About Musashino International Association (MIA)

Public Interest Incorporated Foundation Musashino International Association (MIA) Project Outline

Musashino International Association (MIA) organizes a variety of projects for grassroots level international exchange to develop open minded society that contributes to peace in the world. With indispensable support and understanding by many people in the community, MIA provides various programs in an effort to realize “Tabunka Kyosei” or multicultural society, where people with different cultures or backgrounds respect each other and cooperate in the same community.

Support for Foreign Residents’ Comfortable Life in the Community

Support for participant in Japanese courses

Japanese Language Courses

There are Japanese Language Volunteers (Nihongo Koryu-in), who assist foreign residents in Musashino and neighboring cities to learn Japanese language necessary to live comfortably in the community. Japanese language courses are basically made up of a combination of group activities and one-on-one activities. Group activities are organized according to the participants’ levels of Japanese proficiency, considering appropriate study contents. One-on-one activity is designed/created by each pair of participant and “Nihongo Koryu-in” themselves by arranging places, time schedules, contents etc.

Japanese Speech Showcase by Foreign Residents

Some members of “Nihongo Koryu-in” organize the group to plan and operate Japanese Speech Showcase by Foreign Residents. For foreign residents, who usually have limited chances to send out messages, the Showcase event is an important venue, taking the rostrum to speak up and to get confidence. It is also an inspiring event for the auditors to know what foreign residents in the neighborhood are thinking and to understand different cultures.

Training workshop for “Nihongo Koryu-in” Japanese communication volunteers

Training workshop is held once in 2 years for “Nihongo Koryu-in,” to learn necessary knowledge and skills required for necessary activities in Japanese courses. Lawyers, social welfare counselors, psychologists and other specialists who have abundant experience in supporting foreign residents in Japan will have lectures for volunteers on a variety of topics, to understand the foreigners’ viewpoints as clues for their volunteer activities.

Multi-language Consultation

Free Professional Consultation / Professional Consultation

Foreign residents in Musashino and nearby cities can consult in their languages or alternative languages, with specialists including lawyers, “Gyoseishoshi” Administrative Scriveners, Social Insurance & Labor Consultants, psychiatrists or psychologists, in cooperation with MIA interpretation volunteers and MIA staff. Free Professional Consultation for Foreign Residents is held without appointments once or twice a year. Professional Consultations for Foreign Residents are arranged every month by appointment with specialists and MIA interpretation volunteers on specific topics. Both programs are free of charge.

Interpretation Volunteer Training

An orientation meeting is held for newly registered interpretation volunteers to explain about activities in general. There are also training sessions to deepen understanding of matters related to common consultation topics such as residential status, legal issues and manners required as MIA interpretation volunteers.

Promotion of Foreign Students’ Community Participation

”Ryugakusei” Musashino Family Program

To promote foreign students (Ryugakusei) attending universities in Musashino and nearby cities to participate in local community, MIA cooperates with universities so that Ryugakusei and local families (“Musashino Family”) can freely interact with each other through Home Visit Program (one-day home visit) for a year. Details are explained at the beginning of the program (April & October) for those who are interested. Various meetings, lectures and parties are planned as follow up events.

Communication Support for Foreign Residents

Multi-language Information Service for Daily Life

Multi-language Consultation & Information Service

MIA has multi-language service for needed information and consultation. Volunteers (Interpretation Volunteers) who speak Spanish, Russian, Norwegian, German, Tamil, Hindi or Chinese take turns to be available once a month each, as part of the Listener System. It is in combination with information service by MIA Office staff in English (5 times a week) and Chinese (3 days a week).

Newsletter for Foreign Residents ”MIA Calendar”

“MIA Calendar” is the multi-language newsletter (Japanese, English, Chinese, and Spanish) to introduce events hosted by MIA, Musashino City and others, including practical information in daily life such as disaster prevention drills. It is published 4 times a year (April, July, October, and January) and sent by post to MIA foreign members for free. Copies are also available at local community facilities or public offices.

Radio Program with Useful Information for Foreign Residents: “News from MIA”

Community Radio “Musashino FM(FM78.2MHz)” broadcasts programs in Japanese, English, Korean and Chinese, for foreign residents in Japan, on international exchange, popular topics in the town, practical information related to the city. ”News from MIA” is planned and operated by MIA “FM Radio Volunteer Group.”

Disaster Prevention Programs for Foreign Residents (Awareness-raising Activities)

MIA has an agreement with Musashino City regarding language support activity for foreign residents in case of emergency disasters. Since it is essential to drive foreign residents’ awareness about disaster prevention measures, MIA introduces related programs and distributes multi-language manuals at various events including Musashino International Exchange Festival. Such activities are led by Disaster Prevention Volunteer Group for Foreign Residents. At the same time, by participating in disaster prevention drills and related events hosted by Musashino City, MIA has been enhancing coordination with related organizations.

Interpretation and Translation Service

If there are requests for interpretation or translation support in medical, educational, public administration or legal consultations, MIA Office coordinates with interpretation volunteers for support on a case-by-case basis, and if available, asks them to assist within the framework of MIA volunteers. Interpretation volunteers can be dispatched only in the Tokyo metropolitan area. Interpretation or translation can be arranged only when requested by organizations, (peasonal requests cannot be accepted,) subject to certain amount of fees (in accordance with MIA rates for interpretation or translation service.)

Development of “Tabunka Kyosei,” or Multicultural Harmony in the Society

Promotion of International Understanding in the Community

For the community with multiculturalism, MIA hosts various events featuring international exchange/cooperation and “Tabunka Kyosei”, to enhance the society where people speaking different languages or from different cultural backgrounds understand each other and live comfortably together. Workshops and lectures for international understanding are available and open to the citizens in general.

Musashino International Exchange Festival

MIA’s daily activities and network are condensed into one-day event package titled Musashino International Exchange Festival. The Festival sends out appealing messages of international exchange and cooperation to the local communities as much as possible. Festival programs are organized to promote more community involvement by foreign residents, asking MIA Japanese Language Course participants to act as lecturers in some programs. The festival operation is supported by many citizens as volunteers on the day, including MIA supporting members, Musashino City, local organizations for international exchange and cooperation, community shopping malls, universities, government-related staff and others. Musashino International Exchange Festival is making a great contribution to promoting grassroots level international exchange activities, creating the international cultural city and developing its attractive community.

Youth Workshop

MIA offers facility for the young people, such as university students, to think about and learn together the perspective of international understanding, to develop people with global mindset and promote the concept of multicultural harmony in the community. In order to enhance “Tabunka Kyosei” in the community, it is indispensable to gain an understanding of the young generation with their energy. Participants in Youth Workshop have been active as volunteers in various events by MIA and others, jointly working in an effort to promote multicultural harmony.

MIA Lecture for Citizens: Relay Talk for International Understanding

With increasing internationalization in the community, it is getting more important to think and understand with an international perspective. Therefore, MIA holds lectures on international exchange and cooperation, international understanding, and “Tabunka Kyosei” etc, so that any citizen can casually attend.

Support for volunteer activities for international exchange and cooperation

Volunteer Independent Groups

MIA supports various volunteer activities in the community by providing venues and publicity for MIA members, irrespective of nationalities, to cooperate with one another to plan and organize activities. MIA members launch independent volunteer groups to cater to the need as required. There are groups for editing/publishing volunteer activity news for MIA members; making multi-language radio programs; introducing various cultures instructed by the foreign members; and supporting class room activities for cooking, arts & crafts, foreign language conversation and children’s programs etc.

Group Names Activity Details
FM Radio Volunteer Group From planning to appearing in the radio programs, broadcast on FM Musashino: ”News from MIA” for information related to MIA, Musashino City and the community, broadcast in various languages (Japanese, English, Chinese, Korean) and “MIA Plaza” featuring interviews (Japanese) with foreign guests.
Volunteer News Editing Group Writing/editing/publishing of “MIA Volunteer News” with firsthand reports on various MIA volunteer activities
Event Group Support for planning/preparation/operation of the event “Know the World! Let’s Communicate with People Worldwide!” to introduce various cultures, planned by foreign members
Foreign-Native Volunteer Support Group Operational support for event programs like cooking and art lectures planned/operated by foreign-native volunteers, including preparation, operational/implemental assistance, and cleaning up after the events

Foreign Members Independent Planning Projects

MIA holds events planned by foreign members as their independent projects and supports their volunteer activities in the community, including cultural introduction, cooking, arts & crafts, and foreign language conversation. Foreign members are sometimes dispatched to local elementary or junior high schools to help pupils’ international understanding.

Volunteer Independent Program Promotion Committee

There is the committee to promote MIA members’ dynamic volunteer activities. The committee deliberates on independent programs proposed by volunteer members, exchanges volunteer activity information, and cooperates in events to activate volunteer activities.

Coordination with community organizations for international exchange and cooperation

In order to promote “Tabunka Kyosei” multicultural community, MIA cooperates in various ways with Musashino City, local organizations for international exchange and cooperation, community councils, companies, schools, universities etc. MIA supports some of the local organizations by sponsoring, co-sponsoring, or subsidizing them. MIA also dispatches foreign members to local events as lecturers or booth exhibitors.