Japanese universities, companies aid Ukrainian students displaced by conflict

The joint efforts aim to provide financial aid, language training, and essential resources to help these students continue their education and rebuild their lives

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Japanese universities, companies aid Ukrainian students displaced by conflict
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Japanese universities and companies are teaming up to support Ukrainian students who have sought refuge in Japan following Russia’s extended invasion of Ukraine.

The joint efforts aim to provide financial aid, language training, and essential resources to help these students continue their education and rebuild their lives, Kyodo News reported.

Ukrainian students in Japan are facing financial difficulties as they cope with the aftermath of the conflict. Many struggle to cover basic expenses, jeopardizing their academic progress.

Japanese universities, including Meiji University, have launched crowdfunding campaigns and secured support from various companies and organizations.

As of Aug. 23, 2023, a total of 371 Ukrainian students had been accepted by 82 national, public, and private schools across Japan, according to the Education Ministry. However, approximately 70 percent of these students face uncertainties regarding their graduation prospects due to financial constraints.

The International Christian University is also actively supporting Ukrainian students by covering tuition and dormitory expenses. However, an additional 26 million yen ($175,000) is needed to support these students until graduation. Crowdfunding efforts have raised approximately 10.7 million yen for them since April.

Language proficiency also remains a significant challenge for many displaced Ukrainians. The Japanese subsidiary of the German software firm SAP is assisting by covering travel and lodging expenses for refugees.

The nonprofit Nippon Foundation provides a yearly living allowance of one million yen per person for displaced Ukrainians who have relatives or guarantors in Japan.

However, around 80 percent of grant recipients, including students, have reported difficulties in everyday Japanese conversation.

Shiseido Co., a prominent cosmetics company, has donated nearly 200 million yen, primarily contributed by its employees, to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

On Sept. 19, the Japanese government, local municipalities, and the private sector jointly announced a proposal emphasizing the importance of enhancing Japanese language education to promote economic independence among displaced Ukrainians.

Norimasa Orii, the representative director of Pathways Japan, an organization supporting refugees, stressed the need for continued support, stating, “The invasion of Ukraine being prolonged further is inevitable, and we need to responsibly support them until they learn Japanese and become able to work.”

Jaleen Ramos

Jaleen Ramos

Jaleen Ramos has been a professional journalist for five years now. She has contributed and covered stories for premier Philippine dailies and publications, and has traveled to different parts of the country to capture and tell the most significant stories happening.

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Jaleen Ramos

Jaleen Ramos

Jaleen Ramos has been a professional journalist for five years now. She has contributed and covered stories for premier Philippine dailies and publications, and has traveled to different parts of the country to capture and tell the most significant stories happening.

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