ISSJ provides a wide range of consultation services for refugees and asylum seekers 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 counselling 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) Counselling for Asylum Seekers in Detention
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.
2) Counselling on Health, Welfare, and Social Integration
For refugees and asylum seekers, 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, education and development for children, and other challenges encountered in daily life in Japan.
We provide information on administrative services and procedures according to each person’s situation and needs. For those facing difficulties accessing medical care due to their residence status or language barriers, we make appointments at hospitals for them and also accompany them as needed.
3) Supporting Refugee Communities
Some refugees and asylum seekers from the same country or region who share common language and culture live in specific areas of Japan and form their own communities.
We support their social integration into Japanese society through regular visits with these refugee communities and close collaboration with local organizations to address and find solutions for challenges faced by both the refugees and local communities.
4) Workshops and Lectures
From time to time, 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 asylum seekers. 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 refugees and asylum seekers in Japan. As one of the
NGO partners of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), we are entrusted to implement various projects to assist refugees with funding from the Nippon Foundation and other organizations.