A New Phase of Japan’s Immigration Policy

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In 2000, the United Nations reported that an average of 609,000 immigrants per year from 1995 through 2050 is needed for Japan in order to maintain its workforce at the 1995 level (U. N. Population Division 53). The news surprised many people in Japan, and they were forced to face the immigration issue sincerely. This controversial issue has been discussed for last 150 years. Facing today’s low birth-rate and ageing population, Japan should now accept more immigrants and become a multi-ethnic country in the future. On the other hand, there are strong oppositions against accepting immigrants for economic and cultural reasons. To clarify the points, first the issue regarding foreign workers is examined from the economic point of view in a short-time period. The present situation and historical background of foreign labor help explaining both reasons why Japan should or should not accept more foreign workers. Secondly, immigration to Japan is examined from the cultural point of view in the long time period. In conclusion, it is very important for Japan to become multi-cultural and international in order to be more creative and competitive in the world. Japan will inevitably accept more foreign workers to meet the huge demand of labor force in various industrial fields such as nursing and caring. The present situation of foreign labor is critical. Low birth-rate and ageing process caused the lack of workforce especially in dirty, dangerous, and difficult jobs. Foreigners gradually started to take those unskilled jobs few decades ago. The number of foreign workers in Japan has 50% increased in last ten years (Koseirodosho Shokugyo Anteikyoku 6). Japan’s government is trying to catch up the situation. Its immigration policy is very si... ... middle of paper ... ...anbou Tokeijouhoubu. “Heisei 18 nendo Konin ni kansuru Tokei no Gaikyou.” Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare. n.d. Web. 8 Jun. 2010 Lynch, James P., and Simon, Rita J. Immigration the World Over: Statutes, policies, and practices. Maryland: Rowman and Littlefield, 2003. Print. Miyazaki, Sonoko “Muchu no Kaikoku: EPA no Genba kara.” Asahi Shinbun 5 Jun. 2010, Print. “Ratio of foreign worker’s according to resident status.” Annual Health, Labour and Welfare Report 2008 – 2009. n.d. Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare. Web. 16 May 2010 “Shinjuku-ku no Jinko.” n.d. Shinjuku Ward Office. Web. 16 May 2010 United Nations Population Division. “Replacement Migration: Is It a Solution to Declining and Ageing Populations?” United Nation. 20 Mar. 2000. Web. 6 Jun. 2010. “World’s Best Universities: Top 400.” U.S. News and World Repor. Feb. 25 2010. Web. 8 Jun. 2010

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