Japan’s immigration agency said Friday that it will begin a program in April to help foreigners fleeing conflict zones such as war-hit Ukraine to adjust to living in Japan.
Under revisions to the immigration law, individuals from conflict zones whose circumstances do not qualify them for refugee status will be eligible for the six-month or one-year program to study Japanese and learn about the country’s laws and customs. The scheme also includes financial aid.
The scheme was designed mainly to help Ukrainian evacuees living in Japan, whose numbers top 2,500.
The current immigration law makes living support programs available for people granted refugee status. Japan is a signatory to the U.N. convention on refugees, but is known for its stringent refugee policy limiting the number it accepts.
The upcoming support scheme is part of a new system that the Immigration Services Agency of Japan will begin on Dec. 1 to grant evacuees from Ukraine and similar displaced persons long-term resident status with a working visa under the revised immigration law.
The agency will also continue providing up to two years of financial support to cover the living expenses to Ukrainian evacuees who do not have anyone to sponsor them.
Source : Kyodo News