Following the Taliban’s de facto seizure of power on 15 August, requests for cooperation in evacuation have been received from Afghans with ties to Japan, including former international students, people involved in ODA projects and NGO staff, and their appeals are still ongoing to citizens nationwide. On 9 September, four organisations – Association for Aid and Relief, Shanti Volunteer Association, Pathways Japan (PJ) and Peace Winds Japan – jointly submitted a request to the government, urging the public and private sectors to work together to create a sufficient system to accept the refugees and to proceed with accepting those who have guarantors. The four organisations have submitted a request to the Government jointly on 9 September.
｜Content of the request submitted to the Government
｜Result of your support for the request
We received the following endorsements for this request.
■Endorsing organisations: 87 organisations List of endorsing organisations (30 September)
■Endorsers: 785 people (government, universities, legal organisations, international associations, public interest corporations, NGOs/NPOs, international student support groups, Japanese language schools and other related organisations, lawyers, medical professionals, Japanese language teachers, citizens, students, etc.)
｜Current situation and issues
Later in October, a Qatar Airways place arranged by the Japanese government brought on board people who were originally scheduled to board the Self Defense Forces plane dispatched by the government in August. In addition to former embassy staff and former JICA staff, some former international students and NGO staff were able to come to Japan (however, only embassy and JICA staff were accompanied by their families). In addition, some of them were able to obtain visas and come to Japan on their own.
However, many visa applications have not been approved for issuance even after more than two months, and commercial flights by air from Kabul were suspended during the month of October, so the evacuation of the private sector people has not progressed much. However, whether or not people will be able to evacuate to Japan depends on the government’s future policies and cooperation between the public and private sectors.
In response to the above, the four organisations that supported the September 9 request formed the Consortium for Acceptance of Evacuees from Afghanistan and are preparing to open a “help desk” for acceptance. As soon as the contact information is ready, we will be announce it on the PJ website.
In addition, a new letter of request was submitted to the government on November 5 jointly by the Consortium for Acceptance of Evacuees from Afghanistan, NAMIN Forum and Save the Children Japan, requesting the government’s response to the current challenges.
While many people throughout Japan are working hard to accept Afghan refugees, the four organisations will continue to work together as the Consortium for Acceptance of Afghan Evacuees to consolidate and disseminate information and promote advocacy efforts. We will continue to deepen dialogue between the government and the private sector, and cooperate with NGOs/NPOs, universities, educational institutions and businesses in each region to accept people seeking safety, and to enable them to live independently in Japanese society.