The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees is grateful for the support Japan has given to the organization's work over the years, and hopes the government's refugee resettlement program proves successful and continues to expand, the agency's deputy high commissioner said in a recent interview.

Alexander Aleinikoff, who assumed the global agency's No. 2 post in February 2010, was in Japan last week to speak and exchange opinions with various lawmakers, government officials and NGOs regarding the UNHCR's activities and Japan's refugee policies.

"We are heartened by the creation of a resettlement program here, and we hope it grows and is sustained into a central feature of Japanese refugee policy," Aleinikoff said Friday during an interview with The Japan Times.