JII launches support for evacuees starting life in Japan

On April 1, over four million Ukrainian people have fled their home country due to Russia’s military invasion. Though the number of Ukrainian evacuees who arrive in Japan is not many compared to neighboring countries of Ukraine, there are still ones who flee to Japan expecting support from their friends and relatives. 

Tragically, there are more and more people who are forced to flee from their home country because of fear and danger in their lives all over the world such as in Myanmar, Afghanistan, Syria, and Palestine. 

For those heartbreaking realities, we, the JII team, launch support, which extends from our ongoing program OFP, for those who have evacuated to Japan.

■ Eligible persons

 Evacuees starting  life in Japan (Home country is not specified.) 

■ Details for our support

Our program OFP as Otonari-san Family Friend program offers support for foreign nationalities residing in Japan by pairing up with Otonari-sans as Japanese volunteers who live in a closer area. A brief summary of the program is below.

For six months, they interact with each other via meeting face-to-face and online and texting. Through interaction with an Otonari-san, a foreign resident gets individual support in solving questions and difficulties raised in daily life, in facilitating the understanding of cultural differences, in practicing the Japanese language for daily conversation, and in learning rules and manners in a certain local community. Also our coordinators watch their interaction to smoothen their communication and solve individual issues. 

To evacuees, we will introduce this program in multiple languages and offer communication support via OFP which has been supporting foreign residents living in Japan for a long time.

■ Available language


■ The number of persons we offer a support

Three families per month (until the end of 2023) 

■ Participation fee


■ Note

Otonari-sans as Japanese volunteers are ordinary citizens. Therefore, support will be limited to matters related to daily life that do not require specialized knowledge. 

Requests that require specialized knowledge such in the field of medical welfare, of the Japanese language, etc. will NOT be included in our support. 

If participants request support needing knowledge in specialized fields that the program cannot deal with, we provide information for public services or related organizations as much as we can. 

Otonari-san Family-friend Program