TOKYO (Reuters) -Japan’s Pan Pacific International, which operates a major discount store chain, said on Thursday it will provide financial support and job opportunities for 100 refugee families from Ukraine.
The company, formerly known as Don Quijote Holdings, said it is still working out details such as where the families would be housed and would consider cooperating with other companies in supporting refugees fleeing from Russia’s invasion.
Japan has not specified how many refugees from Ukraine it would take in. Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said earlier the government would prioritise those who are family members or friends of some 1,900 Ukrainians already in Japan.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Wednesday said Japan would help an international effort in taking in an estimated 700,000 people who have fled so far from what Russia has called a “special military operation” in Ukraine.
The pledge stands in contrast to Japan’s historical reticence to allow in refugees, drawing criticism https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/japan-withdraws-immigration-bill-after-death-sri-lankan-sparks-criticism-2021-05-18 from human rights groups who say the nation has not kept pace with other rich nations in helping displaced persons.
Japan granted refugee status to 47 people in 2020 when it received almost 4,000 applications, according to government data https://www.isa.go.jp/en/publications/press/07_00003.html.
(Reporting by Sakura Murakami and Rocky Swift; Editing by Edwina Gibbs and Christian Schmollinger)