Human rights lecture: The social integration of refugees and migrants in Japan

STRASBOURG 07/03/2019
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Human rights lecture: The social integration of refugees and migrants in Japan

On 7 March, the Directorate General Human Rights and Rule of Law hosted the fourth event in a series of human rights lectures by Japanese academics, organised in collaboration with the Permanent Observer Mission of Japan to the Council of Europe. The latest guest was Professor Emiko NAKASAKA, Professor of International Law in Chuo University in Tokyo, who talked about the social integration of refugees and migrants in Japan.

In his welcoming address, Ambassador Takamasa SATO, Permanent Observer of Japan to the Council of Europe, underlined how the topic of the lecture was highly relevant both for both Council of Europe member states and for Japan and how the exchanges of best practices was one of the aims of the event. In his introductory remarks, Christos GIAKOUMOPOULOS, Director General of Human Rights and Rule of Law, outlined the Council of Europe standards as regards the protection of refugees and migrants in Europe, notably the human rights aspects, including social rights.

Professor NAKASAKA described the evolution of Japanese population in the last decades, addressing the issue of aging population. She also explained the historical evolution of the emigration and immigration from a quantitative and from a social point of views. She described the different categories of foreigners in Japan and gave concrete examples of ways to integrate them in Japanese society, notably through education and professional qualification. In the end, Professor NAKASAKA talked about the various opinions towards the acceptance of foreigners in the society nowadays and possible measures that could improve the management of migrants in Japan. She concluded her lecture by saying that “a foreign-friendly society is friendly for all in Japan, i.e. for Japanese people as well”.


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