The World Refugee Day in Kansai

Come and join us at the World Refugee Day in Kansai

”As the same human beings sharing the same planet and time” 
Every year, June 20 marks the United Nations’ (UN) World Refugee Day.
Around that time, many events for raising awareness of refugee issues take place across the world. In Osaka, too, we organize an annual assembly.
What would you do, if we encounter asylum seekers who had fled from an armed conflict or persecution? Why don’t we learn more about refugees? Is there anything we can do for them?

Date: 23 June (Sun) 11:30 〜 16:30 (The doors open at 11:00.)
Venue: Osaka Municipal Housing Information Center
  http://www.osaka-angenet.jp/access/
Fees: general ¥1000 student ¥500
  Refugees are welcome. English interpreters will be available.
Organizer: World Refugee Day Executive Committee
Inquiries: refugeekansai@gmail.com

Theme of this year: Do you truly care about PEOPLE around you?

Program:

  • 11:00- Exhibition booths, photo exhibitions, panel exhibitions
  • 11:30- Assembly Part 1
    • Introduction “Refugee issues in Japan”Mr. Katsuya SODA (Representative, Nanmin Now!)
  • Keynote address 1 “How does the world look at Japan’s human rights situation?”
    • Mr. Nobuki FUJIMOTO (Researcher, Asia-Pacific Human Rights Information Center [Hurights Osaka])
  • Keynote address 2 “A country in which you would not be recognized as a refugee even if you won a case”
    • Mr. Shogo WATANABE (Representative, Japan Lawyers Network for Refugees)
  • 15:00- Assembly Part 2
  • A talk by a refugee in Japan “Please listen to our voices”
    • Mr. M (a refugee settled in Osaka)
  • A report from the site of supporting refugees
    • Ms. Keiko TANAKA (coleader, RAFIQ)
  • 16:30 Closing time

A message from the organizer

The number of international visitors to Japan reached a record high of approximately 31.19 million in 2018, and now we constantly see many tourists even in the Kansai area. On top of them, many people from overseas live in our community. Now we have approximately 2.73 million foreign residents in Japan including about 1.46 million foreign workers. Then, the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act was significantly revised, and new residency categories were created to allow more foreign workers to enter the workforce in Japan from this April. Therefore, the number of foreign residents in Japan is expected to further increase. Despite the current situation of Japan as a de facto ‘country with many immigrants’, the awareness of human rights of non-Japanese residents stays low, let alone refugees. The number of asylum seekers who applied for refugee status in Japan in 2018 was 10,493, but only 42 were recognized as refugees. Immigrants and refugees are our fellow human beings. Let’s get to know their situation first and discuss what we can do to live together harmoniously as humans.