Report:Symposium “Questions from University Students – Refugees in Japan, their Situation and Problems”

A symposium was held on January 16, 2018, “Questions from university students – refugees in Japan, their situation and problems”.


When we hear the words, “Refugee problem”, we might think that it is a problem somewhere in a distant country, but in reality, many refugees live here in Japan. In the symposium, 5 panelists, Mr. Yasuhiro Hishida of the Ministry of Justice, Mr. Toshikazu Kawaiuchi of UNHCR Tokyo Office, Mr. Kiyoko Ikegami as a refugee examination counselor, Mr. Tadamasa Fukiura of Social Welfare Foundation Support 21, Howa Gum Lat Zau of UNHCR Refugee Higher Education Program Scholars, took the rostrum and answered the questions from the students.


The students’ questions touched on key aspects.  Why is Japan accepting only a few refugees?   Why do a few people who are not in the refugee’s situation  apply for asylum?   It might not be the best way to sort out the real refugee, not to solve the fundamental problem of the country that creates refugees…

What we understood from the panelists’ answers was the difficult situation of the problems about refugees in Japan. There are various people, such as refugee qualifiers and pending applicants, they have different nationalities, and each of them has various problems.

It seems that this symposium made students consider all sides of the refugee issue.

(Kotomi Masuda, Student, Department of International Studies)