If your life is in danger, call the police at 110

Japan Times: Charity in Japan Begins at Home

Receiving subsidies from the government is no easy task, though, as there are a large number of corporations chasing a relatively small pot of gold. It’s even harder for a foreign establishment such as TELL. The 43-year-old institute, which offers over-the-phone and face-to-face counseling in English, knows it’s at the back of the queue when it comes to government assistance.

“In cities like New York, Sydney and London, local governments support immigrant communities in various ways, including aiding lifelines in 10 or even 20 languages,” says TELL’s executive director, Roberto De Vido. “Those kinds of agencies don’t exist here. In a homogenous society like this, it’s easier to say, ‘Let foreigners fend for themselves.’ There’s 126 million people to take care of and we’re a tiny minority that isn’t part of the electorate. The government has done a lot in regards to mental health, which is evidenced by the declining suicide rates, but that doesn’t mean funds trickle down to us. Realistically speaking, we’re not on their radar.”

Here’s the whole story, at The Japan Times.