Osaka prefecture's Policy Regarding Foreign National Residents

-Preface

 Osaka prefecture conceived “The Basic Policy for Promotion of Osaka Prefecture Internationalization” in 1992. This policy clarifies the challenges that Osaka Prefecture should tackle initially in the field of international exchange and cooperation with residents in the prefecture, relevant institutions and other entities. Our aim is to enhance the international functions of Osaka and thoroughly develop Osaka as a global city.
 In Osaka prefecture, in line with the fundamental aim of “realizing urban Osaka where good-hearted people understanding different cultures unite,” as discussed in the policy, we promote “internal globalization,” locally. We are creating communities where, regardless of nationality or ethnicity, all people respect each other as human beings and live together in harmony, accepting each other’s differences.
 Specifically, we publish brochures, leaflets and videos to raise citizen awareness for the need and means of eradicating discrimination in hiring and housing. Also, we try to improve existing communicative situations by offering consultation and publicity in multiple languages. At the same time Osaka takes measures such as the procurement of support from the national government for systemic revision in line with international human rights standards.
 Henceforth, it is expected that further globalization in our communities will continue and the population of foreign nationals (note 1) who choose to live in Osaka will increase. Therefore, it is becoming increasingly important that we develop Osaka to become a comfortable and good city to live in for foreign residents: a city where people respect each other’s human rights and accept differences of languages, cultures, ethnicities and ways.
 Consequently, Osaka prefecture must implement comprehensive policies for foreign residents. In regards to this, on March 2002, The Blue-Ribbon Panel for the Problems Surrounding Foreign Residents in Osaka Prefecture (Note 2) (hereafter “The Blue-Ribbon Panel”) made a suggestion on Osaka Prefecture’s Policy regarding Foreign National Residents as to promotion of the comprehensive policies for foreign nationals.
 Osaka prefecture produced Osaka Prefecture’s Policy regarding Foreign National Residents in response to the above-noted suggestion. In addition, we implement policies for foreign residents to achieve a society where “all people can coexist as respecting human dignity and rights, accepting differences of nationalities, ethnicities and living together in a spirit of tolerance.”

 
No.1 Information Regarding Foreign Nationals in Osaka
 

1 The number of Registered Foreign Nationals

 Osaka accepted many people and new things as the emergence of Japan from old times, when Osaka was called Naniwatsu. Absorbing a variety of knowledge and techniques from then, Osaka has attracted many people who regard Osaka as a developed industrial and cultural place. In particular, Osaka is closely linked to the surrounding Asian nations, and many foreign residents live in the Prefecture.
 As of December 31, 2001, according to the alien registration record, about 210,000 foreign nationals from 146 different countries live in Osaka. This means that 1 out of 40 residents in the prefecture is a foreign resident and the total figure and this proportion of the populace is the 2nd highest in Japan, only following Tokyo. Comparing with the whole of Japan, this percentage is considered to be quite high.
 Among our foreign residents, due to our history (Note. 3), about 160,000 Korean nationals live in Osaka and account for about 75% of the foreign residents in the prefecture. Approximately 25% of all the Korean residents of Japan live in Osaka.
 Also, enactment of the Law for Partial Amendment of the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act in 1990 triggered a sudden upsurge in the number of immigrants from Brazil and Peru between 1990 and 1992. Also, from that time, the number of Chinese residents doubled.

 

2 Domestic and international movements on human rights of foreign nationals in Japan

 Since The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted, the United Nations adopted various treaties to embody the declaration’s spirit and have formed international criteria on human rights. Respecting human rights has become a trend in our era.
 In line with this trend, in Japan, ratifying the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and other treaties prompted various actions to aid in affecting our peaceful co-existence.
 Also, in the midst of further progression of globalization in community, many foreign nationals of various nationalities live in Osaka, so it is necessary to develop Osaka as a city of peaceful living for all, including our foreign nationals.
 Under those movements on human rights and further progression of globalization in and beyond Japan, expectations are raised for realizing a peacefully coexisting society, where regardless of nationality, ethnicity or creed, people support each other as members of one common community.

(1) Movement in Japan
 In Japan, on December 2000, the Act on Promotion of Education and Enlightenment of Human Rights was enacted. This act stipulates responsibilities of country, municipal governments and people in terms of the promotion of Education and Enlightenment of Human Rights in consideration of the current situations of human rights violations such as legal cases who adjudication exhibited unfair discrimination in regards to nationality, ethnicity and similar means of human classification, thus related to human rights abuse within and outside Japan.
 Also, the Human Rights Protection Promotion Council reported findings on “what the human rights redress system should be” in May 2001. The report points out the current situations of human rights violations such as foreign nationals facing discriminatory treatment in hiring, receiving commodities and services and using facilities, harassment, discriminative expressions and in other regards. In the report, it is suggested than an introduction of an active redress system for investigation, arbitration, mediation, recommendation, announcement and lawsuit support in addition to the simple relief measures such as consultation, interceding, instructions and other measures by setting up a “Human Rights Committee (tentative name)” to relieve victims of human rights violations. As a result, the Human Rights Protection Act is currently under discussion.

(2) Movement in the prefecture
 In Osaka prefecture, the Osaka 21st Century General Plan to Revitalize Osaka and Double Its Energy was conceived after receiving a report from The Osaka General Plan Council on December 2000.
 In this plan, as a fundamental ideal to form Osaka's "vision for co-existence," one of the future visions Osaka should aim for is mentioned. That is the “society where everyone exerts the maximum to their potential, to make their own dreams come true” with everyone respecting human rights and supporting one another.  As considering that, the plan is aspires to create a community where the human rights of foreign nationals are respected, and in which individuals can exert their own characteristics, ethnicity and abilities without hesitation.
 Also, Osaka Prefecture’s Basic Policy Regarding Promoting of Human Rights Enforcement was drawn up after receiving a report from The Osaka Prefecture Human Rights Policies Promotion Council on March 2001. In that policy, as a challenge to be tackled regarding foreign nationals, it is noted that some Korean residents have to use Japanese (nick) names rather than their real names to avoid discrimination in job and house hunting. Also, basic policy such as enforcements for raising human rights awareness and helping human rights protection are defined.
 In addition, for further promotion and spread of the Osaka Prefectural Government Plan of Action for the United Nations Decade for Human Rights Education and establishment of human rights as universal culture, the Osaka Prefectural Government Plan of Action for the Second Half of the United Nations Decade for Human Rights Education was enacted on March 2001. According to the plan, it is important to promote “internal globalization,” respect diverse cultures, habits and values and form a co-existing society where people accept differences and preserve their identities and cultural heritage.

 

3 Tasks and challenges in policy for foreign residents

 As was mentioned previously, based on The Basic Policy of Promotion of Osaka Prefecture Globalization drawn up in 1992, Osaka prefecture makes efforts to “build communities where, beyond nationality or ethnicity, all people respect each other as human-beings and live together with acceptance of their differences” in terms of human rights awareness, living, medical, public health, welfare, education, participation in prefectural politics and other realms. Also, to promote this, all departments of the Osaka prefectural government office try to forge forward with the policy, considering the discussion at Blue-Ribbon panels and utilizing liaison meetings in Osaka prefectural government office (hereon referred to as the “Liaison Meeting”) about matters related to our foreign residents.
 However, compared with the current situations surrounding foreign residents, the challenges below remain present to achieve a “co-existing society where people can live together.”

(1) Fields related to increasing human rights awareness
 To help residents in the prefecture deepen their knowledge of the challenges regarding foreign residents, Osaka prefecture promotes awareness activities such as publishing videos and leaflets, and holding symposiums.
 Also, to equalize opportunities for employment and promote fair hiring, Osaka prefecture designated June each year as the Elimination of Employment Discrimination Month and publicizes this accordingly. In addition, Osaka prefecture makes employers aware of the need to practice a fair hiring process by promotion of the fair hiring and human rights awareness member system, and in the fiscal year 1999, the nationality requirement for taking the administrative career examination for all general divisions’ positions was eliminated.
 On matters regarding property rental, along with the establishment of consultation services on real estate transactions, Osaka prefecture tries to make the industry aware of its equal opportunity responsibilities by offering human rights seminars and leaflets designed to raise awareness.
 However, when a foreign national attempts to be employed or rent property, in some cases, due to the difference of nationality or ethnicity, they are refused hire or property rental. Therefore, a degree of prejudice and a sense of discrimination against foreign nationals still persists.
 In Osaka prefecture, incidents such as harassment of foreign national students and verbal and physical abuse towards them has been documented. Also, discrimination cases are reported such as in job interviews, some employers have asked applicants’ nationalities, although this is irrelevant to their aptitudes.  Employers have required some foreign employees to use a Japanese (nick) name, and furthermore, workplace graffiti with discriminative and abusive epithets specific to foreign nationals have been allowed to remain in plain view.
 In some regions, it is reported that foreign nationals were refused entry a shop or public bathhouse.
 Also, compared with Japanese citizens, foreign national workers are relatively in a disadvantaged position in terms of wages and working hours, and problems such as unpaid wages or being forced to work unpaid overtime still occur.
 To solve these situations, it is important to strive further to eradicate prejudice and discrimination. On all opportunities, by actively promoting approaches such as education and enlightenment for residents, as well as enhancing the education and enlightenment about equal human rights entitlement, it is important to promote mutual understanding between foreign nationals having diverse cultures and habits and Japanese through opportunities to get acquainted.

(2) Fields related to living in Japan
 Due to insufficient Japanese proficiency, it can be difficult for foreign residents to take advantage of various services related to living or finding an organization offering consultation services when a problem occurs, and anxiety often arises.
 To ease such anxiety, it is recognized that Osaka must provide opportunities for the study of Japanese language as well as offering information on such programs and courses, and enhance consultation services.
 Osaka prefecture opened the Osaka Information Service for Foreign Residents in 1993, which provides consultation services in 7 languages: English, Korean (Note4), Chinese, Portuguese, Spanish, the Philippines’ Tagalog and Thai. Also, on the multilingual FM radio, municipal administrative and living information announcements are broadcast in 4 languages: English, Korean, Chinese and Spanish. In addition, on the Osaka Prefecture website, English, Korean and Chinese pages are published to provide municipal administrative information.
 From now on, on the provision of information, as well as on the increase in the number of foreign languages used in printed matters and spreading them at convenient places for foreign residents, it is necessary to create an environment which makes foreign residents’ daily lives easier such as promoting the usage of foreign language signs at main public facilities, terminals and on our highways and roads.
 Also, as well as further publicity of the Osaka Information Service for Foreign Residents and diversification of consultation subjects, for other consultation services, it is required to enhance ties to the foreign community to organize multilingual consultations.

(3) Fields related to medical, public health and welfare
 In order for foreign residents to enjoy a healthy life without anxiety, it is required to create an environment that allows them to partake of medical, public health and welfare services easily.
 Especially, when they become ill, some foreign residents may not know which medical institutions they should seek care at, so the provision of detailed information on medical and healthcare services in several foreign languages is essential.
 From this point of view, Osaka prefecture provides listing information on medical institutions and medical consultation services where foreign languages are available in multilingual guidebooks and English websites. In addition, Osaka Prefecture endeavors to offer multilingual healthcare information on the prevention of various contagious diseases.
 However, since some foreign nationals are not insured by medical insurance and cannot pay expensive medial fees, it can be difficult for them to see a doctor. To absorb outstanding medical fees from uninsured foreign nationals’ treatment, and thus prevent them from being barred from treatment, in fiscal year 1996, for emergency medical institutions, a subsidization system to cover a portion of the outstanding amounts was made, but other medical institutions such as hospitals are not covered to date.
 In addition, as for welfare services, especially for our elderly Korean residents, it is difficult for foreign nationals to understand publicized information thoroughly and to enjoy available public services due to language barriers and habitual differences.
 Furthermore, among the elderly or disabled foreign residents, some have failed to become a beneficiary (Note. 5) of the national health insurance because the Japanese nationality requirement existed since its establishment. Suitable measures to rectify this situation are still required.

(4) Fields related to education
 In regards to education for foreign residents, it is required to create an environment where the foreign residents can use their real names and maintain pride and keep an awareness and connection with their native culture, heritage, ethnicity and national traditions. In addition, it is required to teach the Japanese language well to the newly arrived students in Japan and educate them so that they may achieve self-fulfillment and choose their future course of life with true freedom.
 Also, in the midst of globalization, it is required to promote education for the enhancement of communication abilities as well as further understanding of different cultures. To do that, it is necessary for students to meet and communicate, cooperate with foreign nationals in local communities and build direct contacts with other cultures. Promotion of further cultural exchange opportunities with pupils and students abroad is needed as well.
 From such a point of view, in Osaka, the Educational Policy for Korean Residents in Japan was drawn up in 1988 and The human rights education basic policy / human rights education promotion plan to promote comprehensive human rights education was devised in 1999. Also, from 1990 to 1992, a Faculty of International Education was established in every school district with prefectural high schools. In addition, from fiscal year 2001, at the entrance exam of prefectural high schools, the special measures for students who have returned from China and foreign students have been taken. This helps to promote education for foreign residents. Various educational measures to help students understand the world we share are employed, thus.
 Henceforth, network creation for informational exchange between schools is required to allow students to interchange brilliant practical examples and results of their research.
 Yet, as for foreign schools, while there is a degree of support that aims to promote international exchange, still some challenges exist, such as the fact that the international exchange program in some foreign countries is implemented only in vocational schools as defined by a foreign educational act. In countries that relegate their international exchange program to vocational schools only, the schools’ graduates are not qualified to take the national university's entrance exams. So, change is still needed.

(5) Fields related to participation to municipal politics
 It is required to collect and include the opinions of foreign residents who have various cultural and historical backgrounds and pay taxes, contribute in our society with equality, to been afforded an equal voice in local politics. Osaka prefecture established The Blue-Ribbon Panel to tarry in the collection of a wide range of opinions in terms of tasks concerning foreign residents and measures Osaka prefecture should tackle, and the prefecture promotes policies for foreign residents languidly. Recently, Osaka prefecture tries to address foreign national committee members’ participation to relevant councils deliberately.
 To appoint a committee for the council, due to the concern for installation purposes, it is necessary to try to appoint a wide range of peoples including a token foreign resident.
 Also, in public opinion polls for the prefectural administration, from the year 2000, foreign residents were included in the scope of research. Furthermore, the national government ambles on the issue of voting rights of foreign residents in local elections, and it draws attention these days to the issue laggardly.

 
No.2 Target and Vision of Policy Promotion
  

 Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” It is required to realize this philosophy broadly in the society. As Act of Osaka Prefecture Building a Society Where Human Rights Dignity is Respected states that a movement of respect for human rights is getting more active internationally, and to develop Osaka to a global city, now it is required that we all recognize the preciousness of life and dignity of human beings to become a wealthy society where everyone’s human rights are respected. 
 Attempting to achieve a wealthy society where all peoples’ human rights, even those of foreign residents are respected, everyone must exert their abilities, and this will lead to the achievement of the globalization of Osaka. From this point of view, we promote the policy with constipation based on the following target and vision.

 

1 Target

 Achievement of a co-existing society where all peoples respect human rights and dignity and live together with acceptance for the difference of nationality and ethnicity.

 

2 Vision

(1) Building a society of respect for human rights
 Currently, world wide, respect for human rights is treated as an action standard, and actions targeting at the international society where people enjoy secured human rights is promoted. Promotion of a society where everyone’s human rights is respected and discriminative awareness towards foreign residents is eliminated by respecting fundamental human rights stipulated by the constitution and establishing international human rights standards. Standards include the International Covenants on Human Rights and International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination in local communities.

(2) Forming a society where people can co-exist while preserving individual cultures.
 All people have the same human rights as humans, and each human is irreplaceable. By recognizing this fact, accepting differences in nationality, ethnicity and respecting diverse cultures and values, we promote a co-existing society where people can preserve individual culture and maintain their native characteristics and share abilities.

(3) Forming a society where residents can live safely as members of their local community
 It is possible for everyone to achieve self-actualization by utilizing their characteristics and abilities if a certain environment is attained from which ease in living and security are offered. We endeavor to languidly build a society where foreign residents’ human rights and identities are respected and foreign residents can live in securely as members of a community.

 
No.3 Basic Policy and Promotion Measure
   

1 Further enhancement of respect on human rights awareness and fulfillment of enlightenment

<Basic Policy>
 To eradicate various prejudices and discriminations on nationality, ethnicity and so on, we try to enhance human rights by awareness-spreading activities to promote understanding of different culture and habits.
 Also, about foreign residents’ culture, tradition and habits, we will offer the opportunities in which everybody can experience and comprehend them.

<Promotion Measure>
(1) Fulfillment of the enlightening of residents and promotion of mutual understanding
 Toward the creation of a society embodied with consciousness for the respect of everyone's human rights, we use various mediums such as the general human rights awareness booklet and a video concerning foreign residents problems to broadly enlighten citizens about the problems faced by foreign residents.
 To raise awareness, we promote broader enlightenment by teaching effectively as using ties to municipalities, not only from the administrative side, but also as cooperating with citizens, NPO (Note. 6) and companies who are carrying out activity to realize coexisting society.
 Also, it is important to provide the opportunities for citizens to understand foreign residents’ (particularly Koreans’) history, culture, language, habits and others. To deepen mutual understandings, we try to promote cultural, sporting and other various communal projects.

(2) Enlightenment of those in real estate businesses on housing rights.
 Housing Rights is identified is also termed a "basic essential for living" by the International Covenants on Human Rights and International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. To eradicate the discrimination for future tenants of Osaka domiciles, we endeavor to enlighten real estate agencies and owners of rental houses by distributing booklets that raise awareness on housing rights, and hold seminars as well. Coordinating with the national government and other relevant institutions, we consider measures to reduce restrictions that may hamper opportunities for renting property to some people.
 When problems ensue, consultation is offered regarding discrimination for future tenants, and we instruct the industry to solve such problems immediately and voluntarily. Also, we try to encourage various consulting services such as property transaction consultation services, to be used to coordinate with groups in the real estate and its affiliated industries and municipalities.

 (3) Fulfillment of enlightenment regarding employment
 When seeking employment, you should not be discriminated against because of a difference in nationality, ethnicity or other factors. To end such discrimination we organize intensive educational measures during the Employment Discrimination Elimination Month, and we approach the company enlightenment-supportive organizations to promote activities to increase human rights awareness within companies, proposing the selection of a “steering member on human rights enlightenment for fair adoption” within enterprises.
 Also, to tackle various employment discrimination problems such as firing, wage matters and others, labor consultation coordinated with the country and relevant organization is necessary. In addition, we try to raise awareness of the knowledge of the regulations applicable for all workers including the labor standards law and minimum wage act.
 Furthermore, we continuously call on the national government to ratify ISO No.111, which prohibits employment discrimination of human races and ethnicities. Also, we call upon our national government to develop related domestic laws.

 (4) Request to the country to amend the alien registration law.
 The alien registration law imposes undue burden on foreign residents including the requirement that they carry their alien registration card at all times. We continuously implore the national government to coordinate with the municipalities on the point of respect on human rights, requesting that dramatic reform be affected.

 

2 Offering information on living and other consultation functions.

<Basic Policy>
 To promote an environment that is convenient and livable, even for our foreign nationals, we offer living information and try to enhance our consultation facilities. Also, we promote the installment of signage written in foreign languages to major public facilities and terminals. In addition, to promote providing Japanese learning opportunities in our communities, we enhance the relationship with the individual municipalities, NPO and others.

<Promotion Measures>
(1) Offering living information.
 About medical, public health, welfare, employment, disaster prevention, housing and other necessary information, we provide multilingual information. In addition, to promote the dissemination of detailed information on living, we enhance the relationship with municipalities, NPO and other entities.
 Also for further provision of information, municipal administrative information is provided by multilingual FM radio broadcasting station. In addition, we anticipate that this multilingual web site of Osaka prefecture will serve many of the needs of our foreign residents.
 Furthermore, for effective information offered in foreign languages, which represent the diversified nationalities of foreign residents, we cooperate with municipalities and the Osaka Prefectural Multilanguage Information Offering Promotion Council (Note.7) to promote providing information in foreign languages.

(2) Signage installment.
 The signage for facilities related to the prefecture adopts international standard pictograms and includes foreign languages to make them easier to be understood by all.
 Also, we install traffic signs with notation in the Roman alphabet or English: readable by all. Also, we address the owners of main stations and public places that are used by many people and ask that they install easily understood signs.

(3) Fulfillment of Consultation Services
 Various Consultation Services Activities such as the Osaka Information Service for Foreign Residents and our “One Day Information Service” is promoted. Also, we try to spread widely information on various consultation services offered by the country, municipalities, NPO and other agencies.
 Furthermore, we will enhance the mutual ties between Osaka and the country, municipalities, NPO and others, and we attempt to raise the administrative staff’s quality by offering better seminars.

(4) Offering Information on Japanese Study Opportunities
 We collect information on Japanese language courses, classes, special seminars and materials available in our local communities through the network of related organizations. Also, we try to offer this information on homepages, leaflets and others.
 Also, in regards to the method to educate and edify instructors of Japanese literacy and language classes and planning and operating coordinators for such classes, we try to offer advice on methodology for the classes run by municipalities, NPO and other agencies.

 

3 A Better Medical, Public Health and Welfare System for all

<Basic Policy>
 For the health of foreign residents and their sense of ease, we promote the dissemination of medical, public health and welfare information and are establishing a system to soothe foreign residents’ anxiety in regards to understanding these essential services.

<Promotion Measures>
(1) Better System to live at ease
 In addition to medical information brochures written in multiple languages, we have prepared a comprehensive directory, the Medical Information for Foreigners on Osaka Prefecture’s web site, and we will provide information to help foreign nationals understand the use of our medical institutions, and coordinate with private organizations offering medical consultation services.
 Moreover, in order to assist foreign nationals without fluency in Japanese proficiency and ensure that they receive medical treatment at any hospital without anxiety, we will utilize volunteer interpreters at prefectural hospitals. At the same time, we provide public health information such as precautions against contagious diseases in foreign languages, and we try to enhance our ability to handle public health consultations, coordinating with NPO and so on.

(2) Promotion of information on the use of welfare services
 We try to provide information effectively, coordinating with relevant organizations on publishing welfare service brochures in foreign languages.
 Also, to make the receiving of welfare services easier for foreign nationals, we will try to educate and make Japanese welfare office civil servants aware and provide better seminars for the people engaged in nursing care business and staff of welfare facilities. Enhancing awareness with seminars is but one of our projects to share and reinforce knowledge on dealing with our foreign residents, and for this, we coordinate with all relevant organizations.

(3) Request to the country on a reform of our legal system
 We continuously request to the Japanese government to take necessary measures regarding smaller medical institutions: not only emergency hospitals, but also to other medical institutions that might not receive payment of fees from foreign nationals.
 Also, we continuously request to the country that they conduct necessary retrieval measures for elderly foreign residents who are not qualified as beneficiaries of the national health insurance due to the terms of the current system.

 

4 Fulfillment of International Understanding and Foreign Residents Education

<Basic Policy>
 Regarding international understanding education, in the midst of the international interdependence, which has been deepened by globalization, we promote education to enhance communication proficiency as well as to further our society’s understanding of different cultures in foreign countries.Also, education for foreign residents, based on the intention of the Osaka Prefectural Government Human Rights Basic Policy, the Plan for the Promotion of Human Rights Education, as well as the Convention on the Rights of the Child, we promote education aiming for pupils and students with different cultural backgrounds, habits, values and so on to accept each other’s differences and live together in harmony, each member of our society endeavoring to achieve their own self-realization while preserving their identities and cultural heritage.
 Moreover, for Korean pupils and students residing in Japan, with consideration for our historical background, we establish an environment that allows them to study language, history, culture and other Korean matters in voluntarily extracurricular activities.

<Promotion Measures>
(1) Nourish communication ability and fulfillment of international understanding education
 Considering the position of youth and students in our community, we promote international understanding education in regular school curricula for comprehensive studies, and we utilize assistant language teachers (Note. 9) as well as overseas student volunteers to nourish our youth’s communication ability. This is key to providing young students with the linguistic abilities to further their own understanding of cultures throughout the world.
 Also, to promote international understanding education, we will promote seminars using necessary information and teaching materials. Deepening common understandings of educational contents and methods by spreading the findings from committed national projects in the past and research outcomes from education centers is also a strategy employed.
 Furthermore, for staff members at child-care centers and kindergartens we will provide seminars on the vision of nourishing abilities for peaceful coexistence, aiming at forming a basis for strong human rights awareness in children.

(2) Expand Opportunities for Interaction
 To have direct contact to different cultures and to understand further, we encourage cultural exchange between students abroad with overseas school trips. We further enlarge interaction opportunities for our students and those abroad by using the internet in classes and in extracurricular activities.
 In addition, we enlarge interaction opportunities with foreign nationals in our community, such as facilitating interaction with local schools for our foreign residents.

(3) Better education for foreign residents
 On education for foreign residents, we will revise and enhance content and methods of instruction to utilize experience and attain better results as well as increasing our accumulated knowledge base on education.
 Also, for Korean students in Japan, we try to establish an environment in which they can study history, culture, and languages through non-compulsive school activities (such as those focusing on the Korean language, ethnic classes and so on).
 Also, we make an effort to establish an environment in which foreign national students in Japan can develop self-pride and awareness, and use their given name. In addition, we try to promote better future course instructions, coordinating with various relevant organizations, to allow foreign pupils and students to choose their future course at will for the sake of their own personal self-achievement.
 Especially for Korean students residing in Japan, we will instruct based on the Instruction Policy on Matters Concerning Korean Residents.
 For students from abroad who are newly arrived in Japan, we will instruct them based on better Japanese education materials and seminars for teachers. 
 Furthermore, we will promote schools for foreign nationals, and we continuously request to the country for the establishment of a subsidiary system financed by the country and re-evaluation and improvement of the entrance exam prerequisites for national universities and others.

 

5 Promotion of Participation in Prefectural Politics

<Basic Policy>
 To reflect the wide range of opinions from the residents in the Prefecture, we will build up the system indolently to seek the opinions from foreign nationals with various cultural backgrounds and ways of thinking.

<Promotion Measures>
 We will continuously utilize The Blue-Ribbon Panel set up for seeking a wider range of opinions about various tasks related to foreign residents and measures Osaka prefecture should take. Also, to appoint a member of committee for councils and others, we make an effort to adopt a wider range of human resources including foreign residents, and we try to reflect opinions from foreign residents on prefectural politics by opinion polls for politics, accepting opinions from all people here, including foreign residents.
 Moreover, we will try to reflect the opinions of foreign residents’ as members of local communities on the municipal political matters.

 
No. 4 Better Promotion System
  

1 Promotion system in prefectural government office

 To promote policy for foreign residents comprehensively, we tighten ties for cooperation among relevant departments and bureaus and try to enhance comprehensive coordination functions by utilizing such systems as our Liaison Meetings and Globalization Policy Promotion Meetings.
 Also, we will deepen administrative staff understanding and awareness for problems surrounding foreign residents to support the effort that they work with a vision of coexistence, which makes everyone in society respect human rights and support each other.
 Each year, we hold a Liaison Meeting to monitor the implementation status of the Policy regarding the Foreign National Residents, and we try to grasp the actual situation if necessary. Furthermore, we will enhance functions of the meeting such as reporting its results to the Blue-Ribbon Panel.

 

2 Coordination with municipalities, NPO and beyond

 In each municipality in the prefecture, depending on the actual situation in community, individual promotion of actions regarding the matters related with foreign residents is affected. Also, recently, collaboration with NPOs and volunteer activities in various fields are expanding. To promote Osaka prefecture’s Policy regarding the Foreign National Residents, we expect the roles taken by NPOs and others to be massive, so we will collaborate with them more.

   

3 Action taken to the national government

 To achieve the society where “all people can coexist as respecting human dignity and rights, accepting the differences of nationalities, ethnicities and living together,” as well as the raising foreign residents’ status and protecting their rights, we continuously request to the country to take the necessary domestic procedures to aspire to conform to international human rights standards.

   

【Note】

(Note.1)“Foreign nationals in Japan”
 In this policy, foreign nationals who have settled and live in Japan are termed “foreign nationals in Japan” and the foreign nationals who have not necessarily settled in Japan (i.e. long-term visitors) are described as “foreign nationals”.

(Note.2)“The Blue-Ribbon Panel for Foreign Resident Related Matters in Osaka Prefecture”
The council was set up in 1992 aiming at gathering a wide range of opinions regarding various assignments related to foreign residents and the measures Osaka prefecture should take.

(Note.3)“Historical background”
Due to colonial rules of the recent past, many Koreans were forced to come to Japan, and many of them were forcibly engaged in military industry and construction works. Many of the current Korean residents of Japan and their descendants are people who could not return to their country after the war and remain in Japan.

(Note.4)“Korean” Language
 In Osaka prefecture, in the Osaka Information Service for Foreign Residents, multilingual FM radio programs and Osaka Prefecture’s homepage, the word “Hangul” is used for Korean.

(Note.5)“People failed to become a beneficiary of the national health insurance due to the  Japanese nationality requirement which was made when it was established.”
 This concerns elderly and/or disabled foreign nationals who are non-beneficiaries due to rules of the system. If either, as of January 1, 1982, s/he was disabled and at the age of 20 or over or as of April 1, 1986, s/he was at the age of 60 or over, they are not qualified as a beneficiary.

(Note.6)“NPO”
Abbreviation of Nonprofit Organization (Non Profitable Organization. Generally, this means “private organization which is not aimed for profit” but nevertheless is registered for corporation status (such as public-interest corporation, specified nonprofit corporation and other entities) or without corporate status (voluntary organization such as a volunteer group). NPO is regarded as the ‘Third Sector’ along with government (administration) and profitable organizations (private companies) being first and second.

(Note.7)“Osaka Prefectural Multilanguage Information Offering Promotion Council”
 It consists of Osaka Prefecture, 15 cities in the prefecture and Osaka Foundation of International Exchange. The Council publishes the “Osaka Essentials for Living,” containing information both essential and of great use is assisting our foreign residents to live with us, and provides a wealth of information to our foreign residents.

(Note.8)“International Standards Pictogram”
 International standardized signs are created with the intention that foreign nationals using different languages can understand them like traffic signs – with immediacy.

 

(Examples)
Escalator
Elevator
Restaurant
No Smoking
Telephone

(Note9)”Assistant language teachers:
 Foreign nationals work as foreign language teaching staff or assistant language teachers in our educational committees and schools of several levels.

This page is published and owned by:
Human Rights Office, Prefectural Culture Department