ISSJ provides a wide range of consultation services for refugees and migrant families in Japan in order to facilitate their integration into Japanese society.
We take into consideration each person’s background in fleeing persecution so as to provide the most appropriate form of support, such as life counseling and home visits. Utilizing our expertise in social work, we take a holistic approach of working not just with the individuals but with their families and communities as well.
For details of our services, please see below.
1) Counseling on Health, Welfare, and Social Integration
For refugees and migrants, life in Japan is often vastly different from what they are used to in their countries of origin. Without knowing where to turn for help, many find themselves at a loss about how to adapt to a new life. ISSJ provides consultation on various matters such as healthcare, pregnancy and childbirth, education and development for children, poverty, family relationships and other challenges encountered in daily life in Japan.
We provide information on available social resources and procedures according to each person’s situation and needs. We assist people in understanding their own circumstances and obtaining appropriate services. For those facing difficulties accessing medical care due to their residence status or language barriers, we make appointments at hospitals for them.
2) Counseling for Asylum Seekers in Detention (Currently suspended due to the COVID-19 outbreak)
Among people arriving in Japan to escape persecution, those denied entry at the airport or without a valid permit of residence are subject to the possibility of being held at a detention center of the Immigration Bureau. Without knowing when they might be released, detainees suffer from restrictions on their freedom that can often lead to serious damage to their mental and physical health.
ISSJ regularly meets with the detainees and provides necessary information on legal procedures and services they can benefit from once they are provisionally released. These counseling services are provided at Tokyo Immigration Bureau (Shinagawa), East Japan Immigration Center (Ushiku), Narita airport, and other regional immigration bureaus.
3) Supporting Refugee Communities
There are areas where people from the same country, region, language, and religion of origin live together and support one another, forming a loose network. We call it the migrant community. As the diversity of foreign residents grows, communities of all sizes have emerged across Japan. Some communities are made up of people with and without refugee backgrounds.
We support their social integration into Japanese society through close collaboration with related organizations and municipalities to address and find solutions for challenges faced by both the migrants and host communities.
4) Workshops and Lectures
We organize workshops on topics such as mental health, family support and multicultural social work to promote deeper understanding of the plight of refugees and migrants. . We also give lectures at the request of universities and other organizations.
ISSJ works in close cooperation with many other welfare-related organizations to provide enhanced support to migrants who have diverse backgrounds, including refugees and asylum seekers. . We are entrusted to implement various projects with funding from the Nippon Foundation and other organizations.