ReadyFor? Living Together 2 Campaign

We want to support the ability of families to live with peace of mind in Japan!

About this project:

In order to support undocumented families in Japan we would like to do three things:
・Establish support groups in 10 locations around the Kanto region
・Hold “Families want to stay together in Japan!” marches
・Submit demand petitions to government officials

Hi, I’m Jotaro Kato, representative of the non-profit organization, APFS. I became APFS’s representative in April of 2010 and since then I’ve been working closely with foreign residents on a daily basis to help solve the problems they face. Last year, we carried out a campaign called “Way of Hope Project – Demanding Normalization for Undocumented Residents.” In Japan, the social position of those such as the elderly, disabled people, and undocumented residents is quite weak. In order to create a tolerant society where everyone can have hope, using the funds we collected through ReadyFor?, we simultaneously petitioned 36 local governments.

This time, in order to provide services to families seeking resident status in a more
timely manner, we’re asking for everyone’s support.

A Philippine child marches demanding the right to live in Japan with his family

Going further than we ever have before, we want to create a tolerant society where
undocumented residents have hope!

APFS has conducted activities such as:
・Local Government Simultaneous Petition Project – part of the “Way of Hope Project” and covered by NHK News 7・Multi-Cultural Women’s Career Development – provided for the training of women from multi-cultural families to enter into nursing care careers in Japan・Conducted an investigation for the hearing of a resident who was repatriated to Bangladesh・Established a Human Rights Hotline to help protect the rights of foreign residents in Japan

However, obtaining resident status for every member of these families is extremely difficult.

Therefore, we’d like to do three things with this new project in order to support those families’ demand for resident status. The first thing is quickly establishing support groups in ten different locations where these families are living. These organizations will allow supporters and concerned persons to share know-how and information. Additionally, we’d like to show everyone just who these families are and explain why they are demanding the Ministry of Justice to rapidly process their requests for Special Permission for Residence. In line with this, we conducted a march and demonstration in April in order to let more and more people know about the situation these families are facing and increase their circle of support.

In our last project, we delivered petitions to 36 local governments

By educating others about the presence and lives of undocumented residents,
repatriation is no longer considered the only option.

As we introduced in our last project, undocumented residents without a proper resident status are present in Japan. In 1999 APFS appeared at the Tokyo Immigration Center along with undocumented residents who were raising children in Japan and we helped to achieve the normalization of 42 undocumented residents from 10 families. In 2009 and 2010, we requested that undocumented residents who had already been issued forced deportation orders be allowed to stay and we were able to get 44 people from 12 families normalized.

Speaking frankly about our impressions of undocumented residents, there are surely those that doubt the need to try and settle the problem through normalization. Isn’t the appropriate action to make them to take responsibility for breaking the rules and in turn repatriate them to their own countries? Even I would’ve largely agreed with this opinion when I first started becoming involved with APFS. However, as I heard more stories and came to understand problems such as poverty, supply and demand of labor, disparity between the developed and undeveloped worlds and all of the various factors and causes of the undocumented resident issue, I realized the situation wasn’t that simple.

In Cavite, Philippines, Kato (left side) on a trip to research forced deportations

Exposing the crisis of families being torn apart by forced repatriation

This is a young man, now in high school, who has decided to attend a nursing care school in order to achieve his dream of becoming a caregiver, thereby contributing to Japanese society. However, he is in fact an undocumented resident due to being born to parents that didn’t have a proper resident status. Since he didn’t become aware of this until he had already grown up, he had envisioned a future for himself just like his Japanese friends, one in which he would be able to be together with his family. However, if each of them aren’t able to receive special permission for residence, the possibility that his parents could be repatriated to the Philippines is quite high. He’s facing the reality that his family could be dispersed across international borders. If his parents are deported, they won’t be able to return to Japan for 5 years.

The high schooler and his younger brother in an NHK report broadcast in August, 2014

Protecting those that have the great potential to make huge contributions
to Japanese society and help to build an even better Japan

It’s not that we should definitely normalize all undocumented residents no matter what but, in this case, isn’t the best and most appropriate treatment to prevent a family that has developed deep ties to Japan from being forcefully separated? There are regions and industries in Japan that won’t be able to maintain themselves without the aid of technical intern trainees from overseas and, thus, many such trainees will be coming to Japan in the future. This family has already been living in Japan for years, have internalized Japanese culture, and have the hidden potential to bridge the culture gap between Japan and newly arrived foreigners. We should protect that valuable presence.

Through this project, families will be able to stay together in Japan
Your support would be greatly appreciated

If the funding goal is reached, we will:
・Establish support groups in 10 locations around the Kanto Region
・Conduct marches and demonstrations
・Submit demand petitions to government officials

Supporter Rewards
- ¥3000 Level
・ Thank you letter (handwritten from affected families)
¥10000 Level
All of the above and:
・ An invitation to a supporter-only information seminar
・ An assortment of popular candy from the Philippines
- ¥20000 Level
All of the above and:
・ A ticket for a free lunch or a ¥1000 dinner discount at an ethnic restaurant
- ¥30000 Level
All of the above and:
・ Book (written in Japanese) – “Immigration Policy by the People” (provisional title)
- ¥50000 Level
All of the above and:
・ Lecture by APFS representative Jotaro Kato

If you’d like to support this project, you can make a donation through our payment system and it will be added to the ReadyFor? project page by our staff. Please select a donation amount below and click submit.

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