Symposium to mark the establishment of the Information Center on Statelessness in Japan held
Update: February 27, 2018
Mr. Hajime Akiyama（left）, Ms. Ayane Odagawa（Center）and Professor Setsuko Lee (right)
A symposium to commemorate the establishment of the Information Center on Statelessness in Japan was held on Monday, Feb. 12, under the title "Research on Statelessness in Japan, What We Can Perceive from Statelessness." It was sponsored by the Peace Research Institute (PRI) with the support of NPO Stateless Network and the Study Group on Statelessness in Japan.
First, Hajime Akiyama, a research fellow at the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science and an ICU doctoral candidate, took the rostrum to speak on the "Prevention of Statelessness in Japan and International Law." He gave a comprehensive report on the history on the prevention of statelessness in Japan since the enactment of the Japanese Nationality Law of the Meiji Era.
Ayane Odagawa, a lawyer who serves as chief researcher at the Study Group on Statelessness in Japan, reported on the "Typology of Stateless Persons in Japan." Ms. Odagawa explained from a legal perspective how stateless persons became stateless in Japan.
The third speaker was Mizue Tsukida, a former professor at the Graduate School of Showa Women's University. Under the title "Statelessness from the Perspective of Welfare," she discussed difficulties faced by stateless individuals, especially stateless children and their families in Okinawa, in receiving administrative services, as well as identity problems resulting from statelessness, citing a few case examples.
After a 10-minute break, Professor Setsuko Lee of the University of Nagasaki spoke on "Health Issues Involving Stateless Mothers and Children from Overseas Countries," taking up issues on pregnancy and childbirth confronting stateless women.
A panel discussion lasting about an hour followed, with the four speakers participating and Sosuke Seki , a lawyer, serving as facilitator. They held active discussions on the issue of statelessness in Japan from their individual standpoints and areas of expertise. In the second half, the panelists and members of the audience including ICU undergraduate students took part in a question and answer session, exchanging opinions on the presentations.
The symposium was run mainly by ICU students, who took charge of the overall proceedings and other arrangements.