List Of Refugee Support Organizations In Japan

Author: Sherry Nguyen
Editor: MinhAnh Nguyen

In this article, we introduce a number of prominent organisations in Japan that offer support and assistance to refugees and asylum seekers in Japan. Please note this list is not exhaustive.

1. Japan for UNHCR 

Japan for UNHCR

UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) was established in 1950 as an organization of the United Nations for supporting refugees around the world. Japan for UNHCR was registered as a “Nintei” NPO (Non-Profit Organization) in June 2003. It helps to provide information regarding global refugee issues and raise awareness among people about the plight of refugees.

Go to their Facebook Page.

2. Japan Association for Refugees

Japan Association for Refugees

Japan Association for Refugees (JAR) was established in September, 1999. As an organization specializing in refugee protection, JAR provides comprehensive assistance for refugees, from when they first arrive in Japan, until they can manage a self-supporting life. Its mission is to guarantee that all refugees will be sheltered and settled down with safety. JAR provides a broad range of services including legal, social and integration support. 

Go to their Facebook Page.

3. Refugee Empowerment Network (REN)

Refugee Empowerment Network (REN)

Refugee Empowerment Network (REN) was founded by Hisako Ishitani in 2001. It is a non-profit organization which helps to build community and provide self-sufficiency for refugees and asylum seekers in Japan and Kenya through educational, economic, and social programs such as Japanese Classes and Tutoring, Yoga and Meditation Classes, Individual Support such as family reunion, etc.

Go to their Facebook Page.

4. International Social Service Japan (ISSJ)

International Social Service Japan (ISSJ)

International Social Service Japan (ISSJ) is a non-profit organization that helps individuals, children and families who are struggling with complicated social welfare issues in Japan due to displacement. It was first authorized by the Ministry of Health and Welfare (now known as the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare) as a social welfare service corporation in 1959. ISSJ provides a wide range of services such as adoption or family reunion across international borders.

Go to their Facebook Page.

5. Amnesty International Japan

Amnesty International Japan

Amnesty international Japan (AI Japan) was founded in 1970 as one of the sections of the biggest human rights non-governmental organization in the world. AI Japan strives to educate people throughout Japan about human rights violations in the various parts of the world as well as globally inform people about human rights conditions in Japan.

Go to their Facebook Page.

6. Support21

Support21

Support 21 was established in 1992 as a social welfare foundation dedicated to help the refugees and returnees from China and Nikkeis (Japanese descendants), etc. to settle down in Japan. It provides scholarship programs for them and their family as well as free and private Japanese lessons on every saturday. Computer lessons and supplemental studies for schoolchildren are also provided. 

Go to their Facebook Page.

7. RAFIQ Japan

RAFIQ was established in 2002 as a Kansai refugee support group. It focuses on helping refugees in the Kansai region who have not received any support, offers a wide range of services including legal support, social support, and livelihood support to needy refugees, as well as  actively engages in educational activities to raise awareness about refugee issues in Japan. 

Go to their Facebook Page.

8. Stateless Network

Stateless Network

Stateless Network was established in January 2009 by Chen Tian-xi as an organization specializing in supporting stateless people. In 2011, it acquired its NPO (Non-Profit Organization) status. It endeavors to build a society in which people will not be judged or discriminated against by their unclear nationality status. Its goal is to continue to support stateless people and raise awareness about this issue domestically and internationally. 

Go to their Facebook Page.

9. Africa Japan Forum (AJF)

Africa Japan Forum (AJF)

Africa Japan Forum (AJF) was established in 1994, following the first Tokyo International Conference on African Development held in the previous year to create a partnership with African people. Its goals are to establish equal partnerships with African people, organize networks of those involved in Africa-related activities and provide support for people and organizations who seek to work to alleviate challenges and difficulties in Africa, etc.

Go to their Facebook Page.

10. Door to Asylum Nagoya

Door to Asylum Nagoya

Due to the influx of asylum seekers in Nagoya, The Nagoya Refugee Support Office was opened in July 2012 to help them have a better and more stable life. Subsequently, Door to Asylum Nagoya was registered as an NPO (Non-Profit Organization) corporation on February 1, 2013. The Nagoya Refugee Support Office (DAN) cooperates with lawyers to listen to refugees’ reasons for not being able to return to their countries, and therefore support them appropriately.

Go to their Facebook Page.

11. Refugees Empowerment International (REI)

Refugee Empowerment International is a Japanese independent non-profit organization which was established in 1979. It funds projects for people who are evicted by conflicts around the world. The aims of these projects are to provide opportunities for them to live an independent life while still being able to stay near their family and make valuable contributions to the local economy. 

Go to their Facebook Page.

12. Japan Committee for UNICEF 

Japan Committee for UNICEF

The UNICEF Representative for Japan was established in August 1949. Its goal is to establish children’s rights as a permanent ethical principle and realize the basic rights of children in the world, especially in developing countries. Together with other 32 developed countries, under the UNICEF Association, Japan Committee for UNICEF is joining various fund-raising activities to ensure long-term development support for children around the world.

Go to their Facebook Page.

13. Japan International Volunteer Center 

Japan International Volunteer Center

Japan International Volunteer Center (JVC) is an international non-governmental organization established in 1980 and based in Tokyo, Japan. It provides assistance in community development, peace exchange and emergency relief in 10 countries/ regions of Asia and Africa such as Thailand, Laos, South Africa, Iraq, Cambodia, etc. JVC also organized various charity concerts to support activities in those countries. 

Go to their Facebook Page.

14. Japanese Red Cross Society 

Japanese Red Cross Society

Japanese Red Cross Society is a non-governmental organization formed on May 1, 1877. The Imperial Family of Japan has traditionally supported the organization, with the Empress Masako of Japan as Honorary President and other Imperial Family members as vice presidents. It conducts a wide range of domestic and international activities such as emergency relief, domestic disaster response, blood programme, medical services, etc.

Go to their Facebook Page.

15. WELgee for asylum seekers in Japan

WELgee for asylum seekers in Japan

WELgee is an organization established in 2019 specializing in social participation and refugee empowerment in Japan. Its goals are to support refugees who have been through conundrums due to displacement and persecution as well as raise awareness among Japanese about the plight of refugees. WELgee’s main program is JobCopass, which is aimed at human resources from Africa, Middle East, and Asia who have fled to Japan from their home countries. 

Go to their Facebook Page.

Image: Photo by Dan Meyers on Unsplash

List Of Refugee Support Organizations In Japan
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