What is UNHCR ?
For more than 70 years, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, has led international action to protect refugees, forcibly displaced communities, and stateless people.
Since its foundation, UNHCR has protected the lives, rights, and well-being of refugees, people displaced within their own country, asylum-seekers, former refugees who have returned to their home country, and people who are stateless or whose nationality is disputed.
Our vision is a world where every person forced to flee can build a better future.
Today, UNHCR works in more than 130 countries to ensure that everybody has the right to seek international protection and secured livelihoods. We also strive to secure lasting solutions, putting those most affected at the centre of planning and decision-making.
We are currently witnessing the highest levels of displacement on record since UNHCR’s founding at the end of WWII. People forced to flee their homes because of conflict and persecution, and stateless people with disputed nationality, are often deprived of their fundamental rights to education, healthcare, employment, and freedom of movement.
As new conflicts arise around the world, responding to global displacement situations is increasingly complex and more important than ever. UNHCR remains committed to protect and advocate for all those who are forced to flee their homes.
Message from UNHCR Tokyo Office
For many years, Japan has played a lead role in supporting humanitarian action throughout the world. UNHCR values its deep and longstanding cooperation with Japan in the international displacement arena.
Globally, the number of people forced to flee from conflict, violence, human rights violations, and persecution surpassed 100 million for the first time in history. As old conflicts continue to rage on and even intensify, and new crises erupt, resources to cope with humanitarian needs are dwindling.
In recent years, we have seen fresh displacement in and from countries like Ukraine, Sudan, Myanmar, Venezuela, Yemen, and Cameroon. In the absence of durable solutions, refugees, and internally displaced persons from, or in, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, South Sudan and Somalia have little hope to return home any time soon. Most refugees are hosted in low- and middle-income countries, also known as the Global South. A major challenge is in supporting these host countries and communities and ensuring the international community shares the responsibility.
Japan’s reliable financial support has helped and continues to enable UNHCR and its partners to operate in many situations. The Government of Japan’s commitment to the international community is further strengthened by its active support of the New York Declaration on Refugees and Migrants in 2016 and the Global Compacts for Refugees adopted in 2018, and in 2023 Japan will lead global discussions on refugee assistance as a co-convener of the 2nd Global Refugee Forum. As an active Member State of UNHCR’s Executive Committee, Japan has promoted the humanitarian-peace-development nexus and the concept of human security to help improve peoples’ lives.
UNHCR’s presence in Tokyo aims to further strengthen the relationship with Japan and build partnerships with various stakeholders including the Japanese Government, civil society, educational institutions, the private sector, foundations, local government, youth, etc. to build a “whole of society approach” to find solutions for refugees.
Although Japan may be geographically far from the world’s crises, there are people who come all the way here to seek safety. Japan is a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention and has put in place procedures with potential to be developed into a comprehensive asylum system. UNHCR will continue to work with the authorities towards such a system, and support Japan’s refugee resettlement programme and alternative interim solutions like higher education opportunities for refugees in Japan.
In my 30 years of field experience at UNHCR in various parts of the world, I have seen how Japan’s prompt and continuous assistance protects the lives of people who are forced to flee and helps them rebuild their lives. Taking a “whole of society approach” is necessary to tackle the expanding and increasingly more complex, refugee crisis. By strengthening our ties with the people of Japan, we hope to work together to deliver the assistance that only Japan can provide to build a better future for refugees, internally displaced persons, and stateless people everywhere.
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Representation in Japan
Wesley Center, 6-10-11, Minami Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo, 107-0062, Japan
Tel：03-3499-2011 ／ Fax：03-3499-2272
http://www.unhcr.org/jp/(Official website UNHCR Japan)
https://www.facebook.com/unhcrorjp(Official Facebook UNHCR Japan)
https://twitter.com/UNHCR_Tokyo(Official Twitter UNHCR Japan)
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiG4dK6TaS_5-nao6YCd7ZA(Official YouTube Account UNHCR Japan)
http://www.unhcr.org(Official Website, HQ)
http://www.facebook.com/UNHCR(Official Facebook, HQ)