: "Accepting refugees in a country with a population of 5.4 million, Finland"/ Ms. Yuko Kametani
  • Questions and answers

Part 2: Refugees Welcome! (14:00-16:30)
  • Voices from refugees in Japan
  • Lecture 3: "Private sponsorship for Syrian refugees in Japan" / Mr. Norimasa Orii, JAR (Japan Association for Refugees)
  • Lecture 4: "Supporting refugees at Nanmin House in Osaka" / Ms. Keiko Tanaka, RAFIQ
  • Lecture 5: "Refugee homestays in Kanto" / Ms. Sayaka Watanabe, WELgee
  • Reports from refugee supporting organizations
Photos and paintings from Afghanistan, Syria and Burma under military administration will be exhibited, and some NGOs in Kansai will set up a booth to introduce their activities of supporting refugees.


Organisers: World Refugee Day 2017: West Japan Assembly Organising Committee
Affiliated Organisations: BRC-J (Burmese Relief Centre Japan); PASTEL (Ritsumeikan University's Refugee Research Group);
J-FUN Youth Kansai (K.G.); RAWA;; Neo Namin Cafe Netowrk; RAFIQ,
Supporters: UNHCR Japan; Amnesty International Japan; JLNR; JAR; FRJ
Cooperators:Nanmin Now!

Office:RAFIQ Japan (The Network aiming at the Coexistence with the Refugees in Japan)

OSAKA NanminHouse, 4-9-13 Higashimikuni Yodogawa_ku, Oosaka City, 532-0002
Tel/fax: 06-6335-4440

Copyright (C) World Refugee Day 2017: West Japan Assembly Organising Committee, All Rights Reserved.