A 63-year old man from Mie Prefecture is known for his consultation services for foreigners who want to become residents of Japan. The man claims, despite his daily struggles, that he finds a “priceless sense of achievement” whenever he gets to help a foreign client successfully gain resident status in Japan.
Masafumi Inagaki used to work for an electronics manufacturer until his daughter got married, and that’s when he finally decided to change careers. Being concerned with the country’s aging population, Inagaki gave up his stable job when he was 50 years old and dedicated himself to helping immigrants come to Japan. “In order for my daughter and grandchildren to have a bright future in this country, we must accept foreigners,” he said. After four years of studies, he took and passed a national certification examination to become a scrivener or a notary.
Inagaki, to further help foreigners, provides free consultations on administrative procedures in the city of Yokkaichi, Mie Prefecture. He does so once a month, being driven to help protect immigrants from unfair proceedings. However, one client stands out in his memory when three years ago he “was not able [to help]” a Filipina and her two sons gain resident status in Japan because she was not married to her children’s father, who happened to be a gang member. They could’ve lived in Japan if only the father acknowledged the boys as his children. “They had the right to live in Japan,” Inagaki said. But the woman and her boys had to return to the Philippines.
“There are many foreigners who do not receive adequate judicial protection and suffer injustice,” said Inagaki and he wants to do his part to help these people out. Claiming that “there is no end to studying,” he is aiming to form an organization that will help protect the rights of foreign residents in Japan.