25% of municipalities accepting Ukrainian evacuees say support insufficient

An NHK survey has found that 69 percent of municipalities in Japan that have accepted Ukrainian evacuees say they are providing them with sufficient support, while 25 percent say they are failing to do so.

NHK conducted the poll in January and February on 163 local governments in 43 prefectures that were confirmed to have accepted evacuees from Ukraine.

The survey allowed multiple answers.

Asked about the kinds of support they are providing, 71 percent said counseling, and 55 percent said financial. Daily life and supplies were cited by 54 percent, housing by 50 percent, education by 41 percent, and employment by 29 percent.
The survey asked the municipalities that said they have not been able to provide sufficient support to give reasons.

Fifty-three percent cited a shortage of translators, 38 percent an inability to provide employment, 30 percent insufficient educational support, 25 percent a shortage of available staff, and 20 percent budget shortfalls.

Seventy-four percent of the municipalities said they want the central government to provide them with some form of support for their assistance activities.

As for what type of support, 68 percent said financial, 43 percent acquiring translators, and 37 percent securing jobs.

Professor Osa Yukie of Rikkyo University Graduate School, who is an expert on refugee issues, said the survey underscores disparities in the level of support Ukrainian evacuees can receive depending on where in Japan they live.

She said this is partly due to the lack of support from the central government.

She suggested that as the fighting in Ukraine drags on, both the central and local governments may need to update their policy for assisting evacuees.

Japanese immigration authorities say that as of February 15, the number of Ukrainian evacuees in Japan stood at 2,185.