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Japan eyes more foreign workers, challenging immigration taboo

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By Linda Sieg and Ami Miyazaki

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Oh I hope so. Then I will not be the only one to be stared at day in day out in the countryside. Kids saying nasty things thinking I cannot understand. Bring them in.

4 ( +11 / -7 )

Japan has being allowing immigration for a long time now, it's stealth migration and as long as these migrants don't expect human/voting rights, then the Japanese government is quite happy to let things continue on the same path and more.

The problem is, especially with skilled labor, is that Japan is not as attractive, economically, as it once was to attract that labor.

The aversion to having to treat migrants as equal to the local population is the real problem with Japan, rather than immigration itself.

The opposite of the UK, Europe and the USA, and more akin to the Gulf States' attitude to migrant labor.

19 ( +22 / -3 )

a tight labor market and ever-shrinking work force

Oh really, tell that to the Japanese who work several part-time jobs overtime to make a living, or those who never had the chance for higher education to qualify them for highly-skilled jobs. This talk about the shrinking workforce is just to gloss over the fact that they want to avoid raising the wages and rather import cheap labor from abroad.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

Japan isn't attractive to foreign workers because they will never be able to rise out of the servant class.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

It's a pathetic policy that brings in workers and kicks them out the door after a few years.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

Unfortunately, foreigners are not treated on an equal basis nor accorded the same legal rights as a Japanese. Why would anyone come here looking to make a future when there are many other places offering better chances? Interestingly, I can think of many Japanese that settle abroad never to return here.....

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Calling them "trainees" and paying them $500 a month, is not "immigration". It's called "slavery", or "exploitation".

19 ( +20 / -1 )

the term “unskilled labour” would be abandoned.

Yeah, only the term would be dropped, but they would still be put on low salaries and forced to work like slaves. I can just imagine all these black companies lining up to get their hands a couple of Chinese, Vietnamese and Filipino slaves for exploitation since the youth of Japan have started complaining about them. It is not immigration. It is exploitation!

7 ( +7 / -0 )

@gary raymore,

"Japan has being allowing immigration for a long time now, it's stealth migration and as long as these migrants don't expect human/voting rights, then the Japanese government is quite happy to let things continue on the same path and more."

very true. I was watching a small construction crew, and to my amazement, they were all foreigners, with a mid aged japanese man as the owner. they appeared to be from Eastern Europe, and were acting in the child like obedient manner that we all must do, the interesting thing was that they all appeared older than the owner. If you live in Japan, what I just said speaks volumes on how gaijin labor is treated, if you dont, then it gets lost in your disconnect, but the point is, such a job perhaps pays well, but isnt a career I would want long term.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Mary, if you can't understand them, how can you be sure it's nasty?

-16 ( +2 / -18 )

Read again. "Kids saying nasty things thinking I cannot understand."

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Japan isn't attractive to foreign workers because they will never be able to rise out of the servant class.

Speak for yourself. I work for no one here, and I serve no one (except the tax man).

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Kids saying nasty things thinking I cannot understand. Bring them in.

Seems you cant understand.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

way to control a country ........the rest of the modern world should have a look.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

The influential Nikkei Business weekly has dubbed a foreign worker-driven growth strategy “imin-omics”, a pun on the premier’s “Abenomics” revival plan and “imin”, the Japanese word for “immigrants”.

Honestly, the media here will do anything for the chance at a new catchphrase. Are they living in a bubble? There is not going to be any growth. Adaptation, yes. But certainly no growth. Tourist numbers may be up, which is fantastic of course, but forget any notion that foreigners want to come here to work & live. We all know the reasons for this (for which there are plenty).

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Desperately seeking an antidote to a rapidly aging population, Japanese policymakers are exploring ways to bring in more foreign workers without calling it an “immigration policy”.

Typical. Can't call a spade, a spade.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Read again. "Kids saying nasty things thinking I cannot understand."

Seems you cant understand.

I apologize. I tried to read without my glasses on, thinking it too much of a pain to go get them. Lesson learned. I'm sorry for misreading, Mary. Someday let the little sh*ts know you understand all too well. Always shocks them. I really dislike I'll-mannered children!

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Something that occurs to me when the shrinking population crisis comes up is that it is hard to feel concerned about this when you have to deal with insane, undignified overcrowding on public transportation in Tokyo every working day. The population of Tokyo rises every year and many decision makers live here. Who is honestly thinking "I wish we had millions more foreign people in this country" as they try to squeeze themselves onto a train in rush hour?

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Speak for yourself. I work for no one here, and I serve no one (except the tax man).

I have to agree, I guess it's just too easy to lump everyone together.....shit, Japanese do it with foreigners too!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I really dislike I'll-mannered children!

It's the parents, not the children....

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Mary

Then I will not be the only one to be stared at day in day out in the countryside. Kids saying nasty things thinking I cannot understand

This happens to me when I visit western country, too (countryside mostly)!!!! When I went to a place where Asians are rare, they stared at me like crazy and they were saying thing like "hey look there's an Asian girl!!"... I smiled at them and said hello, though :)

Black Sabbath

It's the parents, not the children

Totally agree !!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

How about making a tour exhibition to recruit workers from south east asia. Many will work in Japan.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The government spelt exploitation wrong, I thought I read " immigration"

5 ( +5 / -0 )

exploring ways to bring in more foreign workers without calling it an “immigration policy”.

LDP somehow admitting the need of what the far right wing dislike the most (foreigners) to help the country, I kind of like the irony of the situation.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Bernd Laurent exactly J companies only complain of labor shortage as nobody wants to do there jobs at the pathetic salaries theyre offering. its well know that foreign low skilled workers rarely get paid the same as Japanese. unless there are minimum wage laws with teeth , Japanese will continue to be underpaid and overworked

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Talk talk talk, form panels, shy away from it around yearly elections, talk talk talk, form panels of the old, grey, and dying, talk more, write memos when you are too old to speak, asking why your nursing home attendant is angry and beating you (because they are stressed out), etc.

It's all just a lot of wind. It's already too late to help in the near future, and the current crop of graduates is going to be supporting more than 50% of the nation in the next 20 years. If they start NOW easing immigration it will help after that, but they won't; they'll just start forming panels to discuss it. I think a lot of these old guys would rather see Japan 'die' than this image they have of Japan being changed through immigration. It's very unfortunate for those who still have a future (well... in terms of time, anyway).

At least they are now admitting there is a problem. But I suspect along with just talking they'll take the usual route and continue the human trafficking for workers, something Japan is among the worst in the world for.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Citizen2012Apr. 29, 2016 - 10:19AM JST

LDP somehow admitting the need of what the far right wing dislike the most (foreigners) to help the country, I kind of like the irony of the situation.

You're missing the irony. It's not the LDP or far-right disliking foreigners. Heck many of the far-right guys are in the construction industry and have a look at a building site these days, it's half people by non-Japanese.

It's their collective dislike of uppity foreigners who want the same human/legal rights as the Japanese. The only way to prevent that is a rotating immigration policy of issuing short term visas for jobs that have no legal safeguards.

In my own industry this is becoming a real crises. Whereas it was relatively easy to get average Indian software engineers (it was always impossible to get the best because the USA and Europe always took them) 10 years back, now it is becoming very difficult.

Not only is Japan now below Europe and the USA as a preference for an overseas posting for many of these engineers, but it's below Thailand, Korea and Taiwan. Don't get me on the topic of how many have bailed ship to take up contracts in Malaysia (Indian Muslims) and Singapore.

The simple fact is that the visa conditions and standard of living, relative to how far your pay packet goes, is way better in these countries than in Japan.

But why should facts distort the Japanese illusion of everybody wants to come and work in Japan, it's unique, and as long as they understand that Japan is only for the Japanese, they are more than welcome, if they pay their taxes and shut up?

5 ( +7 / -2 )

How about making a tour exhibition to recruit workers from south east asia. Many will work in Japan.

Sort of already doing that, I think. They come and learn Nihongo, then go back to their countries and help recruit, keeps the circle going

3 ( +3 / -0 )

an ex-labour minister commenting at the LDP panel earlier on a proposal to let in foreign beauticians said the idea was fine, as long as their customers were foreign, too.

Ooooh, and we can have different bathrooms and drinking fountains too!

This backwards thinking leads to the problems with how foreigners are treated here. "They" can never be "us" and need to be treated as so. I agree with Mary in that the countryside can use the workers the most (particularly farming and small manufacturers), but are filled with people who think like the ex-labour minister above.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

5petals.

Sort of already doing that, I think. They come and learn Nihongo, then go back to their countries and help recruit, keeps the circle going

My local Seiyu is nearly exclusively staffed, below management level, by Nepalese on trainee programs. From what I've observed their training seems to entail 10 hours a day, 6 days a week, exclusively stuck behind a cash register. I'm sure that skill is going to come in handy in Katmandu in the future.

Call a spade a spade.... Japan is wangling for cheap foreign labor without having to take any responsibility for the welfare of that labor, now or in the future.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

@fishy

I thought you said you were French ? Vietnamese ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@guy

Ive not encountered such a place, seems it would scare away the customers, but if you say so, thats interesting.Ive met some Nepalese working in a factory type hell hole, and they were attending nihongo gakko. I asked them why, and they said they were to return to Nepal and use their Japanese. As there isnt much going on in Nepal that involves Japanese, I think they meant as recruiters, to repeat the cycle,this time better pay

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Expanding a “trainee” system that was designed to share technology with developing countries, but which critics say has become a backdoor source of cheap labour.

For once the critics are right. Good to see that JapanToday is using British spelling.

Two cabinet members have already advocated adopting an immigration policy, as have some LDP panel members.

Last time I looked there were about eighty LDP MPs pushing immigration.

Japan has being allowing immigration for a long time now, it's stealth migration and as long as these migrants don't expect human/voting rights, then the Japanese government is quite happy to let things continue on the same path and more.

Rubbish. If you naturalize you get voting and all other rights. If you want to vote you have naturalize in Japan just as you do in the US and in the UK unless you are Irish.

This talk about the shrinking workforce is just to gloss over the fact that they want to avoid raising the wages and rather import cheap labor from abroad.

That's a big part of it and anyone who thinks bringing in immigrants is progressive social policy should ask who is in favor of it. The answer is Keidanren, a very conservative business organization. It's also the American model. Keep wages low with loads of immigrants from poor countries.

Japan isn't attractive to foreign workers because they will never be able to rise out of the servant class.

Depends on the job. Academic and IT jobs in Japan can be quite lucrative. Digging ditches is probably not going to make you rich in any country.

Forget any notion that foreigners want to come here to work & live.

Maybe not to you, but Japan seems quite attractive to Chinese, Vietnamese, Nepalese, Indians, etc.

-11 ( +0 / -11 )

Why would I or anyone want to live in a country that had a nuclear accident, and has every intention in having another?

4 ( +7 / -3 )

anyways, I think, there are tons of people in Japan that need a job, why doesn't Japan try to start locally? In the article it says "ever shrinking workforce" but the reality is that there are many many people who are unemployed within Japan.

I'm all for bringing people from abroad to create more diversity in Japan but also think we need to look "within" before looking outside,

3 ( +3 / -0 )

bullfighter APR. 29, 2016 - 11:09AM JST Last time I looked there were about eighty LDP MPs pushing immigration.

Problem with Japan is that part-time positions now make up almost 40 percent of the workforce. They earn 40 percent less per hour than full-time positions. The rise of this part-time economy explains why Japan is the only developed country where the average pay has consistently fallen in the last two decades. In the rigid labor market, temp work is rarely a steppingstone to something better. It’s a permanent, low-wage existence. It’s Japan’s biggest problem. The decline in the proportion of well-paid, full-time jobs available to Japanese workers is directly linked to many of other economic ills: deflation, higher poverty rates, lower economic productivity, even depressed birthrates. Parents don’t want their children to marry temps, banks won’t give them home loans, and employers don’t want to spend money training them.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

5petalsAPR. 29, 2016 - 12:04PM JST Strange, every Chinese Vietnamese, Nepalese Ive every met said just the opposite.

Strange. Then why is 650,000 and 85,000 still staying is Japan?

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

because 800 yen a day is better than 800 yen a month I guess

7 ( +7 / -0 )

For example, an ex-labour minister commenting at the LDP panel earlier on a proposal to let in foreign beauticians said the idea was fine, as long as their customers were foreign, too.

What a joke

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Most Japanese don't have a problem with immigation. It's the immigrants they don't want.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

@5petals

It might be a surprise to you. Many of the Japanese workers that work full time and part time are not treated much differently. This is the reality of Japan. As a immigrant, you can always leave, but if your Japanese, you have to put up with this reality.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

wrong. The reason all those Chinese and others you mention are here is because japanese wont do those jobs, except for the obasan who is over 50 and other freeters etc.

Not one foreigner in the controller group, all Japanese

Your so wrong on many levels, instead of talking go see for yourself

2 ( +3 / -1 )

My solution: don't call it "immigration", call it "osmosis" (浸透).

1 ( +1 / -0 )

5petalsAPR. 29, 2016 - 12:40PM JST wrong. The reason all those Chinese and others you mention are here is because japanese wont do those jobs, except for the obasan who is over 50 and other freeters etc.

Are these obasan and Japanese freeters treated differently than the immigrant workers? They are treated same.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

They might as well just attach more rights to the label "foreign worker" or there really will be great cause for concern as an unattractive Japanese working environment will certainly do well to attract a nuisance; in other words, if they want law abiding and asset driven foreigners to come help their economy, they should reciprocate respect and shun wage discrimination just to name a few.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Kingston Obike APR. 29, 2016 - 02:29PM JST They might as well just attach more rights to the label "foreign worker" or there really will be great cause for concern as an unattractive Japanese working environment will certainly do well to attract a nuisance; in other words, if they want law abiding and asset driven foreigners to come help their economy, they should reciprocate respect and shun wage discrimination just to name a few.

Japan has 40 percent part time workers. Truth is they don't need foreign workers. The J-government has to define Japan's part time workers of making them working full time with less benefits.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Here we go again..perhaps Japan could take a leaf out of other countries books and develop an immigration policy once and for all. It could have a quota system with preference given to skilled workers. Make the conditions attractive for people - housing assistance, language classes, options for permanent residency after a certain period.

It's been happening abroad for many years now, why can't Japan have a go at it, even on a small scale? It's 2016, time to step up to the world stage.

If this was reported abroad, it would make Japan seem xenophobic, not a good look for a nation looking to welcome more foreign visitors to its shores.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

AustPaulAPR. 29, 2016 - 02:39PM JSTIf this was reported abroad, it would make Japan seem xenophobic, not a good look for a nation looking to welcome more foreign visitors to its shores.

So what is going on here? Why isn't Japanese wages increasing? Why aren't jobs seeing better working conditions? Is this really because Japanese are not willing to work "bad unskilled jobs", or is it really because they will not hire Japanese for manual jobs (due to employers not wanting to give higher wages and better working conditions that Japanese workers will inevitably demand). My take on this is that Japanese need to make the government stop importing so much foreign labor and force the issue for the rights of Japanese workers. When you have a society that has close to 40 percent part time workers, there is a problem.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Are these obasan and Japanese freeters treated differently than the immigrant workers? They are treated same

They are treated the same, but they have choices

This is the reality of Japan. As a immigrant, you can always leave, but if your Japanese, you have to put up with this reality

No they dont. They can be truck drivers, pachinko duty guards, get free paid training at hello work, join the JSDF, and a host of other things. A curry maker from Nepal will do just that, make curry eleven hours a day

3 ( +3 / -0 )

sfjp330 at Apr. 29, 2016 - 02:53PM JST I'm clueless on the subject? Having lived here for a number of years I dispute that.

The point I was trying to make is that it doesn't do much for Japan's international image when an immigration policy is seen in a negative light. Can you imagine how that would be perceived elsewhere?

Yes, I know Japan is quite homogenous, but the world is changing.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

AustPaul APR. 29, 2016 - 03:34PM JST The point I was trying to make is that it doesn't do much for Japan's international image when an immigration policy is seen in a negative light. Can you imagine how that would be perceived elsewhere?

Who cares about international image? Nobody. What is your solutions to astronomical 40 percent part time workers in Japan? In a decade or so, half the population in Japan will be on part time. The J-government should put plans on these workers ahead of increasing immigration.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The Japanese just want slaves. That is the ideal category Japan would like to coral foreigners into. I know, because I was there, they will fully brought my business down and through their gaijin-fear mongering arranged it such that every time a foreigner ( I) applied for work some place where I WANTED to work , they wouldn't let me, If the place was a real back-breaker then, they would let me work, usually for peanuts. All the while, I knew what they were doing.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Cogito Ergo SumAPR. 29, 2016 - 03:58PM JSTThe Japanese just want slaves. That is the ideal category Japan would like to coral foreigners into.

Your lost. Is it exclusive to Japan only? You might look at all other countries, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia.....etc. There are all the same.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

They would have to lower the coorporate tax rate and pay people less to bring back allot of jthe goodobs to Japan. In order to hire old timers as full timers, they would have to ditch the Confucius mindset that old timers deserve more pay just because they are old, therefore I dont want to hire them. If you get your wish, it will be old timers taking care of old timers (or older timers) and some house wives in the mix. Anyhow, without immigration, it will be a top heavy old timer society, working all day at the kojo or gasorine stando, and after work being served by another old timer at the mos burger.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Problem is not many foreign workers can speak Japanese.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Japan changes immigration policy every fortnight and thats a real problem. Remeber what happened after March 2011, Japanese companies kicked and trapped their highly paid skilled workers in such a way that they ran out of country in shame with anger. Japanies companies think gaijin worker are Robot, with no family no feelings no rights. Just do work get few bucks and thats all.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No to immigration,yes for controlled,organized,foreign workers,up to needs of Japan,but never make it immigration policy.It should be exception cases,but never a policy.Australia and Canada allow highly skilled foreigners,thats what should be.I totally agree with LDP party immigration policy,a wise one,succeeded to keep Japan away from catastrophic immigration policy of Europe.National security should have highest priority in choosing foreign workers.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Problem with Japan is that part-time positions now make up almost 40 percent of the workforce. They earn 40 percent less per hour than full-time positions. The rise of this part-time economy explains why Japan is the only developed country where the average pay has consistently fallen in the last two decades.

There are two categories of part time workers in labor statistics: voluntary and involuntary. Surveys of Japanese part time workers show that only 20% of the females and 30% of the males want full time jobs. One reason Japan has a large part time work force is because many elderly Japanese work, some from necessity, others for pocket money. Older people and many housewives do not want full time jobs. Further, it is a well known statistical phenomenon that when employment rates increase, average wages fall because the new labor market entrants come in at the low end of the pay scale.

Involuntary part time employment is also high in the US and Britain but differences in definition make comparisons difficult. American wages have fallen too with the result that the median family income in the US today is lower than it was in 1999.

Suffice it to say that the increase in involuntary part time employment in Japan is significant but not as much of a problem as is usually portrayed because the numbers reflect both voluntary and involuntary part time employment.

Don't take my word for any of this. The points I have made can be found in OECD and BLS reports as well as news reports on CNN, the WSJ, and the NYT for the US. There are various on line sites where you can pull up wage and price data for Japan, the US, the UK, etc.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Well , when there is a protection or right for those called (Trainee ) working with basically nothing . Then call it whatever . At least from my experience worked as a trainee doctor for six months and received ( 0 ) Yen . Japan need slaves to join the slavery misery

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@bullfighter

Rubbish. If you naturalize you get voting and all other rights. If you want to vote you have naturalize in Japan just as you do in the US and in the UK unless you are Irish.

You've failed to inform yourself there. For the UK, you have voting rights in local elections if you are resident in the UK and are a Commonwealth or EU citizen,and in general elections if you are resident in the UK and an Irish or Commonwealth citizen.

https://www.gov.uk/elections-in-the-uk/local-government https://www.gov.uk/elections-in-the-uk/general-election

The Commonwealth in particular covers a lot of countries/territories (more than 50).

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

If you believe a source like the Daily Mail, who took their information from the delightful Migration Watch, this means in practice that around a million Commonwealth migrants without UK citizenship were eligible to vote in the 2015 general election.

You'd have to agree, that's very different from the position of a typical foreign resident of Japan.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

wipeout

All that you said is only possible because of reciprocity.

EU citizens can vote in the UK, because we can vote in their countries as well.

Commonwealth geezers can vote; so do we!

See?!

Now, why would J-land allow a Chinese to vote? You know very well J's cannot vote in China!

Why should the J's allow a Brit (meself) to vote when a J cannot vote in the UK?

See?

Not that difficult, innit!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

You've failed to inform yourself there.

No, I phrased my response in terms of the way the issue is framed in Japan: voting rights for permanent residents in national elections. I have had permanent residency in the United Kingdom since 1993 and have paid taxes in the UK since 1989. I am still paying taxes in the UK. I do not have voting rights in national elections.

My position in the UK is analogous to the bulk of permanent residents in Japan who are from the two Chinas, the two Koreas, etc. I get to pay full whack taxes but I don't get voting rights in national elections. Like the Chinese and Korean residents of Japan, there are jobs that are not open to me because I am not citizen. There were research grants I could not apply for when I was a British academic because I was not a citizen.

Further, while permanent residents in Japan get preferential and faster processing through immigration at Narita, Haneda, etc., as a UK permanent resident I get no special or preferential treatment and have to stand in the very long lines with the tourists.

As another commentator has pointed out, the UK gives national voting rights to citizens of countries that do the same for Bits. Perhaps Japan should start negotiating with Communist China and the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea for reciprocal voting rights. As a Japanese citizen, it would be a great honor and source of pride if I could vote in elections in Communist China and North Korea.

This URL gives the legal conditions for voting in general elections in the UK. Read it and you will see that there is nothing there for permanent residents of the UK. In other words, Britain is basically the same as Japan when it comes to permanent residents and voting rights. If you want to vote, naturalize. And, it is easier to naturalize in Japan than Britain.

http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/faq/voting-and-registration/who-is-eligible-to-vote-at-a-uk-general-election

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

@Peeping Tom

All that you said is only possible because of reciprocity.

Actually what I read suggested that it is not reciprocal for all countries. But either way, I did not intend to explain why it is possible, only that it is possible. Because Bullfighter said that "if you want to vote [in Japan] you have to naturalize, just like in the US or the UK unless you are Irish".

That is absolutely not the case for all non-British citizens or nationals residing in the UK. A huge chunk of them are from the EU and eligible to vote in some elections, and a substantial number are from Commonwealth countries in Africa, the Caribbean, South Asia, or the Pacific and eligible to vote in most elections.

Reciprocity or otherwise, there's nothing at all like this applying in Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

wipeout

Yer trying to make a case where you've got no leg to stand on.

EU citizens can vote throughout the Union; we are all EU citizens (still).

Commonwealth citizens can vote through because it’s a community.

Each country of the community decides what kinds of rights citizens of that community get; in the UK it's voting because the UK decided it should be so.

On the other hand:

1) J's cannot vote in the EU or Commonwealth; they are not citizens.

2) Non-citizens cannot vote in J-land.

Or you think that you, as an American/Brit/French/Chinese should have the right to vote in J-land, whilst denying that same right to them in your own country?

Simple!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

My position in the UK is analogous to the bulk of permanent residents in Japan who are from the two Chinas, the two Koreas, etc.

If you moved to the UK, rather than being born there, it's analogous to those people who moved from China or Korea to Japan, and eventually gained permanent residence here.

It is not, on the other hand, analogous to people born in Japan to Japan-born parents but deemed Korean or Chinese. They are considered to be of foreign nationality due to ethnicity, nor is their status simply "permanent resident". They are "special permanent residents", and there are about 500,000 of them, and their rights, including voting and employment, are limited by their not having the automatic right to Japanese citizenship on birth - something that my own children do have.

I really don't think your situation in the UK remotely resembles theirs, because you're not UK born, nor are both your parents UK-born. You simply lived there, as a foreign-born person from a country without close geographical or historical ties to the UK, long enough to gain permanent residence.

Concerning the reciprocity question in the UK, you and Peeping Tom have both way overstated it. So you have indeed failed to inform yourself, which is why you repeat things that aren't actually true. As did he when he said that all I stated above about the EU and the Commonwealth was "only possible because of reciprocity".

One example. An Australian can vote and even become a Member of Parliament in the UK, like other Commonwealth citizens. A British citizen cannot vote in Australia simply based on residence there. If Migration Watch is to be believed (and I'm open to being proved wrong on that), there is rather a long list of countries that don't give UK citizens the vote. See the table at the bottom in this link. There are 14 countries on there:

http://www.migrationwatchuk.org/briefing-paper/315

0 ( +1 / -1 )

!One example. An Australian can vote and even become a Member of Parliament in the UK, like other Commonwealth citizens. A British citizen cannot vote in Australia simply based on residence there. If Migration Watch is to be believed (and I'm open to being proved wrong on that), there is rather a long list of countries that don't give UK citizens the vote. See the table at the bottom in this link. There are 14 countries on there:"

Did you miss this deliberately???

"Each country of the community decides what kinds of rights citizens of that community get; in the UK it's voting because the UK decided it should be so."

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Did you miss this deliberately?

Did you miss deliberately that Bullfighter said "If you want to vote you have to naturalize in Japan just as you do in the US and in the UK unless you are Irish". This isn't ambiguous, it's a statement that only the Irish get voting rights in the UK. The reality is very different: citizens of many nations get voting rights in the UK.

Whether it's reciprocal or not isn't of much interest - in other words it doesn't magically correct erroneous claims about who gets to vote - but since you and he pushed that point as well (in fact, you say it is "only possible" because of reciprocity), and since that's laughably incorrect, I gave information on that too.

There's some further blather from Bullfighter on his situation in the UK vis a vis Koreans and Chinese in Japan, also wrong.

Or you think that you, as an American/Brit/French/Chinese should have the right to vote in J-land, whilst denying that same right to them in your own country?

I didn't express an opinion. Do you seriously think I'm interested in sidetracking into that when you two don't even get basic facts straight? It would be a waste of time.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I can't count how many times I'd see a McDonald's, Matsuya, KFC, 7-11, and other shops here in Tokyo with foreign, mainly non-Japanese Asians, working there along with their Japanese colleagues. One time at a McDee's in Shinjuku I saw all the registers manned with non-Japanese. I'd say there has been a change in the last several years and an increase in foreign workers, mostly in service sectors like the above. Though, I'm not certain what visas most of them hold, if they're on temporary work ones and thus have to return to their home countries eventually.

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