Explicating the evolution and limits of Japan’s Asylum Policy
Colloquium: March 16 | 5 p.m. PDT | Online - Zoom Webinar
Speaker/Performer: Naoko Hashimoto, Hitotsubashi University
Sponsor: Center for Japanese Studies, UC Berkeley
Japan has long been known for its exclusive asylum policy. While there is a certain truth in this perception, Japan in fact has been implementing a variety of refugee protection measures particularly since 1975, including the admission of 11,000 Indo-Chinese refugees, accession to the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees in 1981, launching and expansion of refugee resettlement policies since 2008, admission of a small number of Syrian refugees as students, and limited evacuations of Afghan nationals who used to work for Japanese entities in Afghanistan. The speaker has been engaged practically with Japan’s asylum policy both as a national and international civil servant and as an academic scholar for the past 20 years. Based on her practical experience and social scientific research, this talk will explicate the twists and turns surrounding the following three questions:
1. Why does Japan recognize so few refugees?
2. Why did Japan embark upon refugee resettlement?
3. How has Japan been implementing the Afghan evacuations to Japan?
Naoko Hashimoto is Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Social Sciences, Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo, Japan, teaching refugee and migration studies in both English and in Japanese. Naoko has nearly 15 years of practitioner experience on refugees and forced migration issues, as a staff member of UNHCR, IOM and the Government of Japan (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Justice). She holds a Master of Studies in Forced Migration, Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford (as a Sir John Swire scholar), LLM in International Human Rights Law from University of London (International Programme convened by Queen Mary and UCL), and PhD in Politics from University of Sussex (as an International Fellow of Nippon Foundation). Dr. Hashimoto also teaches global issues and international organization at International Christian University, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, and Hosei University in Tokyo as an adjunct professor, while serving as a Research Affiliate of Refugee Law Initiative, University of London. She is also a Refugee Adjudication Counselor appointed by the Japanese Minister of Justice.