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Japan needs immigrants to boost population: minister

108 Comments
By Linda Sieg and Aaron Sheldrick

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Japan should go after those Syrian "migrants" before Germany and Canada get them all...

-27 ( +6 / -33 )

Taro Kono has been saying this for years. Big business will start to push more and more for this though I would think. Unemployment is around the 3% mark and falling.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

Kono is right, but (as I am sure he already knows) his govt will ignore him & push him aside. Japan has been missing this boat since the 80s non-stop to the present, its going to have to get a LOT worse before most in Japan would MAYBE consider making changes.

Heck even now foreigners outside Japan have choices & less & less are already considering Japan as a destination, the boat is already out of the harbour!

11 ( +12 / -1 )

I am surprised he said this! Will he be transferred or demoted now?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Not in favour of opening up immigration as its too problematic. If you think the west is the model then think again. Under the surface there is great strain and a growing up raising which willl in time cause many problems. In a place like Japan which can be difficult to live in for imgrants, enclaves will develop because intergrate in difficult and that in turn causes issues. Let the population settle to what is sustainable then use technology and innovation to solve some of the issues.

-11 ( +8 / -19 )

As a Japanese it depends where the foreigner is coming from regardless if Asian or not as long as they are not black or people from the Middle East. All one has to do is turn to the US and the problems they have because of the two mentioned group and where their major issues arise from and for those around the world.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

In today's high-tech economy, I don't think the case for large scale immigration to Japan is as convincing as it was 20 or 30 years ago. These days, economic competitiveness can come from a handful of talented and educated individuals, rather than the large populations that were needed to fill the factories of the past.

The reality is that most of Japan's most labour intensive industries have moved their polluting operations overseas in the past few decades and they aren't coming back unless wages become a fraction of what they are now and environmental regulations are scrapped.

A shrinking labour force might not be good for company profits or 'the economy' as an abstract concept measured in GDP growth, but it's often a good thing for the living standards of existing workers in the service industries who will be able to demand hire wages and better working conditions.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Glad to read that at least one govt minister realizes the obvious.Holding onto this so-called Japanese "purity" and "uniqueness" is dated.There's a lot of different bloodlines all up in the people whether they acknowledge it or not.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

If the point is that it's time to seriously and neutrally begin to have a discussion than I agree. However, every country is worried about the job market supporting the strain of the soon to be elderly. The problem isn't so much of people not wanting children, but that more people are educated about the enormous task at hand and would like to make sure they can provide.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Money would be better spent on getting Japanese to marry and have more kids. How, I have no idea...

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

I hope Kono does not get his way.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

I'm not sure increasing immigration would substantially boost the birthrate. The reasons for the low birthrate in japan have nothing to do with immigration - cost of having, raising and educating children, and lack of childcare facilities, for example. Those issues will still be here, even with increased immigration, Also, I'm not sure how relevant this is, but in general, I think most Japanese women would prefer to marry Japanese men, so again I wonder how does increased immigration really boost the birthrate.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

I completely disagree mass immigration is a complete disaster look at Europe and other nations. Once old people die off like me. The burden of tax's will decrease also robots can be employed for manual labor. Japan is safe lets keep it that way.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

""But unless Japan begins to tackle the issue, it will lose out to China...."

Who cares? The focus should be on living standards at home, not on geo-political status.

All of the world's top countries in terms of social development are ones with small populations, according to a couple of important surveys. Smaller is nearly always better.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

The question is not how many immigrants Japan needs to cover up structural inadequacy in work-life balance, but the question is how much did the neocon think tank pay him?

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Some of the key factors can't be replaced with technology or robots no matter how advanced those are such as elderly care, child care, maintaining infrastructures and above all keeping up inflow of tax. Ready to employ type of immigration is impractical in case of Japan due to language barrier. The best option would be welcoming more and more eager international students with scholarships and language, cultural support that will eventually make them adaptable to Japan during their student life.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The first thing the government should do is fully support the children it has this would raise the birth rate as parents wouldn't worry about his they could afford to raise additional children. The government should also pay cash to families directly for each child they have. It's crazy to focus on immigration as the primary policy. Japan should make it easier for those who have studied at a Japanese university or who have made an effort to study Japanese to get residency as well.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Whether it takes immigrants or not the writing is on the wall for Japanese "culture". It will either be transformed by immigrants or will die a lingering death as the people diminish. In fact, it will probably be the latter route to extinction because as the population ages and becomes more conservative they will probably resist immigration by any argument to hand but mostly those based in exclusivity or "safety". The alternative - that the culture and ideology is taken up overseas - is unlikely because there is very little universality about it that is different from any previous universal ideas (world peace has been thought already), though bits and pieces will have transient appeal here and there before they too are transformed (think sushi and its foreign variants).

3 ( +5 / -2 )

“Think about China. They will soon start getting old and need a lot of care workers and they will start sucking in all the foreign workers, and then it’s going to be fierce competition.”

This has to be the biggest paranoid delusion ever spouted by a Japanese minister.

However, the sad fact is, Japan will only attract low paid and non-skilled workers and then, they will tax the heck out of them to support the retirees. Japan is not an attractive country for immigrants anymore. Even the Filipinos have stopped coming here.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

I see here the two schools of thought on this. I'm keeping an eye on this discussion. I honestly don't know the answer. Although, I tend to think that Japan is in trouble not only because of the decreasing numbers and increasing debt and necessary tax-burden, but also because of the increasing inwardness and apathy of the young people. Without new ideas, what drives an economy? To me, it looks like so many industries are going in the wrong direction and even smaller businesses are kept alive despite being unprofitable. Is Japan just cruising on yesterday's savings and boom? How long can they go on the infrastructure built in the past? Can quality manufacturing industries drive a modern economy or will lack of innovation and efficiency sink it? New people do bring new vitality and industriousness. On the other hand, Japan is ill-equipped to welcome many foreigners. It's a closed society to some degree. I wonder what will happen if many companies remain unprofitable and unemployment remains low with many low-wage earners who cannot buy a lot of stuff? I wonder what will happen with a generation of young people who cannot think of or communicate new ideas?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

With 126 791 397 current population why population grow is needed at all. Bringing immigrants will make only Japanese lazy and not able to support economy on their own so discipline that's all Japan needed and not hordes of immigrants who will destroy Japan on the long run.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

@Disillusioned

This has to be the biggest paranoid delusion ever spouted by a Japanese minister.

However, the sad fact is, Japan will only attract low paid and non-skilled workers and then, they will tax the heck out of them to support the retirees. Japan is not an attractive country for immigrants anymore. Even the Filipinos have stopped coming here.

Bravo, exactly on point, who they think they are fooling?

and not to mention, the multitudes of black trucks, vans, and wingers who loking for an excuse , would come out the woodwork pushing more intolerant propaganda, influencing, kobanites, and illiberals.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

"Japan should craft an “integrated” immigration policy"

Okinawa is definitely inimical to such "immigration" pursuits

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Another thing is that Japan will have to cope with increasing numbers of educated people leaving the country; people who have recognised the burden they will have to bear and the decreasing vitality of the place. The story of Japanese who get out is largely an untold one.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Another thing is that Japan will have to cope with increasing numbers of educated people leaving the country;

I don't see much of that coming to happen. Japanese people love Japan, and very few of them would want to leave permanently.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Only when all their social problems are sorted should immigration come into it. If they're lacking people then treat your own people properly and make proper use of them. Immigration will only delay social change and equality. Immigration is just a procrastination, a delaying tactic. If people have stopped breeding, work out what the hells going on, sort the social problems out. There needs to be changes and keeping things lingering on through immigration is the cheap and easy option that will only delay the problems for another day.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Japan is the only 98% racially homogenic country among the developed countries, and this is one of the few things I don't like about this place. race=nationality Japan is the only country where most of the population openly says only its nationals deserve HUMAN RIGHTS while in japanese soil. How crazy is that? I don't even know how this is not on the news abroad.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Some are overlooking the fact that most Jdescendants have children who are 18 yrs and older back home which due to some issues on age, aren't able to come to Japan. And it is a known fact that most siblings of people married to Japanese are university graduates who are unable to find gainful employment in our home countries but with usable abilities enough to be gainfully employed in Japan. By allowing these people to come here and work, the govt will have a lesser need for adjustment guidance and accomodation and at the same time will give relief to people like me who keeps on sending money back home for their sustenance. How about that? @thunderbird, if ever there are applicants for welfare who are being denied, the govt agency which denied that could have a valid reason like a foreigner who applied for welfare but with several million yen in her bank acct. The Jgovt do respect human rights as seen from a foreign divorcee woman who enjoyed seikatsu hogo even if she's just on a 3 yr visa with no Jchild. the Japanese do practice human rights and as I've seen it, some take advantage of the Japanese generosity.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

As usual, let's treat the symptom rather than the problem. Why don't young people get married and have babies? These old geezers do not have a clue.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

As usual, let's treat the symptom rather than the problem. Why don't young people get married and have babies? These old geezers do not have a clue.

Actually, that was addressed in the article. Even if the birthrate turned positive overnight, it would still be 18+ years until they could become a part of the Japanese labor pool.

Other than ridiculous assertions that immigration would fundementally alter "harmony" in Japan/Japanese culture, or that immigration would turn Japan into another Europe, is there any real reason to not have more immigration?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

With 126 791 397 current population why population grow is needed at all. Bringing immigrants will make only Japanese lazy and not able to support economy on their own so discipline that's all Japan needed and not hordes of immigrants who will destroy Japan on the long run.

Yes, this is definitely on point. The inward, insular, short-sighted, arrogant and illogical mindset that closes the door to vitality. Of course, immigration needs to be crafted smartly and carefully, but I doubt Japan can continue on the way it is. I think "gaman" and "shoganai" is a far more pernicious laziness, actually. Donald Trump (et. al.) doesn't seem to get it either, even though it seems obvious: energy comes from the entrepreneurial outlook of new people and in a global economy I doubt innovation can take place in a "group-think" mode. I do agree with some of the comments here that Japan has some fixin' to do. The culture is really stultified with a "do-twice-as-much, stay-twice-as-long" attitude that inhibits efficiency, growth, health, family life, and leisure. A lot of things will have to change. As a teacher, I see the how systems really grind down the youth into a dangerously under-prepared population of can't-doers. Anyway, I think 25psot perfectly illustrates the problems. I worry these problems are creeping up too soon. Reasonable Immigration is a sensible part of a solution that may never come.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Yeah not every Japanese wants to marry and have children with a foreigner. People should stop trying to make or force change that people do not want or are not comfortable with.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

This model will never happen. Japan needs to sustain its own economy to sustain its own people. Then only they can buy migrants to feed them equally

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

People should stop trying to make or force change that people do not want or are not comfortable with.

Why, in a democracy, should people stop advocating for what they see as the best course? Just because you don't like it? Again, this seems to illustrate the point if you don't even want the debate to happen.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

the solution is japanese woman: more respect, let them work and make babies without "matahara".

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@TakahiroDomingo It's all about work and learning styles. Japan just rakes people. The work style really precludes flexibility and equality. The education style is a preparation for the work style so it's equally relentless, anti-self-growth and anti-thought. What men or women have time for work and family if they're in mainstream company jobs? But if you change this stuff, you also change people's relationships. If you give people free time, they have to change what they do too. That's scary for many. It's a choice. I find that, while some people want these changes, many people do not. The old people rule the roost increasingly and why would they want change when they're so comfortable the way things are? Women need more respect but so do men and families. It's not about individual attitudes so much as a willingness to see systematic change. But as some have demonstrated in this forum, change is uncomfortable and scary. Too much so for some.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

"a dangerously under-prepared population of can't-doers". Now that is so good! a dangerous and unprepared generation they are for sure...but back on topic...Japan should accept the remaining buddhists from Bangladesh who are being forced off their land alot like the palestinians have been. They are of Mongolian descent and are primarily farmers, so they will be happy to take over unpopulated areas of the Japanese countryside ( not many people want to go there anyways, so they'll be tranquil and content). Japan is a buddhist nation if youze haven't realisd... Also, immigration does not equal intermarriage. What a joke! Third generation immigrant Canadians still marry within their ethnic groups...primarily. And when you see mixed couples it is a sign of an absence of persecution and proof of freedom and equality. Those offended by it amongst the population can quietly sulk at home...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Lots of various populations of industrious people who can assimilate given the right support. Osaka seems to have lots of Nepalese and Vietnamese people. They remind me of my grandparents in America: hard-working and self-sacrificing, willing to start their own businesses and follow their own dreams, extremely law-abiding non-complainers...people who want to make something...bound for success. This is a good option for Japan. New people aren't brainwashed in the old ways that got this current generation into the mess it's in. And people will marry who they want for heaven's sake. Ethnic nationalists can make a lot of noise and mischief, but they cannot make the world what it is not...unless they really want to bring about some catastrophe. Having said all that, of course it's good to be careful. It's quite possible some places in Europe have overdone it to some extent.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Japan faces a catch-22. The country isn't going to boost its birthrates short of some cataclysmic event that radically reshapes society. Going the route of America and Europe appears to be the only other option for keeping the working population large enough to support the aged population. Fail to open the immigration floodgates, and the aging population swamps the country's ability to care for the elderly and, more importantly, to pay for all of the services that the government has promised. Open up immigration, and Japan will lose its culture. Immigrants are not magically going to become Japanese merely by inhabiting Japanese soil, and their children, while speaking Japanese, aren't going to think and behave like Japanese people. In 50 years, if a third of the population is immigrants or their children, Japanese society will be struggling through all of the identity problems and strife that America and Europe are facing now. It's monetary and economic catastrophe not to open up immigration. It's cultural and probably also economic catastrophe to open up immigration. Short of that elusive fertility rate hike, there is no winning for Japan.

Besides, are the people who would most want to immigrate to Japan the immigrants that Japan would most want?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I disagree. Japan has no need of a population boost.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

"@Disillusioned

This has to be the biggest paranoid delusion ever spouted by a Japanese minister.

However, the sad fact is, Japan will only attract low paid and non-skilled workers and then, they will tax the heck out of them to support the retirees. Japan is not an attractive country for immigrants anymore. Even the Filipinos have stopped coming here.

Bravo, exactly on point, who they think they are fooling?

and not to mention, the multitudes of black trucks, vans, and wingers who loking for an excuse , would come out the woodwork pushing more intolerant propaganda, influencing, kobanites, and illiberals."

Well, your are a gaijin and an an immigrant!

Japain was good enough to attract you, so much so you don't wanna leave.

Unless you act up on your words and exit the building, all you've said it's nothing but empty prattle.

-12 ( +1 / -13 )

@mikeylikesit It's hard to see how European-style immigration is a monetary solution seeing as refugees are a net cost on the economy, very large numbers of them would only exasperate the problems that come with an aging population.

That said, Japan should be doing a lot more to attract skilled labor.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Well we're seeing population decline being projected world wide this has it's pros and cons. Japan in particular is overpopulated but seeing the decline is saddening because their culturally they're suffering.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I really agree with Mr. Kono. Japan is gonna face really population crisis if policy measure is not adopted. It may be internal population management as well as of immigrants. Japan is losing economically active population day by day that ushers dismal economy in future. So policy reform for tackling coming population crisis is urgent.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

We have 25 000 people in Canada ready to go. Is immigration working really? Here in Canada, we have to pay some foreigners doing nothing at home because they can't find a job. Not because there is no job, but because they don't have the diplomas. I'm not even talking about the refugees. Also, it's not easy to go in another country and live there. I'm from a region that is pretty much like Japan (it has a small population of 270k). The age pyramid is about the same, think the same thing about the foreigners, you have to speak French because almost none will speak English and so on. The only foreign workers are black people from Africa who works in forest. It's pretty much the same thing in Japan, it's impossible to be considered as a Japanese, you have to learn the language, etc. The real solution is boosting the births, but how?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

My country has accepted more refugees in the last 72 hours than Japan has in years. The children in these families will grow up Canadian and families will learn out ways and contribute to a nation. Contrary to right wingers new immigrants want to work and make a new life. We're lucky our self identity has changed over time to be more like a team. We're just glad people come, given the weather etc. Given what people have gone through, a safe country is appreciated and hearing their stories is always a reminder to never forget what we have achieved.

It gets easier to be an immigrant nation when it's a part of your family history. Unless you're native, go back far enough and everyone can connect. But these are qualities Japan just doesn't have. By maintaining only racial identity I see no reason how change can occur.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

"Besides, are the people who would most want to immigrate to Japan the immigrants that Japan would most want?"

Agree. Japan is not competitive enough to attract highly educated people that it needs. Salaries/wages do not vary much from those in middle income countries. Most employers do not offer benefits - housing, education, annual flight tickets to home country, etc. These are benefits that well educated people receive in other developed countries and some middle income countries. To make matters worse for Japan, the cost of living is much higher. And sometimes remuneration is revised downwards! This year I got an offer from a Japanese university - paying salary only, no benefits whatsoever. I also got an offer from an African university - offers salary + benefits + lower cost of living. Then you can tell where I am at the moment.
3 ( +3 / -0 )

Please note: immigrants also get older and need welfare. Ask Japanese people to have more babies instead.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

@EyeOfTheCat

Please note: immigrants also get older and need welfare. Ask Japanese people to have more babies instead.

Wouldn't those be called citizens by then? Or are they forever immigrants and foreigners? When does the labelling stop?

Why would anyone go to a new country where they are never a part of it? Japan is filled with the foreigners who can't be bothered to be citizens and aren't appreciated even if they are. That's not a nation.

Interestingly other countries like USA and Canada get a lot of Japanese immigrants as well, leaving the limitations behind them.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

sf2k - Wouldn't those be called citizens by then? Or are they forever immigrants and foreigners? When does the labelling stop?

Won't Japan kick them out when they're too old to work?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"Why would anyone go to a new country where they are never a part of it? Japan is filled with the foreigners who can't be bothered to be citizens and aren't appreciated even if they are. That's not a nation."

Japain not a Nation!!!!

Japain has been a Nation for "only" about 4000 yrs; they decide who is Japainese and who's not.

Non ethnics are not and that's that.

And I thought I had heard it all on this board!

You clearly don;t know what a Nation is.

Mass immigration is not the answer.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Please note: immigrants also get older and need welfare. Ask Japanese people to have more babies instead.

Because they don't get older? Lol

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Forget Immigration, it will just destroy the Country!

3 ( +6 / -3 )

"Forget Immigration, it will just destroy the Country!"

http://enenews.com/author/admin

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@shallots, you said lots of Vietnamese and Nepalese people working in Osaka.... Do you know almost all of them are on student visas? Hence they are only allowed to work for a maximum of something like 4 hrs everyday. But their visas is both a tool to improve their lot and to enter Japan. So almost all of them have 2 jobs. But they aren't paying the right taxes and no social security contribution even if they earn around 15 or so man from both jobs.Aside from the fact that they do enjoy certain discounts for being students. I both pity them and the company that hire them because if you work closely with them, you'll know they're sleepy most of the time.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

all of the identity problems and strife that America and Europe are facing now.

The U.S is not going through identity problems. There are some loudmouths but America's problems are about greed not immigration. I think Europe does have problems. So there is a lot of nuance to this dilemma.

The real solution is boosting the births, but how?

No, it's already too late (for now). (For the future) The answer to how is pretty well-known. But it also involves changing society. But once you call it "culture" then it's a religion that no one wants to change. Japanese bureaucrats and are a stubborn lot.

Please note: immigrants also get older and need welfare. Ask Japanese people to have more babies instead.

They said "no." You have to accept the answer for the time being and move to solutions.

Japain has been a Nation for "only" about 4000 yrs

There were no such thing as "nations" 4000 years ago and there was no such thing as "Japan." You are laboring under the illusion of ethnic nationalism. Nations are modern and Japan is no more than 200 years old, if that.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Japan needs to first accept the foreigners already in Japan. Been here 34 years, My life not no different from a Japanese in regards to paying into the system and living life. Almost 30 years paid into the pension system, pay taxes dutifully, contribute to my community, and so on. But, I'm still a "The Gaijin living over there" or "The Gaijin walking down the street." And, though I must pay into the system, I'm not allowed to vote for it. So, is Japan READY to accept immigrants into its society or does the government just need to replenish all the pension funds gambled away in the stock market?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

cacophonous!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What's with this hang up with maintaining the 'purity' of the Japanese race? Up to 30% of the supposedly pure Japanese carry DNA from mainland Asia.

Would admitting fair skinned NE Asians like the Koreans and Chinese make the populace feel better, because they can't tell the difference by looks?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

"Nations are modern and Japan is no more than 200 years old, if that."

Wrong!

That only applies to the modern "Nation-State" definition.

Japain has been an ethnic Nation where cultural unification preceded State unification well before the "Westphalian system".

Japain's Kimigayo was written between 797-1185, reducing your premise of a "200 year old Japan" to a laughable one!

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Japan is overpopulated. An island this size cannot handle 127m people and up, and everyone's quality of life suffers as a result. Tokyo is a nightmare for starters. Besides, Japan is not an attractive prospect for foreigners these days for obvious reasons I won't bother mentioning.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I'm of the mind that a shrinking population is a good thing. The world is overpopulated as is, and an economy built on the assumption of a perpetually growing population is just crazy.

That said, Japan needs an immigration policy, and it needs immigrants. The policy would mean that the right immigrants come in the right amounts. With immigration, Japan will change - and that's what many Japanese fear. But without immigration, Japan will simply wither away and die. Many Japanese don't seem to care about that, as long as it happens after they are dead, which is a disgracefully selfish attitude.

And then there's the likelihood that, even then, eventually immigrants will uncontrollably flood in to a weakened Japan. In any reasonably free country, people will flow into a vacuum.Unless the Japanese hate immigration so much that they are willing to become like North Korea to "preserve their culture."

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@Peeping..Tom - Yes, I am a gaijin, but no, I am not an immigrant! You seem to be very confused about the difference. I am part of a very small minority of foreigners living in Japan. Over 80% of foreigners living in Japan come from neighboring Asian countries with China leading the way by more than double. An 'immigrant' is a person who seeks to be nationalized and become a Japanese citizen. Under the current legislation it is nearly impossible to become a Japanese national, which is the whole point of this article.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Desillusioned

You ARE an immigrant.

Check the definition then come back.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

immigrant |ˈimigrənt| noun a person who comes to live permanently in a foreign country. • Biology an animal or plant living or growing in a region to which it has migrated.

I didn't 'come to live permanently' - I came intending to stay for about a year, and things just developed....I guess the second definition might make me an immigrant (though I'm not sure whether I 'migrated' - I just came, and I'm here). aka gairaishu?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Cleo

Anyone who lives in a foreign land is an immigrant,

Obviously, Mr. Desillusioned doesn't know that!

I enjoy reading your posts though.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

I don't think the definition is so cut and dry. Somebody who transfers to a foreign country for a 2 or 3 year contract is not normally seen as an immigrant, though they are living in the country. On the other, one doesn't need to be seeking naturalization either.

I had to explain immigration to a Japanese person the other day. Though I had never thought of myself as an immigrant, I guess I am one, as my stay is as permanent as most things get in life.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

commanteer

Unless you are at your Government services (or vacationing) you will be an immigrant for as long you remain in a country not originally yours.

This law (and The Peeping knows a thing or two about it).

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

If you are a PR/green card holder or naturalized citizen of the country you live in, you are an immigrant.

Any other status, even if you live in a country for multiple years, for whatever reason, you are a non-immigrant. You are a resident.

Why is this so complicated?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This law (and The Peeping knows a thing or two about it).

Ahh, but you are not Japanese, nor do you live in Japan. Curiously enough though, you seem to think you know more about what's best for Japan than elected Japanese politician. Hmmm

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Well you are not Japainese yett think you know what's best for Japain. In every domain.

Or you think a Japainese flavoured pseudonym will impress anyone?

Same thing, enne???

And one elected officer who hasn't seen what mass immigration will do to his country?

I happen to live in one.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Change the Japan immigration policy and include dual citizenship, that's good chemistry. Immigrants have been in Japan for decades.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Aiangaijin

Your nice embellishing doesn't change one simple fact:

A "resident" is STILL an immigrant!

Why is this so complicated????

And no! Japain will better off promoting Japainese reproduction,

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

A "resident" is STILL an immigrant!

NO, that's false!!! Your logic is flawed.

A Japan-born person who has never left Japan is a resident, but how is he an immigrant?

Immigrants are residents but residents are not necessarily immigrants.

And what's up with your spelling? Is your keyboard set to autocorrect in some non-English language?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Asiangaijin

May I suggest a bit of caution because you don't know what you're saying???

A Japainese born IS NOT a "resident" for Immigration purposes!

A resident is a foreigner who has been granted that status; he's still an immigrant.

Don't ya worry about me spelling.

I is more than capable of spelling good and proper, if me wants to.

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

Well then, please start spelling correctly. It makes your messages easier to read.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

People who move to another country for more than a few years are immigrants. I wouldn't say that there is a set amount of time to it, but once it's beyond a temporary residency, it's immigration.

Japanese people who live in Japan are residents. They are also citizens. Foreign people who move to Japan and don't take citizenship are non-citizen residents.

Under the current legislation it is nearly impossible to become a Japanese national

No, it's not nearly impossible. There is an avenue to it, and it's not so different from getting permanent residence.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"Japanese people who live in Japan are residents. They are also citizens."

Just like a Russian living in Russia will be a resident and a citizen; a Kenyan in Kenya will be both a resident & a national. Nobody is talking about being a resident of Setagaya Ward. or Baker Street (yours truly)!!!

They will however not be "Residents"; only foreigners are capable of being RESIDENTS, FOR IMMIGRATION PURPOSES..

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

They will however not be "Residents"; only foreigners are capable of being RESIDENTS, FOR IMMIGRATION PURPOSES..

And? That doesn't change the fact that they are residents - and the distinction does have meaning as there can also be citizen non-residents. A real-world example of where this matters in Japan is the JR rail pass - it's only available to non-residents, regardless of nationality. This means that the pass is available to foreigners and non-resident citizens, but not to foreign residents and resident citizens.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Japan needs immigrants to boost population: minister

At last, common sense. Give this guy a medal

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

And who is saying that a Japainese living in Japain is not residents of Japain??/

Who is saying that someone said that Japanese residents living in Japan are not residents of Japan?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I think a better immigration policy would be good for Japan, BUT immigration is only one small bit of what needs fixing here, I doubt many posters here think immigration will FIX Japan, its only one aspect.

And as I have been harping on for years Japan is in dire need of a full on RESTORATION to have any chance of climbing outta the hole its dug( continues to dig deeper each day), but until the locals realize it, the road only will lead to more decline over time, & honestly I think most Japanese are weirdly content with that!!!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I would propose, for example, a Kenyan living in Japan who is naturalized and a full citizen, in this modern world, is fully Japanese in the same manner that Canada is welcoming its Syrian migrants as part of the Canuck family. Japan, in this age of globalization, inclusiveness and diversity must simply get with it...

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Japan needs to become a multicultural country. Either that or face a rapidly diminishing population. That national birthrate isn't going up any time soon

honestly I think most Japanese are weirdly content with that!!!

You might be right

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Peepingtwat is a troll who needs banning .

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I thought there are lots of Chinese migrant workers in Japan.

The New Japanese Worker is Chinese

http://latitude.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/14/the-new-japanese-worker-is-chinese/?_r=0

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@disillusioned

Under the current legislation it is nearly impossible to become a Japanese national, which is the whole point of this article.

Nearly impossible?

Getting Japanese citizenship is dead simple. Live here for 5 years. Speak and read Japanese at an elementary school level. Don't have a criminal record. Have an income. Pay your taxes.

That's it. It's easier than getting PR.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@Peeping_Tom Nonsense. Find me a respected historian that thinks Japan wasn't feudalistic at that time. There just weren't "nations" back then according to the concept in mainstream history. A thousand years ago most people didn't read, travel out of their villages or have any concept as you'd like to think. Nations are relatively new in human history. This is just mainstream historicity. I can see the idea is quite upsetting to you? What would people do without their illusions?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I would move there but I am 72 and worn out.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Ask how many japanese nationals will accept immigrants of diverse cultures rather than thinking an immigration policy for Japan to forsee 2060. The japanese people were not very friendly to Korean or Chinese people living in their country

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Shallots

Read the posts and then comment; you are referring to a Nation-State, as a Polis.

That is fron around 200 years ago!!!

I'm talking about Nation as a linguistic and cultural entity of which Japain has been one for thousands of years.

It does "upset moi" that you don’t have a clue, yet want to pretend you do.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I've been posting this for years.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Shallots

Nonsense is your entire post.

You are referring to a Nation-State, i.e., a Polis.

That is from around 200 years ago!!! Treaty of Westphalia (read on it, as you clearly don't know of it).

I'm talking about Nation as a linguistic and cultural entity of which Japain has been one for thousands of years.

It seems that Gaijin are only upset because I mention Japain as a very old Nation!

If that rocks yer boat, China is even "older" at around 5-6 thousand years old.

Or is China not a Nation???

Wasn't China a linguistic and cultural Nation thousands of years ago?

And yeah, I'm very "upset" that you that you don't know such a basic thing.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Lots of immigrant gaijin cannot deal with the fact that Japain is indeed a Nation, and a very old one actually.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Peeping Tom - Japan's Jomon Era is from 15 thousand years ago till 2,300 years ago, then Yayoi Era.

Shallots - You should read Japan's masterpiece Tale of Genji, which was written more than 1,000 years ago, Heian Era. Or Manyo shu (Poem books) which is even older.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If a modern wealthy nation like Canada has to accept mass migration from third world countries, why not Japan?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Finally, a minister making sense. The longer you avoid immigration the harder it will become to attract skilled workers from overseas. People talking about technology and innovation, can technology pay your taxes when the workforce shrinks? As someone who majored in geography and understands demographics. No one ever looks at the size of a population. The key is balance. To maintain balance in Japan through increasing the birth rate will take at least 2 decades, as mentioned by the minister. Right now, the last of the baby boomers are in their 60's and on the verge of retirement. If you think the number of retired people is big right now, there's about the be a huge surge of more economically dependant people needing their pension and help from those who have to pay tax. At that moment, good luck attracting immigrants. They'll all prefer to go to China, Korea or anywhere else. At the same time, you'll have skilled Japanese graduates going overseas to also avoid the tax burden and create a better life for their future families. I worked at one of the best high schools in Japan and all ambitious kids want go study and work overseas. There is no more time to waste. You have about 5-10 years. You'll have a record number of retirements in that time. No one is talking about mass immigration, but you need skilled workers to help with tax burden. You can work on the birth rate at the same time. I first studied this topic 11 years ago at high school and nothing has been done about it. This problem has been around and predicted for decades, it's time to fix it before it's too late. I hope Japan has more ministers like this guy.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

hokkaidoguy, you are right as I did this a couple of years ago !!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan should go after those Syrian "migrants" before Germany and Canada get them all...

Lma Off!! (rofL). . . . . Naw. The Japanese are waaaay too smart for that demise.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Kono Taro for PM !!!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The two basic premises are that to increase the population either 1. Japanese should procreate more 2. Increase immigration to provide an instantaneous population boost and further increase when these immigrants have children.

PREMISE 2. From my perspective and time living in Japan I have a very hard time believing premise 2. would ever be acceptable to the average Japanese. Think honestly. Would the average Japanese really accept or be comfortable with permanent foreign immigration regardless of scale or nationalities of the perspective immigrants not to mention said immigrants actually being granted Japanese citizenship? I think the answer to that would be a resounding, "NO!" There are just too many reasons (or should I say xenophobic reasons) for the average "Tanaka" to ever be comfortable with having a paradigm shift of the scale necessary to accommodate mass foreign immigration. I think the paradigm shift would just be too difficult to accomplish. However, I could be wrong. Consider in the greater Tokyo area (and to a lesser extent the rest of Japan) how fast the shift was made from smoking any time you desire wherever you desire to what the situation is now with designated smoking areas outside train stations, almost no people smoking and walking on the sidewalks, brave people actually challenging smokers who are smoking in unacceptable locations, etc. Japan, unlike any other place I've lived in, is very slow to change but when that change is made and becomes societal norm people accept it very rapidly (overnight in my opinion). For long term residents think about how much smoking there was everywhere just 5 years ago and how it is now. The change is remarkable. Perhaps the same change could be made regarding foreign immigrants, but I have a very very hard time believing it.

PREMISE 1. Increasing birth rates from everyday Japanese couples is so hard as to be laughable, especially in the urban areas. First of all, marriage rates are down. The average Japanese male simply does not earn as much and cannot afford to marry until much later in life. Second, and I believe rightly so, most couples marry because they love each other (arranged marriages aside). Their first thoughts are not, "We must marry and procreate or the Japanese race (notice I used the word race, not nationality) will disappear from the Earth." Third, infrastructure or lack there of prevents Japanese couples from having children. For example, there are not enough child care facilities even for the children that are alive now, moving to a larger residence for a family of 3 or more requires a lot of money which is not attainable for the average Japanese worker even if his/her spouse also works, and the mandatory overtime work-life balance killing existence that is the hell of the average Japanese citizen destroys almost any possibility of a normal family life (compared to world standards).

HERE IS MY PERSONAL EXAMPLE: My sister-in-law and her husband along with their THREE children (very rare in urban Japan) live with my mother-in-law in a normal Japanese single family home in western Tokyo. My sister-in-law is an elementary school teach. Her husband is a fireman. My mother-in-law is retired. Even though both spouses have excellent jobs they were only able to purchase their home after my mother-in-law sold her previous home and put the proceeds towards the new house. I'm not saying that they couldn't have eventually made a down-payment and qualified for the loan, but my mother-in-law's stake made it much easier for them to purchase the new home quickly after they were married. Of their three children all three of them were able to attend pre-school, two of them private the other public. I can't even begin to tell you how much the fees were. And these fees just keep continuing now that the children are in middle and elementary school. Also, both parents work extremely long hours. During the school year, my sister-in-law routinely did not return home until after 7PM because of club activities, grading papers, preparing for the next day's lessons, etc. Her husband worked such crazy shifts as a fireman that he often just slept at the station and didn't return home for days on end. I ask you, with both parents working these kind of hours how is possible to have a good family life and maintain a semblance of work-life balance? Simply, it is impossible. The only way that their situation works at all is GRANDMOTHER!!! My mother-in-law is in her 70s. She takes care of all three children after school, prepares everyone's dinner, runs around here and there picking the kids up, shopping, etc. What kind of life is that for a 70+ year old retiree to have? I love my mother-in-law and she tells my wife and I, "I don't mind taking care of my grandchildren. It's no inconvenience." But every year on my annual vacation to Japan she looks more and more run down. Having children in Japan (or anyplace else in the world for that matter) is really tough.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

A minister in the Abe government making sense? I thought for a minute I might be reading The Onion.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

the mandatory overtime work-life balance killing existence that is the hell of the average Japanese citizen destroys almost any possibility of a normal family life (compared to world standards).

Its called "karoshi." Heh, foreigners (westerners, that is) have this "work hard- play hard" kind of mentality. Something the japanese have been missing out on. This is why western foreigners should not come to "work." The japanese work culture can't be ingrained into our dna.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Or, you know... you could also make people be not so afraid of having children. Looking at the economy now, it's no wonder nobody wants children.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Its really all about having enough people to sustain the Government Tax base (salaries). Less people to Tax equals less money for government to spend.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japanese government should consider looking at trying to get Japanese citizens who are married to a foreigner to move back. I am married to a Japanese woman and we want to move back to Japan but have not been successful in finding work. Part of that issue is I'm not fluent yet in Japanese so that's on me but still we want to move back with our family.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How the immigrant or asylum seeker flow will happen to Japan ? Ministers are talking one thing but countries infra offering/doing exactly the opposite of that. i.e. they want to kick gaijin/aliens/foreigner out of Japan like a stray dogs.

Country only want low grade cheap dumb labors and nothing more than that and that is for short term. No one wants to absorb them.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

My Japanese friend just moved back to his hometown somewhere in Yokohama from New Zealand, and seeing that he still is just the same, how will he be treated back there? Perhaps some indifference? Please shed light on this.

This systematic mentality, (the machine chunking out humans like used parts) should be stopped by each small changes as possible, that perhaps is more likely the base issue than the issues that branches from it, karoshi, gaijin, etc. It won't matter whether you're a foreigner or not in fact, since the system suppresses each individual free of beneficial thought. Coming from a graphics designer/artist/illustrator, it's as if saying we only need Japanese graphic designers that have that particular style, and not of any other cultural types. This doesn't make sense. We're all artists, at the end, although if you prefer, our style is dominant in that painting?

Obviously, it is a bureaucratic, run-around-the-mill, non-achievable system that blocks our way for an improvement.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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