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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 January 9 - 15  > JCP conducts on-site inspection at state-run facility for supporting foreign residents in Japan
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2019 January 9 - 15 [LABOR]

JCP conducts on-site inspection at state-run facility for supporting foreign residents in Japan

January 12, 2019
A group of Japanese Communist Party parliamentarians on January 11 made a fact-finding visit to a Justice Ministry-set facility, “Counselling Support Center for Foreign Residents”, in regard to the government measure to increase the acceptance of foreign workers.

JCP members of the House of Representatives Takahashi Chizuko, Fujino Yasuhumi, and Motomura Nobuko together with JCP member of the House of Councilors Yamazoe Taku visited the support center in Tokyo’s Shinjuku Ward, one of the three facilities that the ministry established in Japan.

At the facility, staff members who can speak at least one of seven foreign languages, such as Chinese, English, and Vietnamese in addition to Japanese, provide free counselling services to foreign residents and if needed, advise them to visit a local bar association or municipal office.

For the past three years, the Shinjuku support center received nearly 6,000 counselling service requests every year. The most common counselling issue was about the visa and immigration procedure followed by issues regarding marriage, divorce, education, and other daily living and the labor-related issues. The counselling service by foreign languages other than Chinese and English, however, is provided only once or twice a week. Counselors are temporary workers under one-year contract and sent from staffing-service agencies.

A Shinjuku city government official working in collaboration with the Justice Ministry’s support facility, Uchino Keiko, in reply to questions from the JCP group pointed out that those who are assigned to counselling jobs are expected to have foreign language abilities as well as the knowledge needed to deal with counselling issues properly. She stressed the need to increase the number of counselling staff and improve their skills and knowledge.

JCP Fujino said, “How to support multicultural communities will become a focus of the coming ordinary session of the Diet. Utilizing the findings from this visit, we will carry out Diet deliberations.”

The government plans to set up facilities providing one-stop multi-language services to foreigners as part of its policy to expand the use of foreign workers.

Past related articles:
> Abe gov't forcibly enacts controversial bills [December 9, 2018]
> Gov’t should safeguard foreign workers’ human rights before opening door wider [November 6, 2018]
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