Greetings from the Representatives

Greetings from the Representative, UNHCR Representation in Japan

Welcome to the 11th UNHCR Refugee Film Festival.

Today, the world is facing unprecedented levels of displacement with more than 65 million people forced to flee their homes.  In this context, we strongly believe that it is our responsibility to continue raising awareness of these populations, and hope that this unique film festival gives the Japanese society the courage to stand together with refugees.

Japan may be geographically far from the world’s crises, but I have faith in the people that the solidarity towards the population in need is something that this society deserves of high regard.

I expect that this year’s Refugee Film Festival becomes a valuable event where people can further connect themselves to the millions of people who, just like us, deserve peace and happiness.

Dirk Hebecker

UNHCR Representative in Japan


Greetings from the Chairman of the Board of Directors, Japan Association for UNHCR

We are celebrating the 11th UNHCR Refugee Film Festival and are happy to see so many of you take an interest every year in these films. Thanks to the cooperation of our sponsors and partners, we are honored to announce that the UNHCR Refugee Film Festival will be held in Hokkaido, Sendai, Tokyo and Osaka.

As the UNHCR Global Trends Report 2015 states, the number of displaced people reached a record high of 65.3 million, exceeding 60 million people for the first time. The amount of donation to the Japan Association for UNHCR from the private sector totaled 2.5 billion yen in 2015 which was the biggest contribution since the establishment of the Association, but we are still short in funds needed to support displaced people globally.

We will continue in our efforts to gain support for refugees. We hope that these films will lead to increased concern and understanding for refugee issues around the world.

Saburo Takizawa

Chairman of the Board of Directors, Japan Association for UNHCR