Private organizations supporting refugees on Monday urged Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to express during his upcoming speech at the annual U.N. General Assembly session Japan's pledge to accept Syrian asylum seekers.

A total of 14 human rights and refugee assistance organizations, including Amnesty International Japan, Japan Association for Refugees (JAR) and Japan Lawyers Network for Refugees, petitioned the Abe government to open its doors to asylum seekers fleeing strife-riven Syria and become a key global player in resolving what is turning into the greatest postwar refugee crisis.

"In response to the worst refugee crisis since the end of World War II, the international community has shown an unprecedented commitment to offering assistance to the asylum seekers. We expect Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to demonstrate to the world Japan's willingness to be part of that global effort," Eri Ishikawa, secretary-general of the Japan Association for Refugees, told a news conference in Tokyo.