Who is a Person on the Move?
This Commission refers to all people residing a short time in Japan and homeless people as “People on the Move”. For example the following people who come to Japan on various business for a short stay fit into this category: tourists, circus members, pilots, stewardesses, seamen, fishermen, etc. According to the “Statistics of the Immigration Office” published at the end of 2004, during 2004, 5,136,943 foreign people entered Japan on short stay visas.
Japan Catholic Refugees, Migrants, People on the Move Commission, recognizing the position of the pastoral care of seamen, “people on the move” in the sea, that is the great activity of the AOS-Apostleship of the Sea, is going to broaden its assistance for the seamen by supporting the continuation of having staff at Japan’s ports.
For us who live on land we feel distanced from the life of the “seamen”. However, it is reported that 99% of everything we need for everyday life and 99.7% of Japan’s imports and exports pass through the ports. It can be said that without the work of the seamen our lives would not be possible, thus our lives and “seamen and their work” are very intimately connected.
Furthermore, these seamen are in a position of weakness, spending extended time on the sea, bearing many problems and putting up with stress. Not only is their work dangerous with nature as their companion, and on the limited space of the ship, but also their time in port is very short. Also, the time to distribute all the cargo is limited and they are not able to contact their families.
The pastoral care of the seamen includes: visit the ships, carry on conversation, respond to their faith needs, bring information about the area, provide cold weather gear, consult about work problems, support their labor by contacting the union.
? If you wish to know more about AOS, there is a manual, “AOS Handbook” and a “Prayer for Seamen Card”. Interested persons Click here to contact the office.