Ukrainian evacuees without knowledge in Japan face challenges

Officials of a social welfare foundation say Ukrainian evacuees without relatives or acquaintances in Japan face challenges managing underlying illnesses and ensuring learning opportunities for children.

Members of the Asian People’s Welfare and Education Foundation spoke about the situation in an interview with NHK.

According to the foundation, around 20 evacuees without relatives or acquaintances had been temporarily staying in hotels since last Friday. The group organized meals and other aid during the hotel stays of the evacuees.

Officials say some of those evacuated with underlying illnesses have worsened and need help getting to medical facilities. They say managing the health of these people is a top priority.

Pupils are taking online lessons at their schools in Ukraine, but these are sometimes disrupted by air raid alerts.

Officials say the shortage of textbooks and digital devices is a problem and that mental health care must also be considered.

Kawada Michiko, chief adviser at the foundation’s refugee assistance headquarters, said she wanted the evacuees to find warmth in their daily lives amid the exhausting situation of being in an unfamiliar country.

She said she wants to report the needs of each evacuee to the central government so that municipalities and businesses can pick up the slack in offering support.

Suzuki Isao, a senior headquarters official, said it was probably the first time that so many municipalities and businesses had offered support to evacuees. He said he wanted to provide long-term support to make evacuees feel happy that they came to Japan.