Multilingual Helpline (APT)
Multilingual Telephone Helpline for Foreign Residents in Japan
APT (Asian People Together) is a group within the Kyoto YWCA which supports foreign residents in Japan. APT strives to help create a multicultural society in which people with different ethnic backgrounds live together in peace.
We provide an information service for foreign residents in Japan to help them solve their problems. We are called about a range of issues -- from employment in Japan to difficulties with raising children. We often work in cooperation with specialist groups, such as lawyers and visa specialists, and we offer an escort for our clients to avoid language difficulties in public offices. We always respect each client's confidentiality, and respect the decisions they make. We also offer private tutoring to children whose single mothers cannot afford after-school coaching classes (juku), to help them keep up with their classes at school.
If you think we might be able to help you, please call our number:
075-451-6522 (APT TELEPHONE HELPLINE)
The service is available: Mondays 13:00-16:00 /Thursdays 15:00-18:00
We have counselors who speak Japanese, Chinese, English, French, Pilipino, and Thai. We can also arrange for interpreters of other languages.(By Appointment Only)
Please call us
if you are a foreign resident living in Japan and are in need of some help, for example,
- You need to visit the hospital but cannot speak Japanese
- You have been injured at work
- You would need information about the Japanese legal or welfare systems
- You plan to marry a Japanese citizen
- You are worried about your visa status if you get divorced
- You are having marital or domestic violence problems
- You are having difficulties raising your children in foreign culture
- You would like to consult with someone about planning for your children's future
- You are suffering from domestic violence or an abusive work situation.
Depending on your inquiry, we may refer you to a specialist, offer you an escort and language help, provide you with information regarding Japanese law, or offer to tutor your children.
We have helped people from the following countries: Brazil, China, France, Iran, Japan, Korea, Pakistan, Philippines, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Sweden, Thailand, Ukraine, United States and Vietnam.
History of the APT
In 1991, we started a multilingual telephone consultation service called Asian People Together (APT). APT's activities now also include supporting children and families from all multicultural backgrounds. The APT staff is primarily made up of volunteers.
In Japan, where many people consider their country to be racially homogeneous nation, there has been limited consideration for the human rights of foreign residents. Even as recently as the 1980's, there were almost no government support systems for foreign residents -- even though there was a sharp rise in workers arriving from abroad -- especially woman from Asian countries. Many of these women worked and lived in poor conditions, including being forced to work in the sex industry.
Seeing a need, the Kyoto YWCA established the APT Telephone Helpline in 1991, at first focusing on the needs of Asian women, and then expanding to deal with the problems of all foreign residents -- not only Asians.
Multicultural Learning Program
Introduced in 1998, this scheme aims to encourage educators and students to learn from each other to help create a society in which people with different values live together in peace. This includes multicultural education classes (and preparation training for these), and sending APT members to elementary and junior high schools and other educational institutions to speak there.