On the first anniversary of the start of the war in Ukraine

24th February, 2023
Pathways Japan

Today marks the first anniversary of the start of the war following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.an event that began shortly after 5:00 a.m. local time on February 24, 2022, and which we understand is something most Ukrainians will never forget and should be passed on. Pathways Japan joins with all those affected by this war in remembering those who lost their lives, being close to those in need of support, and strongly seeking for the achievement of peace.

While the world has been greatly affected by this war, Japanese society has also been affected in many ways. The Japanese government, which had previously been known to refuse to accept refugees and displaced persons, was quick to announce that it would accept evacuees from Ukraine, and in response, civil society has extended a great deal of support to the displaced people. We believe that this is a noteworthy event as a new way for the Japanese government and society to contribute to peace and human rights.

Pathways Japan, for its part, with the cooperation of the government, educational institutions, businesses, citizens, and many others, has welcomed 97 Ukrainian refugees into Japanese society through its universities and Japanese language schools partners. We have proposed a model and made recommendations on various occasions\ to ensure that the admission of displaced persons proceeds with adequate preparation and support systems, drawing on our past experience as an organization and the knowledge we have accumulated in the international and Japanese communities.

<Requirements for the Admission of Refugees and Displaced Persons

*Adequate explanation and consent from Japanese society prior to arrival in Japan.
*Support for the start-up of daily life after arrival in Japan.
*Providing information and training to host institutions/persons in advance.
*One and half to two years of Japanese language education (tuition free) required to reach business or higher education level.
*Networking opportunities with local communities
*Mental health support system
*Providing information and support for employment

Together with 18 universities and 25 Japanese language schools that have endorsed the above, we have been able to admit young people and their families. These approximately 100 people are improving their Japanese language skills day by day, expanding their friendships in Japanese society, engaging in part-time jobs, and some of them have already found jobs and are working.

Unfortunately, it will take much more time before peace is achieved in Ukraine, the economy and society are stable, and these young people can return to their homeland to live and work with peace of mind. On the other hand, these talented young people who want to contribute to Japanese society have much to bring to our society. They will also be the link between the newly born Ukrainian community in Japan and Japanese society.

On February 24th, we will renew our commitment to the Ukrainian people who have been welcomed into Japan, and we will continue to support them in their efforts to build a better future for themselves and their families in Japan. We will continue to provide the Ukrainian people with the support they need. Through mutual learning and coexistence with the Ukrainian people, we will do our utmost to ensure that Japanese society will be able to further reach out to all those who have fled conflict and oppression in the future.

*For more information about Japan-Ukraine Education Pathways, please visit our site here.
*Japan-Ukraine Education Pathways program is implemented in partnership with educational institutions that have agreed to accept students free of tuition fees, and is not affiliated with Nippon Academy.