The central government is preparing to extend by 180 days its financial aid program to Ukrainian evacuees who have no family, friends or guarantors in the country, government sources said Thursday.
The continuation of the monetary support program, set to complete its first span of six months in late September, has been up for review as the Russian invasion of Ukraine drags on and evacuees look set to be in Japan for a longer period.
An official government decision is expected in September, according to the sources.
The Immigration Services Agency is the primary body reviewing the response to the coming deadline. On June 28, the Cabinet approved fiscal 2022 budget reserves of around ¥1.9 billion ($14 million) to support evacuees.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida first announced Japan would accept Ukrainian evacuees on March 2.
The evacuees are eligible for a specified activities visa that allows them to work and stay for a year.
Evacuees without family, friends or guarantors in the country can receive financial support from the central government for daily expenses, while some of those with supporters in the country receive aid from their local government or the philanthropic Nippon Foundation.
As of Tuesday, Japan has accepted 1,736 Ukrainian evacuees, according to the Immigration Services Agency. Data current to Sunday shows that 152 people have come to Japan with no supporters and are therefore eligible for the financial aid.
While the agency does not release figures on how many are receiving monetary support, it is likely to exceed 152 people because the government can decide whether to release funds based on individual circumstances, including evacuees who find it increasingly difficult to receive assistance from supporters due to their extended stays.
The agency also matches evacuees who have no supporters with local governments and companies willing to help them.
Upon moving into accommodation such as dormitories or publicly-managed housing, evacuees age 12 and over are eligible for ¥2,400 a day — if they are part of a family the provision drops to ¥1,600 for the second person and up — and children below age 12 receive ¥1,200 daily.
A separate payment for buying necessities, which is awarded before they move to the accommodation provided by companies or local governments, comes to ¥160,000 for evacuees age 16 and over, and ¥80,000 for those up to 15 years old.