Europe Japan Research Centre Film Screening and Q&A: November 16th 2022 12:15 GMT: David Slater and Rosa Barbaran: ‘The Whole Block Goes Down’: Covid in Japanese Detention

Alexander Jacoby's picture

Dear members of H-Japan,

You are cordially invited to a forthcoming online event in the Europe Japan Research Centre seminar series hosted at Oxford Brookes University in the United Kingdom.

On Wednesday November 16th at 12:15 GMT / 21:15 JST, we will hear from David Slater of Sophia University, Tokyo, and filmmaker / researcher Rosa Barbaran. We will watch Rosa's short film on the timely theme of Japanese detention centres for asylum seekers during the COVID pandemic; a Q&A will follow.

The event will take place by Zoom. Meeting ID is 823 3684 0147; passcode is 9050592192. Registration is not required. As always, we acknowledge the support of the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation for our ongoing activities.


Japan has one of the lowest refugee acceptance rates in the world. This number has not increased, even in the face of many more refugee asylum applications. One state strategy is to incarcerate applicants in "detention centers," sometimes for longer than two years. Long the object of criticism by human rights groups within Japan and different UN groups, the treatment of detainees is continually in question. When the waves of COVID hit Japan, immigration authorities were very slow to respond with sufficient safety measures or release detainees, as many other countries did. This short film (17 min) tells the story of three men (from Chile, Cameroon and Iran) who were in detention centers as this COVID wave hit Japan. This intimate and moving portrait of social injustice and administrative mistreatment will be followed by a Q&A.