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HOME  >  Special Subject  >  2021  >  Comment of Migrants and Japanese Society

Akihiko Tanaka, Selection Committee Chair

Selection of Projects for the Grant Program “Migrants and Japanese Society” 2021


 The Toyota Foundation publicly solicited applications for the FY2021 Special Subject "Migrants and Japanese Society." The grant program will be given to projects that study any of the five issues below and implement measures to address these issues (for example, building a mechanism or system to solve an issue orimprove a situation) during the grant period.

(1) Creation of an environment for maximizing the skills and potential of foreign talent
(2) Minimizing gaps among foreign residents in their access to information
(3) Examination of human and other resourcesin support of the care and support systems for foreign residents
(4) Attracting skilled human resources from abroad
(5) Lessons from insights and experiences gained through Japanese companies’ overseas operations

This fiscal year, as in FY2020, for categories (4) and (5), we also accepted applications from applicants whose projects focus on research and studies, and considered them for selection.Between September 6 and November 20, 2021, we received 50 applications.During this period, the administrative office held two briefings over Zoom. After three members of the Selection Committee examined and evaluated the application documents, the Committee met on February 1, 2022 and chose seven grant candidates to receive a total of 50 million yen.

The following is an outline of the grant candidates' projects.

D21-MG-0014 Tetsuo Kato, Managing Director, REEP Foundation
“Prototyping financial inclusion system for financially excluded foreign residents based on participatory research for financial exclusion of foreign residents in Japan”
This project is intended to identify how difficult it is for foreign residents to use financial services, or the reality of their financial exclusion, and to consider a mechanism that will improve their use of financial services (financial inclusion).The project will address issues in categories (1) and (2). The reality of the use of financial services by foreign residents has not been well understood because of the characteristics of the financial industry.This projectis an ambitious one and is expected to produce results. It aims to understand the reality of the use of financial services by foreign residents in cooperation with financial institutions and explore a new scheme for the financial inclusion of foreign
residents.

D21-MG-0016 Maho Hadano, Coordinator, Door to Asylum Nagoya
“Survey on the actual conditions of employment of refugees living in the Tokai region and efforts to improve their working environment”
In this project, refugee supporters and refugees will cooperate to understand the reality of the employment status of people who are recognized as refugees and have applied for asylum.The project also aims to improve the working environment for refugees as human resources from overseas.The project will address issues in categories (1) and (2).The project team includes people recognized as refugees who have been working in Japan, which is one of the strengths of the project.In addition to understanding the difficulties and challenges that people recognized as refugees and permitted to stay in Japan due to humanitarian considerations and who are working in Japan face and pursuing ways to address them, this project also aims to raise awareness in society of refugees as human resources that contribute to Japanese society.That is one of the characteristics of this project.

D21-MG-0017 Ryo Kanbayashi, Professor, Hitotsubashi University
“Co-Creation Platform for Evidence Based Migration Policy Making”
This project will conduct a large-scale panel survey to understand foreign technical intern trainees and specified skilled foreign workers as consumers and workers, contributing to forming a basis for policy on accepting foreign human resources based on scientific evidence.The project will address issues in categories (1) and (2).The data on foreign technical intern trainees and specified skilled foreign workers that the government has gathered do not include attributes such as human relationships, relationships with local communities, and lifestyles.It is therefore difficult to analyze scientifically and systematically the challenges that those people, who are workers and consumers, are facing.A large-scale panel survey in this project is expected to obtain findings that have been difficult to obtain from government statistics.

D21-MG-0028 Yoshihikodoi, Representative Director, NGO Resource Center for Multicultural Community Tokai
“Establishing a Multilingual Consultation Desk Network for Foreign Human Resource Inclusion in a Post-Corona Society and Developing a System for Training Professional Human Resources”
This project is the second phaseof a 2019 grant project titled "A Strengthening Project of a Multilingual Consultation Service System Through Public-Private Partnerships: Towards Reaching
Sustainable Management of (Japan’s) Newly Formed Multi-Cultural General Information Consultation System 'One-Stop Centers'."This project aims to address challenges that counselors for multilingual consultation service face which have become evident in the 2019 project and to build their capacity and gain recognition of them as professionals.The project will address issues in category (2). The 2019 project has revealed that the position of many counselors in the organization appears to be vague and they appear to be irregular members.They do not seem to be given sufficient opportunities to participate in training to improve their expertise.This project is expected to plan and implement effective training projects and thereby enhance the counselors' capabilities, gain recognition of them, and improve their status.

D21-MG-0039 Yuri Sadoi, Professor, Faculty of Economics, Meijo University
“Issues and Measures for Human Resource Development of ASEAN Engineers Working in Japan”
This project focuses on foreign workers from ASEAN countries who work at manufacturers and IT companies in Japan.The project will survey and analyze human resource development in ASEAN countries and education and training in Japan and will consider sustainable human resource development methods that are beneficial for both those countries and Japan. The project will address issues in categories (4) and (5).It is expected that the project team and ASEAN researchers will conduct joint studies in ASEAN countries and Japan and systematically identify the needs, quality, and purposes of foreign engineers, and as a result, the examination of desirable human resource develop methods will make progress.

D21-MG-0042 Yu Shinagawa, CEO & Founder, An-Nahal Inc.
“Research and Analysis of Changes in Mindset and Behavior of International Students and Human Resources in Companies through Mutual Mentoring and Systematization of Training Model”
This project is intended to provide opportunities for mutual mentoring (guidance and information sharing through dialogue) to international students and Japanese people involved at Japanese companies and conduct a study of changes in their mindsets and behavior and thereby encourage changes in the mindsets and behavior of companies that accept international students and expand the number of international students working at Japanese companies.The project will address issues in category (4).In addition to providing information to international students and increasing interaction opportunities, the project aims to havean impact on the mindsets and behavior of human resource personnel at Japanese companies.That is one of the characteristics of the project.The project is planning to create a handbook about mutual mentoring methods, which is expected to help companies in Japan hire human resources.

D21-MG-0045 Russell Miller, Visiting Scientist, University of Tokyo, Graduate School of Medicine, Department of Community and Global Health
“Development and dissemination of a multilingual online health and wellbeing information crowdsourcing platform by a multinational team -Towards equitable access to healthcare”
In this project, a multinational project team will build and operate a multilingual health information platform. The project will address issues in category (2). Medical personnel and software experts from different countries who have strongly felt the need for a platform for promptly providing multilingual health information to foreign nationals amid the COVID-19 pandemic have proposed this joint project. This project is expected to produce immediate effects based on a website that is already in operation, through the participation of website users in development and the development of programs by volunteers.

Comments

The main characteristic of this fiscalyear's projects is the selection of projects whose themes have rarely been chosen, such as financial inclusion and refugees, in addition to projects that steadily address specific issues and projects that aim to deal with urgent issues. We expect that projects that deal with specific issues will play a leading role that will affect future projects of government organizations. We have selected two projects related to promoting the acceptance of highlyskilledhuman resources. No projects directly related tocategory (3) are selected this year. However, we selected a number of projects related to category (3) in the previous two years, and a project selected this year is related to medical care. Overall, we believe the selection of projects this year is well balanced.

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