TOKYO: Afghan students in Japan continue to worry about a bleak future, after the Taliban took power in their home country a year ago.
The Islamist group’s power grab in August 2021 has kept many Afghans from returning to their country due to fears of persecution.
A man from Afghanistan was working at his office when the Taliban takeover began. Fearing persecution, he went into hiding at locations across the country.
The man asked a Japanese organization for help and was able to leave the country this year. He is now waiting to enroll at a university in Japan while studying Japanese.
While his family in Afghanistan has not suffered problems such as violence, his sister has been barred from going to school.
It it difficult for women to go out alone under Taliban rule, and the man said that his family is being pressured psychologically.
The Taliban has not changed over its one-year rule of Afghanistan, he said, describing the group as very peculiar and a threat to the world.
He ruled out returning to Afghanistan as long as the current situation continues.
The man also expressed worries for many people who have yet to leave the country despite fears of persecution after having been employed for projects with the United States and European countries.
He called for the Japanese government to help people wishing to escape Afghanistan, noting that some who supported Japan-related projects have been unable to flee.
A woman entered a Japanese university in 2020, after initially taking courses online from her home in Afghanistan due to novel coronavirus-related border restrictions.
She contacted a Japanese organization after the Taliban takeover, and the organization said that it could provide support if she escaped to Pakistan by herself.
The woman was able to come to Japan last year via Pakistan and is now attending the university.
She does not want to return to Afghanistan under the current situation.
The woman faces challenges finding work in Japan after she completes her curriculum and graduates. Despite applying to multiple companies, problems with the Japanese language have prevented her from securing a job.
She voiced worries about her future, and said that she wants Japan’s government to give Afghan students residency status in the country after graduation and offer support for finding work.