Activities Report

We held our 20th Gathering of Migrant Laborers

2019年7月3日 水曜日

The 20th APFS Migrant Workers Gathering was held at Itabashi Ward Green Hall on Sunday, April 28, 2019. APFS advisor, Mr. Yoshinari, started the event by speaking about the new immigration law revision. Japan’s Immigration Control Act was revised in April, and under the new revision, Japan is to accept up to 350,000 migrant workers in 14 different industry categories. However, current migrant workers in Japan still suffer from unpaid salaries and unfair dismissals, among other violations of their rights. Because of these problems, they do not have peace of mind regarding their work. Migrant workers do have rights, such as minimum wage and paid leave, and Mr. Yoshinari mentioned how important it was for these workers to know, understand, and use the system in order to improve their working conditions.

APFS representative director, Ms. Yoshida, then gave a more detailed explanation of the “Specific Skills” status of residence created by the immigration law revision. Up until now, residence statuses have been granted to people who have either graduated from a university in Japan or have had a long professional work history in their home country. However, under the new “Specific Skills” qualification, workers who did not qualify previously will now be able to obtain residence status. This is a big change in immigration policy, but there are some important points to keep in mind. For example, there are only 9 countries from which Japan will accept these workers, testing venues are limited, workers are not allowed to bring their families with them to Japan, and their maximum stay is limited to 5 years, none of which count toward satisfying the residence requirement for permanent residency. Ms. Yoshida invited anyone in the audience who had family or friends who were thinking about applying for the “Specific Skills” qualification to consult with APFS. Ms. Yoshida pointed out that although there is a rumour circulating among some residents in Japan that a secondary effect of this new immigration policy is that the government will show more leniency toward undocumented residents, the opposite is in fact true; that the government has indicated that they will be more strict toward undocumented residents.

Finally, a number of participants talked about their activities and experiences at APFS. The participants came from Bangladesh, the Philippines, Myanmar, and other countries, and spoke about their experiences in Japan, supporting and encouraging each other with regard to problems faced. Afterwards, we ate Bangladeshi curry, and enjoyed some songs and dances of Arakan, Myanmar, along with lively musical performances from the Bangladeshi musical groups Uttoron and Schollippi. It was a lively gathering, with families of multi-generations, including children who have grown up in Japan. APFS will continue to work together with migrant workers to solve problems so that they can achieve independence.

Recommendations Regarding the Legitimization of Undocumented Residents submitted to Ministry of Justice

2019年4月4日 木曜日

On March 27, 2019, we at APFS submitted our petition, Recommendations Regarding the Legitimization of Undocumented Residents, to the Ministry of Justice.

There was much talk and debate in the National Diet and news media following the finalization of the new Immigration Law that takes effect this April, but there was nothing mentioned about any mercy to be granted to undocumented residents currently living in Japan. On the contrary, in the Cabinet’s Comprehensive Measures for Acceptance and Coexistence of Foreign Human Resources, there includes a section calling for the “thorough removal of illegal residents”, as well as language calling for the stricter monitoring of undocumented residents on provisional release and the quicker enforcement of deportations. Here at APFS, in helping many undocumented residents, we have seen many cases where it is simply not possible to return to one’s home country for various reasons, such as having one’s life and economic livelihood based solely in Japan. There are also many cases where children are born to undocumented residents, and have never experienced life outside of Japan. We proposed to the Ministry of Justice that, prior to accepting new foreign laborers, it should legitimize undocumented residents currently living in Japan.

In other countries, when the government revises their immigration law, a general amnesty is sometimes used to legitimize undocumented residents when they meet certain conditions. Here in Japan, we have a special pardon system in place called the Special Permission to Stay, whereby the government can pardon undocumented residents on a case-by-case basis. We appealed to the Ministry of Justice to use this current system in a flexible manner, to legitimize undocumented residents on a large-scale basis.

In our petition, we made four specific recommendations:

1) The Ministry should explain its reasons each time it decides to grant or deny a Special Permission to Stay to an undocumented resident. Currently, it makes its decision without stating the reasons behind the decision.

2) In addition to its own published Guidelines on Special Permission to Stay, the Ministry should look to international human rights treaties, such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), for guidance when making its decision to grant or deny a Special Permission to Stay.

3) The Ministry should base petitions for rehearing in Immigration Law. Currently, petitions for rehearing are recognized in practice, but they have no legal basis in Immigration Law.

4) Children born and raised in Japan should necessarily be granted Special Permission to Stay.

Mr. Tamura and Mr. Kizaki of the General Affairs Section of the Ministry of Justice Immigration Bureau received our petition. As awareness of the problems concerning undocumented residents grows, the status quo will be challenged, and their treatment will change. Thus, our petition to the Ministry of Justice was necessary.

At APFS, we will continue to support undocumented residents, and together we will continue to raise our voices.

* Please contact us if you would like to see the full text of the petition.

Help APFS by shopping at Amazon!

2019年2月27日 水曜日

APFS has joined the Amazon Affiliate Program. Through this program, Amazon will pay us a referral fee of up to 10% for any purchases made using our link to the Amazon site. This allows anybody to support us by simply shopping at Amazon, without incurring any fees or having to pay anything beyond the cost of their purchase. In other words, you can now support us without any additional cost to yourself. To do this, bookmark the URL given at the end of this paragraph, and use the bookmark whenever you shop at Amazon. The URL contains a special code which Amazon will use to credit APFS for the purchase. Then, depending on the items purchased, Amazon will pay us up to 10%. Please note that this only applies to Amazon Japan. Please bookmark this URL in your web browser and use it everytime you shop at Amazon:

URL: ← bookmark this link and help APFS!

“Immigration Policy and the Road to a Multicultural Community” is Published

2018年9月26日 水曜日

APFS has published the book “Immigration Policy and the Road to a Multicultural Community” (in Japanese).

Edited by: Katsuo Yoshinari, Tetsuo Mizukami, A.P.F.S.

Published by: Gendai Jinbunsha

Date of publication: 2018/9/20

Price: 2,900 JPY(excluding tax)

Notification of Discontinuation of APFS Representative

2017年3月28日 火曜日

Thank you all for your continued support and cooperation towards APFS.
Kato current representative will be leaving his position on 31st March.
As of 1st April vice-representative Mayumi Yoshida, will be taking up the role as head of APFS.

APFS will continue to strive in its work in which both people of both Japanese and foreign nationality join in mutual support towards a rich and diverse society.
Kato asks for your continued commitment and support towards APFS and thank you for your understanding.

Activities Report List