Activities Report

APFS Submitted a Request Documents about Re-entry Foreign Nationals amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

2020年8月17日 月曜日

On June 29, APFS presented a petition concerning re-entry foreign nationals at Tokyo Regional Immigration Service Bureau. At present, Japan refuses to accept foreign nationals who have visited a particular country or region. Therefore, foreign nationals who possess a status of residence cannot re-entry into Japan and APFS receives many questions from them and their family. So, APFS submitted a request document based on these voices. The detailed content is as follows: first, to permit the extension of the status of residence in case foreign nationals cannot go back to Japan due to the COVID-19 outbreak and the status of residence was expired; second, to permit foreign nationals with other statuses of residence to re-entry or entry into Japan as those based on their “status or position” such as permanent resident and others can enter into Japan, judging whether there are special circumstances by departure date and area in some cases when they have left Japan with re-entry permission before the day country or region, where foreign nationals are currently living, was designated as an area subject to denial of permission to entry into Japan.

Postscript: New policy was announced on July 31, 2020.
Japanese version: https://www.mofa.go.jp/mofaj/page1_000864.html
English version: https://www.mofa.go.jp/ca/fna/page4e_001074.html
It has been possible that foreign nationals who possess a status of residence (including those who are not with “status or position” such as permanent residents and others) re-entry/ entry into Japan. The relaxation is solely applied to those who have left Japan with re-entry permits for a country or region before such a country stays becoming an area subject to denial of landing. These foreigners have to present “the Letter of Confirmation of Submitting Required Documentation for Re-entry into Japan” from the Japanese overseas establishment at the country or region where applicants reside as well as a “certificate of negative test result” of pre-entry testing.

We held our 2020 Fiscal Year General Meeting

2020年6月8日 月曜日

We held our 2020 Fiscal Year General Meeting on June 7th at Itabashi Cultural Hall. This time, due to the COVID-19 epidemic, we received more proxy letters and written votes. The venue was eventually re-opened on June 1st, but there was a limit on the number of people allowed, making the atmosphere completely different from previous years.

At the meeting, we first went over our business report for the 2019 fiscal year, and then discussed the growing trend of new consultations and the circumstances of our on-going consultations. It was reported that many of our new consultations were related to issues concerning residency status, especially those statuses that urgently needed to be changed or renewed, including those of refugee applicants. Concerning the on-going consultations, it was explained that under the current situation, it is still very difficult for undocumented residents to obtain the Special Permission to Stay. However, in March of this year, the son of a family that APFS had been assisting for more than 10 years was finally able to receive Special Permission to Stay. However, given that the parents had to voluntarily return to their home country as a condition for their child to receive Special Permission to Stay, it was agreed that the Immigration Bureau continues to hand down harsh decisions.

Following the financial reports for the 2019 fiscal year, we discussed the business plans for the 2020 fiscal year, our proposed budget, and the fact that our income from membership fees had already been reduced during the months of April through June due to the COVID-19 epidemic. We were all of the opinion that we had to be imaginative and creative in order to maintain our activities and budget for the 2020 fiscal year.

5th Meeting in Continuous Series

2020年2月23日 日曜日

5th Meeting in Continuous Series
On February 23rd, we held our 5th meeting of our continuous series entitled “Exchange with Immigrant Workers in Japan”. Our guest speaker was Ms. Shiki. She started to have an interest in Japan by Japanese anime, and then she came to Japan after studying Japanese when she was a student. On the meeting, she talked about how she spends everyday life with working in IT, and her dreams in the future. She also talked about the things she feels strange about Japan, as a Chinese. For example, she feels that Japanese separate completely their private life from their career, so even she becomes close to her co-worker at the drinking party, and the relationship went back to how it was before at the work place.
She said that it is difficult to be a friend with Japanese.
After the talks, they all enjoyed eating handmade food Ms. Shiki cooked for them.

“Free Health Consultation” was held for foreign residents

2020年2月10日 月曜日

A free health consultation session was held at the APFS office on February 9, 2020. A consultation with a medical doctor, along with blood pressure, body temperature, urinalysis, and height and weight measurements were performed. Twenty people registered for the event, and eighteen were present. More than half of the participants were from Bangladesh, with the remainder from India, Pakistan, Cameroon, and Burkina Faso. There were participants who did not have valid residence visas, did not have health insurance, and who were worried because they could not go to a regular hospital. Our consulting doctor was Dr. Mitsumi Ikeda of Nishio Hospital, who specializes in internal medicine. She said that this was her first time to examine such a range of foreign residents. She stated that it was difficult because it required a wide variety of knowledge and judgment.

Of course a health consultation of this scope is limited in the illnesses it can discover, but there were participants who had not had their blood pressure measured, or had a urinalysis done in a long time, and who turned out to have high blood pressure, or protein or sugar in their urine. Through this health consultation, there were participants who unexpectedly discovered a bad condition with their health. It was an impetus for them to go to the hospital and to notice medical conditions before they worsen. These opportunities are especially valuable for foreigner residents who do not have valid visas and health insurance, so we intend to continue them on a small scale.

4th Meeting in Continuous Series

2020年1月26日 日曜日

On January 26th, we held our 4th meeting of our continuous series entitled “Exchange with Immigrant Workers in Japan”.
Our guest speakers were Mr. Zahid and Mr. Salam from Bangladesh. They talked about the reasons why they came to Japan and the experiences
of jobs they have done. In early 90s, when they came to Japan, that was so difficult for
foreigners to find an apartment. This was also mentioned by the previous guest form
Myanmar. The reasons why the guests were declined for an apartment were that they are
from Bangladesh and the landlord thought the smell of food such as curry would disturb
neighborhood.
The participants asked the guests about their work environment or religions, then the
meeting passed by fast. The guest prepared “Biryani”, which is mixed rice dish, and all the
participants enjoyed eating that.

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