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Opponents of immigration in Japan, particularly political conservatives and members of right-wing groups, argue that Japan is a single ethnic group and cannot easily absorb people from other cultures.

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Well, it's true that it's more difficult for a mono-cultural (the ethnic part is debatable) country like Japan to accept immigrants - so they should manage the inflow.

But monocultures like Japan simply will not survive in this new small and interconnected world. Without immigration of some kind, Japan will shrivel up and eventually be taken over by stronger countries. Not necessarily by force, but economically, and out of necessity. Unless North Korea is now a role model.

Like it or not, the world is becoming one culture. And there will be a lot of growing pains.

Japan should start with controlled immigration - and avoid the mistakes of Europe. If Japan turns away from this option, the immigrants will eventually come anyway, and it won't be a way that the Japanese will have any control over. The head in the sand approach will spell disaster in the end.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

One ethnic group? Hardly. Even though they want it to be true so bad it doesn't make it so.

Insular cultures/countries aren't practical in the 21st century, not if you want to play any part on the international stage. I agree that the flow of immigration should be measured and managed, but Japan is in the middle of a demographic crisis. In a few short decades there will be more retired/elderly people than all other age groups combined in this country. If something isn't done fast to stop this problem, well, frankly everyone is screwed.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

It's TRUE!!!!!!!! :-D

0 ( +6 / -6 )

First of all, Japanese people do no belong to one single ethnic group. Second, the whole "we cannot easily absorb foreign cultures / people" argument is a cop out.

1 ( +10 / -9 )

Ethnic:

pertaining to or characteristic of a people, especially a group (ethnic group) sharing a common and distinctive culture, religion, language, or the like.

By and far, Japanese people share a common and distinctive culture, religion and language. Of course it's not absolute, but it's pretty darn near it. So to start with, I'd agree with the statement insofar as Japan is a single ethnic group.

I don't know if that means they cannot take in immigration - I think it definitely makes it much harder. Look how many foreigners here complain about how they are never accepted (whatever that is actually supposed to mean). So I'm inclined to agree with the statement to some degree.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Japan is a single ethnic group

The Shinto Okinawan Ainu Burakumin ethnic group, whose poster boy is Taro Aso.

If Japan turns away from this option, the immigrants will eventually come anyway,

The most likely future is China will absorb Japan (no need for a war, they have started buying everything). Chinese people will come and settle as if that was Inner Mongolia or Tibet, not as migrants, as owners.

cannot easily absorb people from other cultures.

They already know kanji. Hanzi are just a simplified version.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

By and far, Japanese people share a common and distinctive culture, religion and language. Of course it's not absolute, but it's pretty darn near it. So to start with, I'd agree with the statement insofar as Japan is a single ethnic group.

Agree w stranderland here. Japan is a single ethnic group like no other, hands down.

cannot easily absorb people from other cultures. What are your views on this?

It's absolutely true. Even though japan appreciates other cultures, I don't think they could easily absorb a large influx of foreigners. In fact, I think it would be a nightmare for both.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Yeah, we can quibble but the dominant culture here is pretty monolithic so for all intents and purposes, these guys have a point as far as that goes. It's difficult but they also make it MORE difficult by clinging to outdated ways rather than adapting and getting with the new century. They'd probably be a lot happier if Japan just closed off again the way it did under the Tokugawas, and then they could get everyone aligned in a neo-feudal system with themselves as the sole beneficiaries at the top. But as much as they like to daydream about the good ol' days when poor people didn't even have names, just job titles, and everyone was ready to jump off a cliff when the old men barked, it's not gonna happen. The big population implosion makes things kind of dicey, though. You get the right person in office and Japan could pull a North Korea.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Its true, but because it's a self fulfilling prophecy.

I agree it require careful, targeted attention, but not impossible, there is a lot that could be done to attract the kinds of people japan does want..

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Don't confuse "political conservatives" and "ultra-nationalists". And remember that the L in LDP stands for "liberal", however oxymoronic that is. And the D stands for "democratic", however oxymoronic that is.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Xenophobic much? Mix good people, mix!

0 ( +4 / -4 )

It's true - Japan is not a nation, it's a tribe. Destined to become a multipolar city state, like the UAE, three or four large metropolises with nothing but national park surrounding them.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The borders of "a culture" are objectively undefinable, because culture can't be quantified. I know Japanese people who hate all forms of seafood including sushi. Are they part of Japanese culture? Many Japanese people would say they are, because they are ethnically Japanese. Well, then what about an immigrant to Japan who conforms to every aspect of Japanese culture except for not liking seafood- are they part of Japanese culture as well? My experience is that this entirely comes down to how they look. If they are say Chinese or Korean and have Japanese-looking features, they will pass as Japanese when they refuse to eat their seafood. If they look white, black, Latino, Indian, Arab, or any other non-Japanese ethnicity, then it's "Naruhodo, gaikokujin can't eat sushi, ne. Our culture is so different."

You can see the foundation of this lie right there in the question- race is equated with culture. Japan may be (mostly) monoracial, but it already houses a huge variety of subcultures. Take a harajuku girl, a densha otoko, a video game fanatic in Akihabara, an 80 year old woman in her local tea ceremony club, a militarist at Yasukuni, a middle-aged salariman and a member of a Japanese cult, like the Pana Wave Laboratory: They don't keep the same habits. They don't dress the same. They probably don't eat the same foods. They don't have the same values. It's very possible that the way they speak Japanese isn't entirely comprehensible to each other. If they are of the same culture, then any immigrant who adopts enough "Japanese" habits to not completely disrupt society must be said to also be a part of Japanese culture. But it all comes back down to race. Culture is learned, while race is genetics - anyone who says that immigrants are incapable of adapting to a new culture is trying to use racialist concealed under weasel-wording to escape from being called out as a racist.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

With so many half and half or double which ever you want to label them, I am pretty sure Japan can assimilate many from abroad.You have Mosques, Synagogue and, Christian churches in the same neighborhood in Kobe without shooting at one another. As long as they maintain peace and harmony working their difference out in a constructive way I am sure they will fit right in.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Rubbish. but mass immigration is also very problematic as we can see in numerous countries around the world.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Japan is fairly (thought not totally) homogeneous, whether racially, ethnically, culturally or however you want to describe it. But it is no more so than Britain, France or Germany were, for example, in around 1900. Look at those countries now for a guide to how things can change. And yes, Japan can learn from both good and bad aspects of how other countries have handled immigration, and tailor a solution that suits Japan best. But doing nothing and hoping people suddenly start procreating is not a policy. And it's not just about demographics and workforce. Substantially increasing the embarrassingly small number of asylum grants would show the rest of the world that Japan is a true member of the world community, and not separate from it.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

@katsu78 Culture is learned, while race is genetics

Humans make up their own cultures (obviously), and because they're man-made they can be changed if they continue traditions that are harmful to life in general, assuming a change is important to the culture.

Race, I believe, is an artificial construct, something that might describe physical characteristics of peoples from common geographic areas. I think the notion of 'race' is used and has been used to differentiate and discriminate against 'others'.

Cultural extremists in Japan and just about any other place I can think of don't want to accept different 'others' and use shared myths and fictions to unite members of their culture in hopes of a return to some point in a glorified past - that probably never was.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Japan CLINGS ON TO THE IDEA that they are a single ethinc group. They hold on reaaaallll hard to it.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Having lived in two countries in Europe as a child and now in Japan for over two decades I can that the Japanese would benefit greatly from having different nationalities in their midst-we should remember that people have a great ability to accommodate and adapt.......

2 ( +5 / -3 )

This is a carefully cultivated mindset more than anything else. Japan revels in the idea of uniqueness, much of it based on mythology. The media is never slow to accentuate the differences between the Japanese and the strangely monolithic 'foreigners'. Ethnic differences, cultural differences, using chopsticks, the 'unique' idea of buying souvenirs on trips, and the idea of being hospitable to guests......yawn. Almost all my Japanese coworkers have lived abroad and see much of this nonsense for what it is - a carefully cultivated mindset.

Of course Japan can't accept large numbers of people from other cultures. They are just so.....different. The 'single ethnic group' refrain is just a part of a very powerful but often pie-in-the-sky narrative.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Japan should be proud to be a country of Japanese and not mixed. Why ? because the main reason is that foreigners brings a lot of disadvantages with them, unemployment (when a foreigner takes a job another Japanese loose an opportunity) crime rates (people are not from a single ethnic background and this diversification of culture,religion and politics may be incompatible with that of Japan's - and radicalization have higher chances to spur). I've being to countries with mixed ethnic groups and believe me or not neither party is happy about being "Mixed".Japan should not open their doors to more foreigners but have a stable rate of inbound and outbound of foreigners in Japan. Shinzo Abe said in the last UN meeting that he is going to replace the coming gap of labour shortage with women,retired people and technology, and won't be opening doors to more foreigners. In the period of using women,retired people and technology to fill the labour shortage gap, Japan is going to bring up their fertility rate from 1.4 to 1.8 still below the replacement level (2.10) but still a premium target to stabilize the Japanese population at 100 million (currently its near 127 million). Japan will never be opening their doors to more foreigners. Japan is also having a care fully controlled immigration system that about or above 60% of foreigners are from East Asia (not South East Asia) most notably Korea,China & Taiwan. Also countries that are having a similar cultural backgrounds to theirs are given higher priority for example Vietnam & Thailand (Buddhist heritage). There are also people from American countries in large numbers most notably Brazil,USA & Peru. The other country that have a significant number of people in Japan is Philippines.

-11 ( +6 / -17 )

Japan has almost completely a single ethic group since it is surrounded by the sea, and it has a culture in which conformity is important. It doesn't mean that Japan should avoid accepting immigrants,however, on the contrary, I think it should accept them little by little in order to make up for the workforce shortage and to make Japanese people more tolerant to the ethical diversity.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

 PTownsendOCT. 19, 2015 - 10:52AM JST Race, I believe, is an artificial construct, something that might describe physical characteristics of peoples from common geographic areas. I think the notion of 'race' is used and has been used to differentiate and discriminate against 'others'.

You're absolutely right, of course. Race is a social construct, which is why someone with Ainu, Ryukyu, or recent Korean ancestry (as opposed to pre-historic Korean ancestry that 99% of Japanese people share) can pass as Japanese while a haafu with naturally blonde hair can't. When I said "race is genetic", my intention was not to imply that there is a "Japanese gene" or a "gaijin gene". Our social notions of race are wrapped up in arbitrary collections of genes that we judge superficially by how they are expressed in a person's appearance- hence US President Barack Obama despite being biracial is taken a black but can never pass as white. Superficially he looks more black.

By calling race genetic my intention was to contrast it with culture, which is learned. Your genes essentially determine your appearance, which will be arbitrarily judged by others to determine your race. An immigrant to Japan can't learn to have epicanthic folds in their eyelids if they don't already have them any more than they can learn to have dry ear wax. But they can learn to fit into Japanese society and thus be a part of Japanese culture, especially if they have support from the government of NPOs for issues like learning the language and learning which government offices to go to when problems arise.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

What is Japanese equivalent of KKK? JJJ?

coskuri:

____ "Japan is a single ethnic group"

The Shinto Okinawan Ainu Burakumin ethnic group, whose poster boy is Taro Aso.

LOL

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

when a foreigner takes a job another Japanese loose an opportunity

And when a foreigner creates a business, he creates dozens of jobs for Japanese that weren't there before.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Japan is a single ethnic group

Then get rid of the emperor, since he has already admitted to being partially korean.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

when a foreigner takes a job another Japanese loose an opportunity

And when a foreigner creates a business, he creates dozens of jobs for Japanese that weren't there before.

I have to agree. The jobs I did when I was an employee are jobs that could not have been done by a Japanese person, and now that I have started companies, I employ a number of Japanese people who would not have jobs otherwise.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Japan should be proud to be a country of Japanese and not mixed. Why ? because the main reason is that foreigners brings a lot of disadvantages with them, unemployment (when a foreigner takes a job another Japanese loose an opportunity) crime rates (people are not from a single ethnic background and this diversification of culture,religion and politics may be incompatible with that of Japan's - and radicalization have higher chances to spur). I've being to countries with mixed ethnic groups and believe me or not neither party is happy about being "Mixed".Japan should not open their doors to more foreigners but have a stable rate of inbound and outbound of foreigners in Japan. Shinzo Abe said in the last UN meeting that he is going to replace the coming gap of labour shortage with women,retired people and technology, and won't be opening doors to more foreigners. In the period of using women,retired people and technology to fill the labour shortage gap, Japan is going to bring up their fertility rate from 1.4 to 1.8 still below the replacement level (2.10) but still a premium target to stabilize the Japanese population at 100 million (currently its near 127 million). Japan will never be opening their doors to more foreigners. Japan is also having a care fully controlled immigration system that about or above 60% of foreigners are from East Asia (not South East Asia) most notably Korea,China & Taiwan. Also countries that are having a similar cultural backgrounds to theirs are given higher priority for example Vietnam & Thailand (Buddhist heritage). There are also people from American countries in large numbers most notably Brazil,USA & Peru. The other country that have a significant number of people in Japan is Philippines.

Wow. This guy. What "unique" opinions. lol. Well, this kind of mindset is why Japan is largely in the dark ages in many respects.

8 ( +9 / -2 )

'Japan should be proud to be a country of Japanese and not mixed. Why ? because the main reason is that foreigners brings a lot of disadvantages with them'

That doesn't explain why Japan should be 'proud' to be a country of Japanese and not mixed. By the way, how should 'mixed' people feel in this country of proud, 'non-mixed' Japanese?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Many people, especially foreigners, hollar in a hostile voice that Japan better accept immigration or else face demise. What they fail to grasp while wrapped up in their storm of angers is that Japan will face demise either way. Huge immigration does nothing for the ethnic Japanese. And yeah, you can argue till you're blue in the face that Japan isn't a single ethnicity. So for those of you blue in the face, let me spell it out for you. You know, 99% percent of the people here who have those facial features, body type, and skin tone that separate them from whites, blacks, and other Asian races; those that speak and think in the Japanese language; those whose parents are either Shinto, Buddhist, or a mixture of both, these people will not increase in population if there is mass immigration. So it's quite natural and understandable that Japanese people don't see eye to eye with those ( mostly bitter expats!) screaming for immigration. A "new Japan" equals the death of Japan. And I don't know about you or the reasons that brought you to Japan, but as for me, I was and am still fascinated with Japanese culture. I love being a foreigner here! Ask yourself: if there's mass immigration, won't it then just be like your home country? Then what's the use of being here? I don't want to live in Japan if it resembles Europe or America. Stop wasting your breath will selfish cries for immigration. Let the Japanese figure out how to deal with their depopulation. Because a Japan filled with millions of foreigners and only a few Ethnic Japanese isn't Japan!

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

You know, 99% percent of the people here who have those facial features, body type, and skin tone that separate them from whites, blacks, and other Asian races;

most japanese can't tell if someone is Japanese or Zainich.

A "new Japan" equals the death of Japan.

A new Japan means the rebirth of Japan. The old japan equals the death of japan.

I was and am still fascinated with Japanese culture. I love being a foreigner here!

Good for you. Its different for those of us who live here, are married, and have kids. We want to assimilate. We want to teach our children about diversity.

I was and am still fascinated with Japanese culture. I love being a foreigner here! Stop wasting your breath will selfish cries

Pot calling kettle black

3 ( +5 / -2 )

'I love being a foreigner here!'

But you don't want others to join you? Maybe you won't get as much attention? It reminds me of the jealous sneers towards twenty-something English teachers entertaining a different partner every night. Believe it or not, some of us don't get uneasy when another foreigner walks in the bar. I like meeting my Ghanain neighbour in my local bar and talking footy.

I think you'll also find that immigrants tend to concentrate in particular areas. I'm sure you'll still be able to find areas of 'real' Japan where you'll still stand out.

'

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Good for you. Its different for those of us who live here, are married, and have kids. We want to assimilate. We want to teach our children about diversity.

you're not the only one married with kids. And either you got married after you came here; or if you got met your girl at home then you were obviously interested in here and here culture.

You should move back to where diversity is more compatible.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Noidall is right. It is like a slow-burn suicide cult with the population as hostages. It would be fascinating, if rather sad, to let it run its course and not intervene. Except, some people want to save the children. It's not fair on them. Especially if it is their own children. The children don't care about the "culture"/ideology that the people believe in. Isn't it cruel to indoctrinate them into accepting a dying world too? When it could be much more. If not for the conservatives and rightists. And those foreigners who wanna preserve their idealised but unrequited love.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I don't disagree, it may not be "Easy" but that doesn't mean it's impossible. Getting a job isn't easy either, that doesn't mean you shouldn't do it or have one

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Opponents of immigration in Japan, particularly political conservatives and members of right-wing groups, argue that Japan is a single ethnic group and cannot easily absorb people from other cultures. What are your views on this?

Australia ended its "White Australia" policy in 1972, and has managed fairly well ever since. These "conservatives" - many of whom are long past retirement age, should wake up and smell the coffee. Japan has few other viable options besides immigration. What they really fear is dilution of the "Yamato" race

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Noidall is right. It is like a slow-burn suicide cult with the population as hostages. It would be fascinating, if rather sad, to let it run its course and not intervene. Except, some people want to save the children. It's not fair on them. Especially if it is their own children. The children don't care about the "culture"/ideology that the people believe in. Isn't it cruel to indoctrinate them into accepting a dying world too? When it could be much more. If not for the conservatives and rightists. And those foreigners who wanna preserve their idealised but unrequited love.

Yeah except you wanna save the children by exchanging one ideology for another. And what's this about ideologies anyway? We all have ideologies. There's no escape. But you wanna impose a western ideology, one dredged in western democracy, imperialism, and cultural hegemony on an entire race of people. And your only justification for it is " well, I'm married and I have kids here and I want my kids to accept diversity." I'm mean, the epitome of western hegemony, and not to mention quite selfish. Who cares if you married a Japanese woman and you have kids. Japan doesn't have to live in western fashion.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

you're not the only one married with kids.

exactly. There are many foreigners contributing to Japan. So stop ruining it for everyone.

And either you got married after you came here; or if you got met your girl at home then you were obviously interested in here and here culture.

I am interested in Japanese culture more than you. I speak the language fluently, I study the old school martial arts, and know A LOT about the history of the country. But unlike you I don't feel somehow more entitled to Japan than other foreigners because also unlike you I am comfortable with who i am

You should move back to where diversity is more compatible.

Who are you to tell me where I should live? My children are Japanese. I'm not going anywhere.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

We want to assimilate.

What do you mean by this? What exactly does assimilation mean?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japan has never been a single ethnic group. It's just that about 98% belong to the main ethnic group, and the majority group has chosen to ignore all other ethnicities. I think that a country can learn to accept other cultures. But it would help if the government viewed immigration in a more positive light. It's hard to accept other cultures if you've always been taught that what makes Japan so great and so special is that they are one people with one culture.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

so this guy Date said this from the JT article about Japan heading to become a nation of immigrants. Dunno if this address the issue of immigration but, think he pretty much nailed the whole ridiculous notion of ANY people being a "single ethnic group" cas it doesn't exsist yo.

Date retorts that if one goes back far enough, Japanese themselves are a mixture of many different groups, including the Ainu in northern Honshu and Hokkaido and Ryukyu peoples in Okinawa. Over the millennia others have come here from mainland Asia and the Korean peninsula—Chinese and Koreans. Indians and Mongolians, who intermixed from people from the south Pacific, such as Polynesians and Melanesians. From traditional rituals and festivals, anthropologists have pieced together a remarkable diversity of origins, which may also explain the Japanese propensity to worship multiple religions.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

There are many foreigners contributing to Japan. So stop ruining it for everyone.

Let me guess. You're a tax payer, so you deserve the right ( in the sense of western democracy) to overhaul the entire culture and tell Japanese people to diversify.

I am interested in Japanese culture more than you.

There's know way for you to know that. And besides, it's not a competition.

But unlike you I don't feel somehow more entitled to Japan than other foreigners because also unlike you I am comfortable with who i am.

Maybe projecting?

I speak the language fluently, I study the old school martial arts, and know A LOT about the history of the country.

Why waste hours away to speak fluently and study the history? I mean, in this "new Japan" that you envision, that stuff will be irrelevant. You'll have a slew of unskilled laborors who only want to escape the conditions of their own countries, people who'll have no affinity or affection for Japan, people who'll send all their money back home, people who'll be getting the shaft from greedy employers which will further embitter them and make them not want assimilate; in the end, the society will be divided and you won't even need to speak Japanese. There be different pockets and neighborhoods all speaking and behaving differently. And as the old adage goes: give'em an inch and they'll take a mile. Next they"ll argue under the auspices of human rights that their language needs to be recognized officially with public signs, posts and announcements; services need to be provided in their languages as well. Then they'll find loopholes in the law and exploit them. Next thing, you'll be paying for the erection of their religious structure. After all, you're a contributing tax payer.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Masaki_KanagatouOCT. 19, 2015 - 11:13AM JST Japan should be proud to be a country of Japanese and not mixed. Why ? because the main reason is that foreigners brings a lot of disadvantages with them, unemployment (when a foreigner takes a job another Japanese loose an opportunity)

Let's walk this comment back a bit, because it's an assumption a lot of people make without really thinking it through. There are two kinds of jobs that immigrants could compete with Japanese people for - unskilled and skilled jobs.

If we're talking about Japanese people losing unskilled jobs to foreign immigrants, then it's a complaint not worth examining. Unskilled jobs are by definition jobs that any random person should be able to do to a reasonable level. Japanese youths have for decades been avoiding unskilled labor (especially the 3K jobs) so it's not like there is a lot of competition to begin with.

If we're talking about skilled labor, you have to look at the tremendous barriers that face non-Japanese people getting into Japanese jobs. The language barrier itself is huge because Japanese is spoken no where but within Japan so it's quite difficult for immigrants to learn without already being here. There are also innumerable cultural barriers that keep random immigrants from getting into Japanese skilled labor, like the "correct" format for a rirekisho and how to make connections to get into the job. This means if an immigrant took a job that you as a Japanese person were in competition for, you have to face the facts: they were more qualified for the job than you were. So the rational solution is not to lobby the government to keep our people you aren't able to compete with, it's to up your game so when the playing field is already so skewed in your favor, you aren't sill losing.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Japan's DNA is not mono: for a long time people here intermarried with Chinese and Koreans and Ainu and Japanese are not a race.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Japan's DNA is not mono: for a long time people here intermarried with Chinese and Koreans and Ainu and Japanese are not a race.

How utterly disrespectful to say these people aren't a race. And from a geneticist I take it?

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Talking about races and ethnic groups often brings up emotions, especially when someone like to use the word pure! With extremely rare exceptions (if any) we have some mix in us, and most of us have some Neanderthal genes in us! We humans like to mess around! So keeping a race or ethnic group pure is a very poor goal and often leads to some very cruel rules and acts. Take modest pride in your background, and have your behavior show it's best points. Take an interest in others and note their good points.

As for Japan taking in others, get use to it. US has been doing it for a long time, and we still have a long way to go, but we are going!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Japan might be able to absorb immigrants willing to assimilate. But this is for the Japanese to decide. I'm just sceptical of globalization in general. It has made many things easier, but just as many things were lost. It's a zero-sum game, as "progress" always is. A world full of Starbucks, McDonalds, of exchangeable values, cities and people, that just doesn't appeal to me. But maybe I'm just a romantic.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Is 'Japan for the Japanese' really such an evil sentiment? Why do people not notice that in promoting multiculturalism and diversity, they're actually making cultures less diverse in reality. A multicultural Japan means a Japan with a globalist culture and ethos, not a Japanese one. Which is actually quite similar to what you already have in many American and European cities. That isn't true diversity. Shouldn't the most important aspect of diversity be diversity of thought, not merely skin color?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

IF you decide to immigrate to another society you should loss all concept of society you just decided to leave. If you do not put in place a program of a simulation from the old society to the new society you will have social problems. Japan is a unique society unlike new trendy countries like Americas, Australia and New Zealand were the invader impose a new social direction on the indigenous and new population. It is a must if Japan do decide to embark on a intake program to develop a Japan cultural education program with a test to be taken at the end of the course. THis test should be in Japanese. Also that any request to continue their new trendy religion ( Islam and Christian ) be deny. I hate to see the unique Japanese setting littered with their ugly built churches and Mosques.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Mr. NoidallOCT. 19, 2015 - 07:31PM JST How utterly disrespectful to say these people aren't a race. And from a geneticist I take it?

Given that race is socially constructed and that there aren't clear genetic markers for race, your comment suggests a deep misunderstanding of what race is. It's not disrespectful to say that Japanese people aren't a race. At worst, it simply represents a statement that Japanese people's perception of themselves as separate racially from other East Asian communities isn't factual. Now, I don't personally agree with that claim, but given that race is socially-constructed in the first place, my disagreement doesn't make it wrong. It comes down to a numbers game- do more people feel when looking at Japanese people superficially that they are a different people than their neighbors?

It's a question worth asking, especially given how much Japanese racial theories have been driven by counterfactual claims and psuedo-science and how in Japanese discourse people tend to have trouble separating race from culture. Your attempt to shame people into silence for daring to ask the question does not reflect well on your desire to hold a sincere discussion.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

The Anu genetic mark is closer to the Aboriginal of Australia then any other Asian race. This is because of both races being isolated for 16,000 years from the mainland after the last ice age.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Strangerland-What do you mean by this? What exactly does assimilation mean?

Live here, pay taxes, vote, raise our kids, buy a home, do what any immigrant does.

Let me guess. You're a tax payer, so you deserve the right ( in the sense of western democracy) to overhaul the entire culture and tell Japanese people to diversify.

Wrong. Don't guess. You're not good at it.

I mean, in this "new Japan" that you envision, that stuff will be irrelevant. You'll have a slew of unskilled laborors who only want to escape the conditions of their own countries, people who'll have no affinity or affection for Japan, people who'll send all their money back home, people who'll be getting the shaft from greedy employers which will further embitter them and make them not want assimilate; in the end, the society will be divided and you won't even need to speak Japanese. There be different pockets and neighborhoods all speaking and behaving differently. And as the old adage goes: give'em an inch and they'll take a mile. Next they"ll argue under the auspices of human rights that their language needs to be recognized officially with public signs, posts and announcements; services need to be provided in their languages as well. Then they'll find loopholes in the law and exploit them. Next thing, you'll be paying for the erection of their religious structure. After all, you're a contributing tax payer.

This is not the Japan that I envision. Its the Japan YOU envision.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Given that race is socially constructed

Oh dear! You actually fell for that trite? You do realize that socially constructed != fake, right? What we define as color, for example, is socially constructed. Whether we define purple as being such and such nm wavelength is entirely arbitrary, yet that doesn't mean color doesn't have a definite physical basis in the electromagnetic spectrum. Just as race likewise has a definite basis in genetics. I can't believe people are still peddling that disproven sociologist drivel, even when it's been conclusively refuted by actual science.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

IllyasOCT. 20, 2015 - 01:54PM JST Oh dear! You actually fell for that trite? You do realize that socially constructed != fake, right? What we define as color, for example, is socially constructed. Whether we define purple as being such and such nm wavelength is entirely arbitrary, yet that doesn't mean color doesn't have a definite physical basis in the electromagnetic spectrum. Just as race likewise has a definite basis in genetics. I can't believe people are still peddling that disproven sociologist drivel, even when it's been conclusively refuted by actual science.

That's an awful lot of condescension for you to throw out there considering that I never said that race being socially-constructed made it fake and considering I went on a great length previously about how genetics is an indirect factor in race. No doubt you'll further demonstrate your commitment to sincere discussion over pointless bickering when you share us the "definite basis in genetics" that race has. I'm sure it will be fascinating.

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@illass I can't believe people are still peddling that disproven sociologist drivel, even when it's been conclusively refuted by actual science.

If in fact it has, kindly provide a link to prove your point. Should be simple to do given it's been conclusively refuted by science.

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You know, 99% percent of the people here who have those facial features, body type, and skin tone that separate them from whites, blacks, and other Asian races;

My son, who was born and raised here, is more Japanese than most if only because he is aware. In his third year in an American college, he mentioned to me a few months ago that nobody any longer mistakes him for being American due to his improved language skills. My daughter, a first year college student, is on the same path.

Both are highly intelligent, motivated youngsters. My (Japanese) wife wonders whether they will return to Japan after graduation. I had always assumed they would, but the decision is up to them. Completely tone-deaf comments like the one above are definitely one reason why they would not. And if Japan loses kids like these, what hope does it have?

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Japan is 157 out of 159 countries in terms of ethnic and cultural diversity. (The Koreas fill out the list.)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_ranked_by_ethnic_and_cultural_diversity_level

That's pretty much as close to one ethnic group as you can get.

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The next major ethnie in Japan will be robots!

Not much a change actually!

Joke apart, I believe Japan will be missing the richness and fun of diversity for still a long time.

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NessieOCT. 20, 2015 - 11:02PM JST Japan is 157 out of 159 countries in terms of ethnic and cultural diversity. (The Koreas fill out the list.) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Listofcountriesrankedbyethnicandculturaldiversity_level That's pretty much as close to one ethnic group as you can get.

Your list conflates ethnic and cultural diversity, which makes it invalid for determining an ethnic group.

Besides, whether or not a people are uniform within a geographically-defined area is not the same thing as those people being a unique ethnic group. Germany ranks quite low on that list, but that doesn't make Germans a separate ethnicity from say, Austians or Swiss. Or to put another way, my hometown is almost entirely white people. That doesn't make the white people in my hometown different from the white people in the neighboring hometown.

If someone wants to claim Japanese people to be a separate race, they really need to name what exactly it is that makes Japanese people different. And that's where the devil creeps into the details, because race, like culture, has fuzzy edges that no one can clearly define.

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If in fact it has, kindly provide a link to prove your point. Should be simple to do given it's been conclusively refuted by science.

lol, bolding a piece of text doesn't make it true.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Genetic_Diversity:_Lewontin%27s_Fallacy

"Edwards argued that while Lewontin's statements on variability are correct when examining the frequency of different alleles (variants of a particular gene) at an individual locus (the location of a particular gene) between individuals, it is nonetheless possible to classify individuals into different racial groups with an accuracy that approaches 100 percent when one takes into account the frequency of the alleles at several loci at the same time"

Literally the same concept as color. Yes, where we decide to cut off one race from another is arbitrary, but that doesn't mean it doesn't have a basis in physical reality. The fact that we can classify individuals with such accuracy using genetic markers is proof that race exists. The fact that people will literally deny the existence of race, yet are happy to classify Neanderthals as a totally separate species (despite the fact they could procreate with humans!) is total lunacy. Modern science disagrees with you, and indicates that race exists. See, I can bold text too.

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@illyas http://www.livescience.com/47627-race-is-not-a-science-concept.html

you wrote: even when it's been conclusively refuted by actual science. (note bold)

Beliefs shape perceptions, don't they. My scientistS vs. yours. Modus vivendi.

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This is hog wash!

But for those of you that truly feel that Japan should close its doors and be ONLY Japanese. Then do the following?...

Expel everything that's not Japanese. That includes all imports. Food, industrial goods, pulp for paper, oil to run the electrical plants and coal too, oh the biomass fuels that are being imported too. McDonalds bye bye... Hundreds of businesses bye bye.. Thousands of jobs.... Bye bye... Those in happy international marriages , I am sure those families with Japanese citizens will leave too.

Immigration is not bad. In the 1850s and 1860s the very old Japanese saw that immigration was needed and outside aid came into Japan and helped modernize Japan.

But sure this backwards way if thinking will only hurt Japan!

I am sure if Japan was to do what many right winged whack's would want then it would kill Japan.

No more immigration .... Would give the world the reason to turn its back on Japan.

Japan, once called, "The Land of the Gods", is a very lovely country! A place I love as much as my own. One that I would proudly stand and defend if it was ever needed.

My point is, not all foreigners are bad for Japan. True there are those few that make foreigners look bad, and I detest those that put a bad light on the rest of us here trying hard on a daily basis to make a happy and productive life.

Closing the doors to Japan will only hurt Japan.

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Strangerland-What do you mean by this? What exactly does assimilation mean?

Live here, pay taxes, vote, raise our kids, buy a home, do what any immigrant does.

We can do all of those things if we wish. I can do and have done all of them except vote (as I'm not willing to become Japanese).

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IllyasOCT. 21, 2015 - 07:43AM JST "Edwards argued that while Lewontin's statements on variability are correct when examining the frequency of different alleles (variants of a particular gene) at an individual locus (the location of a particular gene) between individuals, it is nonetheless possible to classify individuals into different racial groups with an accuracy that approaches 100 percent when one takes into account the frequency of the alleles at several loci at the same time"

So in other words, there can be found genetic markers that corespond to the races we've arbitrarily defined as a social construct.

Literally the same concept as color. Yes, where we decide to cut off one race from another is arbitrary, but that doesn't mean it doesn't have a basis in physical reality.

Not even close. Color is a spectrum (literally), defined by only a single variable (wavelength). Even your own "evidence" for race ties it to multiple variables.

The fact that we can classify individuals with such accuracy using genetic markers is proof that race exists. The fact that people will literally deny the existence of race, yet are happy to classify Neanderthals as a totally separate species (despite the fact they could procreate with humans!) is total lunacy.

I don't believe anyone in this thread claimed that race doesn't exist, and you are the first person to bring up Neanderthals. So the real question is why are you so vigorously and condescendingly arguing against a point no one made? Do you have anything to say that actually relates to the discussion?

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You find the same arguments of right wing people in Germany as well... where I was born. And in many other countries as well. People who are holding these believes are just full of fear and very insecure. In my view Japan would not just be able to accept and integrate people from all kind of nations but also benefit a lot from embracing them. It's time to let go the mindset of separation, Japan is no exception!

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So in other words, there can be found genetic markers that corespond to the races we've arbitrarily defined as a social construct.

Just like there can be found wavelengths of light that correspond to our arbitrarily, socially constructed definitions of color.

Not even close. Color is a spectrum (literally), defined by only a single variable (wavelength). Even your own "evidence" for race ties it to multiple variables.

Care to explain how something having multiple variables invalidates the comparison? Either way race is still just a collection of phenotypes that have been socially agreed upon to constitute a distinct race, same as color with one variable. Those phenotypes still exist regardless.

I don't believe anyone in this thread claimed that race doesn't exist, and you are the first person to bring up Neanderthals. So the real question is why are you so vigorously and condescendingly arguing against a point no one made? Do you have anything to say that actually relates to the discussion?

You used it to argue that the Japanese race doesn't exist, so we shouldn't have any problem seeing Japan turned into a culture-less, globalist, multicultural paradise that you see in the US or Europe.

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I agree that Japan is single ethnic group with japonoic heritage, which is including Ryukyuan.We absolutely proud and complete appreciate our dearest own people in our great Yamato land,as for culture and ethnic value concerning, we strongly opposed open door for foreigners and immigration.another problem regarding foreigners, they might causing crime in our land,especially after disaster happened.beside that, government won't open door for foreigners.if government do so, then lose support from our people.whatever your foreigners said, it won't affect our solidarity and determination love upon motherland.if you think Japan not accept immigration was wrong, then you should know that every distinctive nation will not always accept outlander, just like case in Africa and some European nations, those regions use various ways against or discriminate outlander through country policy and certain restrictions. So, things shouldn't to be oversimplifying and overlooking.

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I love a cosmopolitan ambience and its one thing I miss living in Japan. I think immigrants from other countries can only be a good thing for Japan and enrich the existing culture. Imagine all the wonderful restaurants, the beautiful half Japanese half another ethic group people, all the contribution to sporting and athletic success. One thing thats important is that the Japanese are very peaceful towards foreigners and very encouraging if you want to achieve something. I cant imagine there would be any violence to immigrants that occurs in some other countries. Carefully screen applicants and I think it can only be a good thing. Look at the half Japanese Miss Universe and the 100m runner setting the world on fire now and all the pretty half talentos.

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strange, what will be Japan without Chinese culture and western culture?

Can someone tell me one thing about japan which is not influence by other culture?

The real question is who want immigrate to Japan. Most of well educated people in the world don't want come to live in Japan. A country with aging population, decline economy, earthquake, tsunami, nuclear disaster ect.

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Most of well educated people in the world don't want come to live in Japan.

You've asked them all?

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