European Association for Japanese Studies

Kazoku no Shomei (Proof of Family)

2019 | 34’ | Japan
Yu Iwasaki

Ephrem Haile is from Ethiopia and has applied for refugee status in Japan. He lives in Tokyo with his Ethiopian wife and six-year-old daughter and has a job. For now, his family is safe, but their newfound stability is fragile. Japan’s asylum policy recently got stricter, and seekers like Ephrem are growing uneasy about their future. To make matters worse, Japanese law has not recognized Ephrem as the legitimate husband of his wife and the legal father of his daughter for lack of documents from his home country. He feels threatened and Japanese bureaucracy is taking its toll on his health. Ephrem strives to prove his family ties with help from the local community.