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Symposium: Listening to the Views of Migrants – Japanese and Korean Societies Living with Migrants

November 12, 2019

A diverse group of experts on immigration and representatives from the immigrant communities of both Japan and Korea gathered for this symposium to share the lessons of the Japan-South Korea Immigration Policy Exchange Program, which JCIE has been running since November 2017 with the generous support of the Toyota Foundation.

Increased immigration in response to population decline has led to major socioeconomic change and the development of more multicultural, multiethnic societies in both Korea and Japan. This shift presents new challenges for education, healthcare, labor, welfare, and other traditional societal systems, but also creates opportunities for new systems and ideas that will leverage the diversity of immigrants while continuing to protect their human rights.

As Japan and Korea construct new legislation and policies that can respond to this socioeconomic change, it is essential that the immigrant communities, which will be directly affected by these developments, be given a voice in that process. This symposium represented an opportunity to hear from this community on the issues important to those living as immigrants in both countries.



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Agenda

Session 1: Societies Living with Migrants: Japan and Korea


Overview: Policies on Immigration and Migrants in Japan and Korea
Hyejin Lee, Senior Program Officer, JCIE Senior Program Officer, JCIE (Session Moderator)

Panel Discussion: Prospects for Societies Living with Migrants (Japan and Korea)
Ippei Torii, Secretary General, Solidarity Network with Migrants Japan
Toshihiro Menju, Managing Director and Chief Program Officer, JCIE
Wonjung Seok, Director, Group for Human Rights of Foreign Migrant Workers
Wan Lee, Former Chief Representative, Solidarity for Asian Human Rights and Culture

Session 2: Listening to the Views of Migrants in Japan and Korea


Dialogue: Living as Migrants Across Generations and Spaces
Wan Lee, Former Chief Representative, Solidarity for Asian Human Rights and Culture
Seul-gi Kang, Activist, Uijeongbu EXODUS Immigrant Center
Rey Ventura, Activist, Journalist and Filmmaker

Panel Discussion: Migrant’s Perspective: Present and Future of Japanese and Korean Societies Living with Migrants
Toshihiro Menju, Managing Director and Chief Program Officer, JCIE (Moderator)
Marip Seng Bu, Director, PEACE (NPO)
Tran Phuong Nam, Secretariat, Vietnamese Association in Japan
Bhupal Man Shrestha, Chairman, Everest International School Japan
Soe Moe Thu, Chairman of Operations Committee, Korean Center for Myanmar Worker’s Welfare
Seul-gi Kang, Activist, Uijeongbu EXODUS Immigrant Center