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2014 UNHCR regional operations profile - East Asia and the Pacific

| Overview |

Working environment

The East Asia and the Pacific subregion continues to face the challenges of mixed flows of migrants and asylum-seekers from Asia, the Middle East and Africa. In Australia, the Government has responded to a rising number of irregular maritime arrivals (IMAs) by adopting strict new asylum legislation and policies, including the transfer of IMAs to Nauru and Papua New Guinea for processing. These developments have created a complex and challenging protection environment for refugees and asylum-seekers in the country.

Australia and other Pacific States are likely to continue to pursue measures aimed at deterring irregular boat movements. UNHCR will work to ensure that people of concern still benefit from adequate protection and assistance, in line with international humanitarian principles. In 2014-2015, the Office is calling for an increase in resettlement intakes, and will increase advocacy efforts to help the Australian public to gain a more balanced and informed understanding of asylum and refugee issues, hopefully leading to more support for people of concern.

In New Zealand as well, the focus on refugee issues will be substantially influenced by trends in mixed maritime movements. Although the Government reduced the UNHCR-sponsored component of its annual resettlement quota in 2013, its efforts to improve support for resettled refugees are likely to have positive effects in the longer term.

As parties to the bilateral IMA-transfer arrangements with Australia, Nauru and Papua New Guinea will face considerable challenges in providing an adequate level of support for transferees. They require support to strengthen their legislative frameworks, refugee status determination (RSD) systems and reception arrangements. West Papuan refugees remain in need of durable solutions, with naturalization being the most viable option.

The Pacific Island States, which receive a relatively small number of asylum-seekers compared to other parts of the region, are expected to continue to strengthen their asylum and refugee protection capacities.

In China, growing mixed migratory flows to urban areas have had an impact on the reception conditions for asylum-seekers. The increase in the number of refugees and asylum-seekers has highlighted the need for the Government to enact national asylum legislation in line with the 1951 Refugee Convention. The July 2013 adoption of the Exit-Entry Administration Law has been followed by a growing interest of the Chinese authorities in asylum systems in other countries.

In Hong Kong SAR, China, a groundbreaking judgment of the Court of Final Appeal has prompted the authorities to pledge to assess refugee claims independently before executing deportation orders. The Government subsequently announced that it would introduce a "unified screening mechanism" to assess claims for protection against refoulement.

UNHCR continues to advocate for the Government of Mongolia's accession to the 1951 Refugee Convention.

In Japan, the year 2012 saw the highest number of asylum applications to date (2,545), with progress made in the handling of asylum cases. For instance, alternatives to detention are being arranged for asylum-seekers. The Government has also reiterated its commitment to continue offering resettlement places after the current pilot phase of the resettlement programme ends in 2014.

The Republic of Korea enacted a comprehensive Refugee Law in July 2013. A dedicated Refugee Division was created by the Ministry of Justice within the Korea Immigration Service. RSD capacity has been strengthened and is gradually being extended to provinces and municipalities outside Seoul. The Government has increased its financial support for UNHCR, and the private sector in the Republic of Korea has doubled its contributions from the previous year.

| Response |

Strategies

  • UNHCR will continue to monitor and advocate for a stronger protection environment for all asylum-seekers arriving in Australia and New Zealand, particularly those transferred to other countries in the Pacific. Protection initiatives will focus on access to fair and effective RSD, reduced use of detention in favour of community-based arrangements, the special needs of vulnerable individuals, and the provision of safe, humane and sustainable solutions for all refugees.

  • In both Australia and New Zealand, UNHCR will advocate for more resettlement places and support grassroots- and community-based civil society projects geared to the development of more tolerant and balanced public perceptions of asylum and refugee issues.

  • UNHCR will continue to assist the Pacific Island States to build their legal systems and capacities to respond to the needs of asylum-seekers and refugees in their territories.

  • In China, UNHCR will conduct RSD, seek durable solutions, and advocate with the Government to assure protection for all people of concern.

  • In Hong Kong SAR, China, UNHCR will provide technical support to the Government and seek durable solutions for people of concern, strengthen public support for refugees and raise funds from the public and private sectors.

  • In Mongolia, UNHCR will offer training and other capacity-building assistance to government authorities to help them prepare for the country's accession to the 1951 Refugee Convention.

  • In Japan, public strategic partnerships with key stakeholders, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Japan International Cooperation Agency ( JICA), non-governmental organizations and the Parliamentary League for UNHCR will work to improve asylum practices and garner popular political and financial support for the Office.

  • UNHCR will help to strengthen the Republic of Korea's refugee protection capacity and advocate with the Government for increased political and financial support.

Challenges

Responding to asylum-seekers arriving irregularly by boat remains a topic of heated debate in Australia and, increasingly, in other countries in the Pacific. In this environment, ensuring that humanitarian responses are not affected by the focus on border protection and deterrence remains a challenge.

Although China is party to the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol, refugees and asylum-seekers have no legal status and are entirely dependent on UNHCR for registration, RSD and life-sustaining assistance. As a result, operational resources are stretched. Limited access to some regions inhibits UNHCR's monitoring and advocacy capacity.

In Hong Kong SAR, China, the authorities remain reluctant to accede to the 1951 Refugee Convention. Despite the recent announcement of the Government's plan to institute a "unified screening mechanism" to assess claims for non-refoulement protection, no options have been considered for possible local integration for those allowed to remain on the territory.

Mongolia is not a signatory to any of the refugee instruments and has no domestic legislation governing asylum issues. The protection of people of concern is governed through the provisions of a government ordinance.

In the Republic of Korea, the authorities implementing the newly adopted asylum legislation will need sustained support through technical advice and training. UNHCR will work with the Government, the media and civil society to maintain a tolerant and balanced public perception of asylum and refugee issues and curb rising xenophobia.

| Implementation |

Operations

In Australia and New Zealand, the main focus of UNHCR's protection advocacy and monitoring will be on access to fair and efficient RSD procedures. UNHCR will also work with the authorities on policy and practice regarding detention and the implementation of Australia's bilateral arrangements with Nauru and Papua New Guinea.

In China, UNHCR will continue to carry out RSD under its mandate and to provide life-sustaining assistance to refugees pending the attainment of durable solutions. At the same time, it will seek greater engagement with relevant national actors to expand protection and humanitarian space.

The recent enactment of the Exit-Entry Administration Law has made it important for UNHCR to work closely with the Government on registration and the issuance of State documentation for refugees.

In Hong Kong SAR, China, UNHCR will continue to provide technical support to the relevant authorities and help in the identification of durable solutions, especially in light of the Government's recent announcement of its plan to introduce a "unified screening mechanism" to assess claims for protection from refoulement. It will also work to strengthen the public's awareness of refugee issues and support for the displaced, in addition to raising funds from the public and private sectors.

UNHCR will support Japan in its efforts to strengthen its national protection regime, including in the areasof community mobilization and local integration, while undertaking a wide range of awareness-raising activities in collaboration with the national association and partners. The strategic partnership with JICA and civil society organizations on emergency preparedness and response will be reinforced.

UNHCR will support the Republic of Korea in its efforts to introduce its refugee protection system. The Office will continue to seek funds from corporate donors in the country.

| Financial information |

In 2014, the overall financial requirements for the East Asia and Pacific subregion have been set at USD 13.8 million.

The financial requirements have remained stable in Japan and the Republic of Korea.

In the Pacific, the Australia Regional Office continues to work with a modest budget, despite the acute protection challenges faced by UNHCR in the region and additional responsibilities for Papua New Guinea following the closure of the country office in December 2012.

In addition, since August 2012, the protection monitoring and advocacy workload has increased significantly following the signing of the IMA-transfer arrangements between Australia, Papua New Guinea and Nauru. Financial requirements in 2014, which are at a level similar to 2013, will have to cover expanding protection demands stemming from irregular maritime movements and asylum policy changes in Australia.

In China, where UNHCR delivers registration and RSD services as well as basic material assistance to recognized refugees, the rise in the number of asylum-seekers witnessed in 2013 has had an impact on operational and financial requirements for 2014.

UNHCR budgets for East Asia and the Pacific (USD)
Operation 2013
Revised budget
(as of 30 June 2013)
2014 2015
Refugee
programme
PILLAR 1
Stateless
programme
PILLAR 2
Total
Total 15,343,290 13,519,470 261,932 13,781,402 13,781,402
Australia Regional Office 2,859,685 2,630,314 0 2,630,314 2,630,314
China Regional Office 4,364,719 4,611,161 121,219 4,732,380 4,732,380
Japan 4,478,733 3,965,234 44,328 4,009,562 4,009,562
Republic of Korea 2,540,151 2,012,761 96,385 2,109,146 2,109,146
Regional activities 1,100,001 300,000 0 300,000 300,000

Source: UNHCR Global Appeal 2014-2105


UNHCR contact information

< = "operationsTables2011"> < = 9:30-18:30> < = 9:30-18:30> < = >
The UNHCR Representation in Japan
Style of Address The UNHCR Representative in Japan
Street Address Wesley Center, 6-10-11, Minami Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-0062 Japan
Mailing Address Wesley Center, 6-10-11, Minami Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-0062 Japan
Telephone +81 3 3499 2011
Facsimile +81 3 3499 2272
Website http://www.unhcr.or.jp
Email jpnto@unhcr.org
Time Zone GMT + 9:00
Working Hours
Monday:9:30-18:30
Tuesday:9:30-18:30
Wednesday:
Thursday:
Friday:9:30-18:30
Saturday:
Sunday:
Public Holidays 11 February 2011, National Foundation Day
21 March 2011, Vernal Equinox Day
03 May 2011, Constitution Memorial Day
04 May 2011, Greenery Day
05 May 2011, Children's Day
18 July 2011, Marine Day
31 Augus 2011, Eid Al-Fitr (Mandated by general Assembly)
23 September 2011, Automnal Equinox Day
07 November 2011, Eid Al-Adha (Mandated by General Assembly)
23 December 2011,Emperor's Birthday
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Statistical Snapshot*
* As at January 2014
  1. Country or territory of asylum or residence. In the absence of Government estimates, UNHCR has estimated the refugee population in most industrialized countries based on 10 years of asylum-seekers recognition.
  2. Persons recognized as refugees under the 1951 UN Convention/1967 Protocol, the 1969 OAU Convention, in accordance with the UNHCR Statute, persons granted a complementary form of protection and those granted temporary protection. It also includes persons in a refugee-like situation whose status has not yet been verified.
  3. Persons whose application for asylum or refugee status is pending at any stage in the procedure.
  4. Refugees who have returned to their place of origin during the first six months of 2013. Source: Country of origin and asylum.
  5. Persons who are displaced within their country and to whom UNHCR extends protection and/or assistance. It also includes persons who are in an IDP-like situation.
  6. IDPs protected/assisted by UNHCR who have returned to their place of origin during the first six months of 2013.
  7. Refers to persons under UNHCR's statelessness mandate.
  8. Persons of concern to UNHCR not included in the previous columns but to whom UNHCR extends protection and/or assistance.
  9. The category of people in a refugee-like situation is descriptive in nature and includes groups of people who are outside their country of origin and who face protection risks similar to those of refugees, but for whom refugee status has, for practical or other reasons, not been ascertained.
The data are generally provided by Governments, based on their own definitions and methods of data collection.
A dash (-) indicates that the value is zero, not available or not applicable.

Source: UNHCR/Governments.
Compiled by: UNHCR, FICSS.
Residing in Japan [1]
Refugees [2]
More info 2,584
Figures are UNHCR estimates.
Asylum Seekers [3]
More info 6,742
Figures are UNHCR estimates.
Returned Refugees [4] 0
Internally Displaced Persons (IDPS) [5] 0
Returned IDPs [6] 0
Stateless Persons [7]
More info 852
Figures are UNHCR estimates.
Various [8] 0
Total Population of Concern 10,178
Originating from Japan [1]
Refugees [2] 157
Asylum Seekers [3] 53
Returned Refugees [4] 0
Internally Displaced Persons (IDPS) [5] 0
Returned IDPs [6] 0
Various [8] 0
Total Population of Concern 210
Government Contributions to UNHCR
2013 Contributions Breakdown
Total contribution in USD: 252,939,102 [rank: 2]
Total contribution in currency: 5,819,172,943 (JPY); 194,996,004 (USD)
Unrestricted contribution (USD): 21,978,366 [rank: 6]
Donor ranking per GDP: 13
Donor ranking per capita: 16
2013 Contributions chart
Contributions since 2000
YearUSD
2014
More info133,079,059
As at 2 July 2014
2013
More info252,939,102
Total contribution in USD: 252,939,102 [rank: 2]
Total contribution in currency: 5,819,172,943 (JPY); 194,996,004 (USD)
Unrestricted contribution (USD): 21,978,366 [rank: 6]
Donor ranking per GDP: 13
Donor ranking per capita: 16
2012
More info185,379,986
Total contribution in USD: 185,379,986 [rank: 2]
Total contribution in currency: 5,164,227,888 (JPY); 120,265,002 (USD)
Unrestricted contribution (USD): 22,441,243 [rank: 6]
Donor ranking per GDP: 17
Donor ranking per capita: 16
2011
More info226,106,644
Total contribution in USD: 226,106,644 [rank: 2]
Total contribution in currency: 5,369,776,785 JPY; 160,012,174 USD
Unrestricted contribution (USD): 19,266,675 [rank: 6]
Donor ranking per GDP: 16
Donor ranking per capita: 15
2010
More info143,494,234
Total contribution in USD: 143,494,234 (rank: 2)
Total contribution in currency: 5,777,202,107 JPY; 80,774,517 USD
Unrestricted contribution (USD): 15,124,133 (rank: 5)
Donor ranking per GDP: 17
Donor ranking per capita: 15
2009
More info110,553,715
Total contribution in USD: 110,553,715 (1) (rank: 3)
Total contribution in currency: 6,158,956,115 JPY; 46,561,293 USD
Unrestricted contribution (USD): 10,692,149 (rank: 11)
Donor ranking per GDP: 20
Donor ranking per capita: 18
(1) Includes USD 91,189 from the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
2008
More info110,871,125
Total contribution in USD: 110,871,125 [1] (rank: 3)
Total contribution in currency: 6,458,959,792 (JPY); 46,957,671 (USD)
Unrestricted contribution (USD): 9,000,000 (rank: 12)
Donor ranking per GDP: 17
Donor ranking per capita: 17
[1] Includes USD 120,553 from the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
2007
More info89,703,788
Total contribution in USD: 89,703,788 [1] (rank: 2)
Total contribution in currency: 2,009,356,146 (JPY); 71,888,570 (USD)
Unrestricted contribution (USD): 7,132,448 (rank: 11)
Donor ranking per GDP: 21
Donor ranking per capita: 20
[1] Includes USD 132,955 from the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
2006
More info75,149,096
Total contribution in USD: 75,149,096 [1] (rank: 3)
Total contribution in currency: 12,563,960 (JPY); 75,035,907 (USD)
Unrestricted contribution (USD): -
Donor ranking per GDP: 17
Donor ranking per capita: 17
[1] Of which, USD 113,189 from the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
2005
More info94,518,948
USD 94,518,948 of which USD 3,993,645 (4%) earmarked at the regional level, USD 15,450,000 (16%) earmarked at the subregional level, USD 74,126,716 (79%) earmarked at the country level, USD 177,130 earmarked at the sectoral / thematic level and USD 771,456 (1%) for JPOs.
2004
More info81,751,782
USD 81,751,782 of which USD 4,500,000 (6%) was unrestricted and 77,251,782 (94%) earmarked.
2003
More info90,750,318
USD 90,750,318 of which USD 4,539,655 (5%) was unrestricted and USD 86,210,663 (95%) earmarked.
2002
More info117,969,877
USD 117,969,877 of which 100% earmarked.
2001
More info91,429,313
USD 91,429,313 of which 100% earmarked.
2000
More info100,161,426
USD 100,161,426 of which 100% earmarked.
Private Sector Contributions to UNHCR
Private sector fund raising 2013

Total contribution in USD: 18,702,767
Total contribution in currency: 1,509,933,402 (JPY); 3,227,949 (USD)
Major donorsUSD
Japan Association for UNHCR15,654,433
Tokyo Marathon Foundation135,955
Fuji Optical Co., Ltd100,000
Shinnyo-en Buddhist Order95,000
Others
Fast retailing Co., (UNIQLO)2,867,208
Panasonic Corporation80,000
ADEO Japan29,804

2013 Contributions chart
Contributions since 2006
YearUSD
2014
More info 6,002,429
As at 8 May 2014
2013
More info18,702,767

Total contribution in USD: 18,702,767
Total contribution in currency: 1,509,933,402 (JPY); 3,227,949 (USD)
Major donorsUSD
Japan Association for UNHCR15,654,433
Tokyo Marathon Foundation135,955
Fuji Optical Co., Ltd100,000
Shinnyo-en Buddhist Order95,000
Others
Fast retailing Co., (UNIQLO)2,867,208
Panasonic Corporation80,000
ADEO Japan29,804
2012
More info14,284,250

Total contribution in USD: 14,284,250
Total contribution in currency: 977,979,642 (JPY); 2,033,244 (USD)
Major donorsUSD
Japan Association for UNHCR:
Fast retailing Co., Ltd (UNIQLO)391,280
Fuji Optical100,000
Shinnyo-en Buddhist Order95,000
Others:
Fast retailing Co., Ltd (UNIQLO)1,779,237
2011
More info11,457,282

Total contribution in USD: 11,457,282
Total contribution in currency: 712,191,408 (JPY); 1,862,823 (USD)
Major donorsUSD
Fast Retailing Co., Ltd.1,767,838
Tadashi Yanai1,000,000
Tokyo Marathon Foundation173,089
Rissho Kosei-kai Donate A Meal Fund for Peace95,858
Shinnyo-en Buddhist Order95,000
Shunpuukai86,589
Meiji Co., Ltd.83,927
Canon Inc.65,357
Soroptimist International of America, Japan Minami, Nishi, Kita, Chuo and Higashi Regions57,806
Jodo Shu Namu-chan Aid45,783
2010
More info 8,064,669

Total contribution in USD: 8,064,669
Total contribution in currency: 596,736,112 JPY; 1,862,823 USD
Major donorsUSD
Fast Retailing Co., Ltd.558,126
Shinnyo-en Buddhist Order206,585
ICOM183,830
Soroptimist International of America, Japan, Higashi, Nishi, Kita and Chuo Regions105,005
Meiji Seika Kaisha, Ltd.88,213
Mother Food Foundation62,770
Mainichi Newspaper Social Foundation Group71,020
Rissho Kosei-Kai Donate-A-Meal Fund57,927
LaLaport Management Co., Ltd.54,445
Network Chikyumura52,134
2009 6,695,859
2008 5,590,428
2007 2,368,779
2006 2,227,673

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