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HOME  > Past issues  > 2023 November 8 - 14  > JCP Motomura calls for urgent support for asylum seekers rough sleeping in Tokyo park
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2023 November 8 - 14 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

JCP Motomura calls for urgent support for asylum seekers rough sleeping in Tokyo park

November 9, 2023
Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Representatives Motomura Nobuko on November 8 at a House Judicial Affairs Committee meeting took up the issue that nearly two dozen foreigners, who had applied for refugee status in Japan due to fear of persecution and serious human rights violations in their native country, sleep outside in a Tokyo park, and demanded the government’s urgent action.

Motomura pointed out that the Foreign Ministry recognizes that those asylum seekers’ home country is experiencing serious human rights violations and humanitarian crises. She said that although they had fled their homes in search of safety and protection, they have to live on the streets of Tokyo and cannot buy food because they have no money. She added that some of them have become ill because they sleep without shelter even in the rain.

The JCP lawmaker demanded that as support measures, the government offer emergency accommodation to the refugee applicants in question without delay by using an assistance project operated by the government-commissioned Refugee Assistance Headquarters (RHQ).

Justice Minister Koizumi Ryuji in response expressed his intent to conduct a fact-finding survey on this matter.

Motomura noted that despite a surge of people seeking refugee status recognition and protection, only seven RHQ staff members are assigned to the assistance project. She said that this is inadequate to provide sufficient assistance, such as securing emergency housing. She urged the government to allocate more budget to the RHQ in order to increase the number of RHQ workers and improve their working conditions without delay.

Parliamentary Vice-Ministers for Foreign Affairs Fukazawa Yoichi in reply only said that the ministry will make as much effort as possible.
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