Proof of Family

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Ephrem Haile is from Ethiopia and has applied for refugee status in Japan. He lives in Tokyo with his Ethiopian wife and six-year-old daughter and has a job. For now, his family is safe, but their newfound stability is fragile. Japan’s asylum policy recently got stricter, and seekers like Ephrem are growing uneasy about their future. To make matters worse, Japanese law has not recognized Ephrem as the legitimate husband of his wife and the legal father of his daughter for lack of documents from his home country. He feels threatened and Japanese bureaucracy is taking its toll on his health. Ephrem strives to prove his family ties with help from the local community.

Director Yu Iwasaki
Location Japan
Duration 28 min.
Genre Social issue / Family / Life
Air Date (JST) Mon., Mar. 18, 2019

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Yu Iwasaki

Yu Iwasaki


Yu Iwasaki is a Tokyo-based director, videographer and editor whose work focuses on social issues, traditional Japanese culture and films. His documentary “Real Samurai” (2014), a story about modern-day followers of an old extant Japanese martial art, has been featured on NHK World Japan. “nai-mono-gatari” (2011), a contemporary dance film, was screened internationally. Born in Tokyo, Yu is a graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park, with a BA in English Literature. He is currently developing stories about immigrants in Japan.


Tabunka (short documentary, 2019)
Oji Dengaku no Densho (documentary, 2017)
Real Samurai (documentary, NHK World, 2014)
nai-mono-gatari (dance film, 2011)

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