Japanese Civil Society Groups Helping Support Refugee Entrepreneurs

Japanese Civil Society Groups Helping Support Refugee Entrepreneurs

Japan is famous for its unfriendly civil attitude towards immigration. Although the doors have been gradually open to professionals however, the Japanese government isn’t willing to accept migrants with low skills except with temporary work permits and has been extremely unwilling to accept refugees.

Even the refugee crisis of 2015 did not change Japan’s policy of closed doors. While nations like Canada, the United States, Canada and Venezuela have taken on the admission of tens of thousands applicants, Japan has announced it will only take 150 Syrian students and their families over the next five years. While this is a major improvement for Japan however, it is much too low.

Discordant Attitudes Civil

Its indifferent attitudes to accepting refugees, and its inability to provide sufficient. Assistance as well as its active involvement beyond its borders is frequently criticize by media, NGOs and academics.

Japan is among the largest contributors of funds to the UN refugee agency. In addition, the Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has announced a number of measures that included the donation of US$2.8 billion to host communities and refugees at the summit of leaders held in New York in September 2016. Despite this huge financial commitment, Japan’s refugee acceptance rate is quite low (less than 1percent of all application applications for 2015).

In the process of processing 3,898 asylum applications in Japan in the year that end in June Only 27 of them were recognize as refugees. The figure also included asylum seekers who had appealed to the government’s decision to not take their asylum claim in the past. Add on the 79 who received special status to remain in Japan due to humanitarian reasons and the total is close to 100.

Refugees are allow to work with no restrictions. However, asylum seekers are unable to work if they have sought asylum while within Japan legally

Asylum seekers who apply following the expiration of their visas are expire are transfer in an immigration detention center. A few may be grant a temporary release or permit to remain in the outside of the centre. However, they will not be able to work.

Civil Society Comes In

Due to the institution restrictions facing refugees and asylum applicants, Japanese civil society and businesses are slowly working to assist refugees in gaining acceptance by supporting those who are seeking to establish their own companies.

The non-profit organization based in Tokyo, Entrepreneurship Support Program for Refugee Empowerment (ESPRE), is the only public-interest foundation that government has authorized to provide microfinance for refugees. Through a partnership together with Japan Association for Refugees and Social Venture Partners Tokyo, ESPRE provides loans of up to a million yen (about $8,000) to refugees and gives additional support through business-related advice.

The kinds of ventures ESPRE has funded include food service to trading enterprises. For example one of them is one Burmese former lecturer at a university. Who was grant asylum Japan and has reside in Japan for more than 20 years. Has opened an Myanmar eatery in Tokyo with the help of ESPRE in 2012.

And Vietnamese refugee Minami Masakazu who emigrated from her home in the teen years. He was also assist to establish a renown Vietnamese eatery in Tokyo. ESPRE has also assisted an Pakistani businessman who owns an enterprise that trades used Japanese automobiles. The business was first targeted for the market in Mozambique and has since been expanded into other markets.

Corporates are also embracing the concept of helping refugees through entrepreneurial ventures. Uber Japan, for instance began an initiative in 2014 asking. Its customers to make donations the charity ESPRE and an accountancy. That is anonymous offers pro bono assistance to refugees who are entrepreneurs, according the director of ESPRE, Masaru Yoshiyama.

Every Kind Of Benefit

Practitioners and academics working with refugees have reported the positive impacts of entrepreneurship. Both on the host society and the refugees.

In the beginning it gives refugees a sense of empowerment. It’s not difficult for refugees to be overwhelmed and feel unsure in the event. That they are dependent on government aid. People can restore their independence and confidence by running an enterprise. Making money and participating in the community they live in as a volunteer.

Organizations like ESPRE do not only assist them in financing projects as well as reducing. The language barrier of which Japan is known as a notorious country. To help with this, ESPRE holds English-language orientation sessions in which business experts and accountants. Provide guidance on the best civil ways to manage a company within the country.

It is also widely accepted that refugees can benefit their local economies by creating job opportunities. For example, the Myanmar Restaurant owner from Tokyo is an example. The owner of a restaurant in Tokyo has begun hiring students and refugees. While this hasn’t occurred in Japan the other countries, refugees who own businesses frequently employ locals.

Furthermore, the refugees’ involvement in self-generating activities in the economy can alter. The perception of people of them as a burden on society. This reduces the negative perception of the public toward refugees.