Japanese Language Schools and Vocational Schools Pledge to Help Ukrainian Refugees

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March 16, 2022

TOKYO — Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, 12 Japanese language and vocational schools formed a group to provide Ukrainian refugees based in Japan with free language lessons and other forms of support.

The group aims to help more than 100 of these people and is currently raising the necessary funds through crowdfunding.

According to a person linked to the project, participating organizations are keen to warmly welcome refugees who come to Japan.

Norito Hiraoka, director of the Seifu Institute of Information Technology in Osaka, urged other educational organizations to join the project, saying, “Based on our experience of accepting foreign students, we can support people whose lives have been endangered by [Russia’s] scandalous invasion.

Japan’s Justice Minister Yoshihisa Furukawa, right, meets with Ukraine’s Ambassador to Japan Sergiy Korsunsky at the Justice Ministry building in Tokyo on Saturday to pledge Japan’s acceptance of refugees.
The Yomiuri Shimbun

National educational organizations headquartered in places such as Tokyo and Kumamoto Prefecture are among the participants. The group will work closely with Pathways Japan, a Tokyo-based non-governmental organization with experience helping Syrian refugees.

The group will accept Ukrainian refugees between the ages of 18 and 30, with each organization accepting up to approximately 10 refugees each. It will also provide each person with ¥150,000 when they arrive in Japan and ¥50,000 per month until they can establish a stable life.

Participating organizations will provide essentially free courses and cover travel expenses for refugees in Japan. In addition to teaching the Japanese language, the group also plans to help people find part-time jobs, offer advice on topics such as how to sort and dispose of household trash and help with administrative procedures. Assistance will also be offered to obtain full-time employment or to access higher education depending on each individual’s Japanese language skills.

The group hopes to raise around 60 million yen through its crowdfunding initiative and support will be provided for up to two years.

If Ukrainian refugees are unable to reach Japan, the group intends to use the donated funds to provide educational support for Ukrainians living in Japan, or donate the money to the embassy. from Ukraine to Japan.

Hiraoka, who is also the group’s representative, said, “We would like to provide the kind of support that will allow Ukrainian refugees to live safely in Japan.

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, as of Saturday, around 2.7 million refugees had fled Ukraine to neighboring countries. These countries, Japan and the member countries of the European Union have all announced that they will accept Ukrainian refugees.

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