Yokohama City, Japan, in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the fact that many Ukrainian refugees have been forced to evacuate the country, is implementing a program that will comprehensively support those moving or emigrating from Ukraine into Yokohama.
On March 10th, 2022, Yokohama established a new “Yokohama City Ukraine Refugee Support Consultation Counter” accessible from the Yokohama Foreign Residents Information Center and the eleven Yokohama International Lounge locations around the city. On March 25th, a “Ukrainian Refugee Support Measures Team” was set up within the City of Yokohama to provide prompt response and organizational support for refugees by considering specific support measures to take within a wide range of fields, including housing, schooling, working, medical care, etc.
Then, on April 15th, Yokohama announced the “All-Yokohama Support Package” for displaced Ukrainians moving into Yokohama, and with the generous cooperation of many individual private companies, organizations, and citizens, is sequentially providing concrete support for those who have been forced to evacuate, to help them adapt to living in Japan.
All-Yokohama, Japan Ukrainian Refugee Support Program
■ Hotel Accommodation
Through the support of Yokohama Sakuragicho Washington Hotel, we are able provide temporary hotel accommodations (including 3 free meals per day) for the first few weeks after refugees come to Yokohama City.
■ Starting Off
Support will be available for various necessary procedures to starting life in a new country, including with paperwork at the ward office, opening a bank account, and obtaining a SIM card.
■ Medical Services
We plan to work to understand the medical needs of individual refugees and introduce them to the appropriate medical institutions based on their needs.
■ Cost of Living
With the cooperation of local companies (Nojima, Matsuura), a lump-sum living allowance of 200,000 yen per person and an immediate living expense of 100,000 yen per person for up to 3 months will be provided through the Yokohama YMCA, and will be dispensed to those who have been evacuated from Ukraine to Yokohama City.
■ Housing, Furniture, Home Appliances
Municipal housing will be provided through the program free of charge for 1 year. In addition, with the cooperation of companies in the city, we will support the acquisition of furniture, home appliances, Internet access, etc.
■ Daily Life
With the support of various companies and organizations around the city, the program will be able to provide daily necessities and food to those who need them. Support will also be available to those seeking employment locally.
■ Schooling / Learning Japanese
Board of Educations and ward offices will work together to support the elementary and junior high school enrollment of refugees. The school support system will include supporting the cost of purchasing school supplies necessary for preparing for admission, living school life, and the cost of school meals. Learning support will also be supplied, tailored to the child’s situation, such as lessons at the Japanese language support base facility “Himawari”. Interpreters and translators will also be available through the program.
■ Ukrainian Cafe
The Yokohama Exchange Café “Drúzi” has been established to provide hospitality and a safe space for refugees. Drúzi comes from the Ukrainian word Друзі, which means “Friend”. This Café will be a space where Ukrainian refugees can freely converse in their native language and interact with peace of mind, and will also serve to connect refugees with requests or needs to citizens and businesses that can help. At the opening of the café on April 28, evacuees, local Ukrainians, and Yokohama Mayor Takeharu Yamanaka joined together to converse and enjoy Borscht, a Ukrainian local dish
As of April 25, 21 families and 40 refugees are staying in Yokohama. From March 10th to April 11th, the city of Yokohama collected 23.83 million yen (approx. 183,000 USD*) for local support donations to Ukraine and sent it to the Ukraine Red Cross. From April 12, Yokohama, Japan has been focusing its fundraising efforts on supporting Ukrainian refugees.
*Note: Japanese Yen (JPY) is converted to US Dollar (USD): 1 USD = 130 JPY
Inquiries about this Support Package:
YOKOHAMA Foreign Residents Information Center