politics

Abe: Japan must fix domestic problems before taking in refugees

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By MATTHEW PENNINGTON

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Abe let's fix Japan first and help the peolpe of Fukushima.

20 ( +26 / -8 )

Japan’s prime minister said Tuesday that his nation needs to attend to its own demographic challenges posed by falling birth rates and an aging population before opening its doors to refugees.

This should read, Japan’s prime minister said Tuesday that his nation needs to attend to its own demographic challenges posed by the Earthquake and subsequent Tsunami which resulted in a Triple Meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant before opening its doors to refugees.

We have to take care to establish our Evacuees and to end the situation at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant via Entombment. Our very nation is in jeopardy of contamination of an unprecedented scale. Our lax and negligent attitude towards our current crisis has taught me to take a swift right action to end our domestic crisis.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

But speaking to reporters later Tuesday he poured cold water on the idea of Japan opening its doors to those fleeing.

as always, Japans solution to global humanitarian issues is to throw money at it and hope it goes away....

20 ( +35 / -16 )

Bad news, Abe. Countries' problems never "get fixed". You can make things better than they are now, but they will always fall short compared to what people want their country to be. So when you say, "Japan must fix domestic problems" first,what you're actually saying is "Japan will never accept more refugees, but I acknowledge saying that makes me sound like a complete bigot so I'm going to dress it up a bit."

Besides, if you cared at all about Japan's domestic problems, why didn't you do a single thing to work on them during your first term?

25 ( +32 / -8 )

probably the most sensible thing he has said in a long time. aceepting a few hundred refugees into japan is not a good idea.

-9 ( +19 / -28 )

"Japan prides itself on being a good global citizen. It is one of the largest aid donors in the world."

And has by far the highest debt/GDP ratio.

12 ( +18 / -5 )

Abe: Japan must fix domestic problems before taking in refugees

Well use that money you've just thrown at the problem to fix Japan's domestic problems. It's not rocket science

14 ( +18 / -5 )

Japan’s prime minister said Tuesday that his nation needs to attend to its own demographic challenges posed by falling birth rates and an aging population before opening its doors to refugees.

Isn't that exactly what you are doing when you open the doors to refugees?

Some argue that increased immigration could help arrest a shrinking population, which is currently 126 million. It could? Try it will.

Abe says he is determined to ensure that in 50 years the Japanese population has stabilized at 100 million.

Is that so? Ok. HOW? I'm listening.

9 ( +15 / -7 )

That money Abe has thrown at the problem looks awfully like paying the refugees off, so they don't come to Japan. It is a time honoured practice that stretches back in antiquity

3 ( +9 / -6 )

Abe: Japan must fix domestic problems before taking in refugees

Well, considering the pension system has failed miserably and social welfare is nearly non-existent it is no surprise that Japan cannot accept refugees. Instead, they are opening the doors for tens of thousands of foreign 'helpers' to work for a pittance and help prop up the pension system - If they can pass the kanji test, of course. It seems quite odd that, Japan has the world's largest public debt and a hugely failed pension system, but can give 1.5 billion bucks away. Giving away so much money seems quite contrary to his statement about fixing Japan's domestic problems first, doesn't it? The money would be better spent on updating the education system, or propping up the pension fund, or even sharing it out to the families that are struggling in the Jaoanese economy after the sales tax hike with no salary increases. All Abe ever does is, say one thing and do another. His comments the other day about increasing equality in the workplace for women was just utter garbage! He has done nothing to ensure equality in the workplace. He also stated he intends to increase education for women. Women are the only ones with education in Japan! Sorry but, Abe is just a fool with no solid plans!

19 ( +22 / -4 )

Abe says he is determined to ensure that in 50 years the Japanese population has stabilized at 100 million.

Because I've read too much sci-fi and watched movies like Soylent Green among others, this statement is worrying. I'd like to see the plans -assuming there have been plans - that have been made to reach this target.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Hmmm, yes, the Japan government needs to fix its empathy deficit before it can take in refugees.

6 ( +15 / -9 )

How about trying to fix it's demographic challenges by opening its door a little bit wider and not throwing taxpayers money around the world. So far Abe,s policies on arresting the falling birthrate and having more " activities by women and elderly " amount to a lot of hot air and not much more ( as expected).

5 ( +8 / -3 )

DisillusionedSep. 30, 2015 - 12:25PM JST

Abe: Japan must fix domestic problems before taking in refugees

Well, considering the pension system has failed miserably and social welfare is nearly non-existent it is no surprise that Japan cannot accept refugees. Instead, they are opening the doors for tens of thousands of foreign 'helpers' to work for a pittance and help prop up the pension system - If they ca----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Disillusioned, Who could have said it better. Everything you have said is absolutely Bang on.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Hey, I thought the honorable PM Abe said everything was fine? WTH?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

How about using that money here in Japan?

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Every country has "domestic challenges", some of them very similar to Japan's. What is the excuse for Japanese exceptionalism this time?

1 ( +10 / -9 )

Like other countries don't have their own domestic problems to deal with or something? What does that statement even mean? And don't you NEED more people to deal with those domestic problems!> Sounds like not taking responsibility as a member of the international community to me.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

Taking in refugees from other countries will completely **** up a county's society and culture. Muslims from the middle east don't assimilate, just look at Europe. I hope Japan can hold out, as it's already too late for some European countries. Even Australia's small refugee population is already messing up things.

12 ( +24 / -13 )

Japan’s prime minister said Tuesday that his nation needs to attend to its own demographic challenges posed by falling birth rates and an aging population before opening its doors to refugees.

What a complete contradiction from a total twit.

Japan must fix domestic problems

...like Abe crapping on public opinion and promptly running off overseas to escape the flak?

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Every country has "domestic challenges", some of them very similar to Japan's. What is the excuse for Japanese exceptionalism this time?

This time? Every time!

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

@Brett Norman

I hope Japan can hold out, as it's already too late for some European countries.

Brett, I don't disagree but you have to admit that there is some historical irony when someone with the surname 'Norman' is worried about immigrant invaders washing up on our shores ;-)

8 ( +13 / -4 )

We've seen two years of record spending, a large tax increase, no growth, and continued deflation, but so far no fixing of any kind. How long do we have to wait?

8 ( +10 / -2 )

@ Brett Norman

Even Australia's small refugee population is already messing up things.

Which small refugee population is that??... the one that came after WW1? The one that came after WW2?? the one that came from Vietnam and Indo China in the 70's?? The country is made of of immigrants and refugees. Can you specify who is 'messing' things up?

5 ( +13 / -8 )

He actually said this? Am I the only one who sees the massive disconnect?

A couple of suggestions. What about fixing Japan's structural problems before throwing money away through so-called "economic stimulus" (commonly known as "pork" for interest groups)? What about actually following up on your glib statements to rectify the state of society? How will you go about lifting birthrates Mr. Prime Minister? The LDP has been long on talk but short on action. Lots of window dressing, but not much in the way of results. Instead of ignoring your international responsibilities by trying to hide behind issues that you have no intention of addressing anyway, what about showing some leadership, just once, in any policy domain. For example, actually internationalizing education in this country so that Japan can compete globally? What about doing the hard yards with respect to the Fukushima cleanup? What about addressing the issue of a whole generation of young people who are on part-time contracts which only allow them to subsist? The shopping list of to dos is a very long one.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

No! Japan needs to stop throwing MONEY at other nations' problems as a means if 'fixing' them. When most domestic problems revolve around depopulation and the current population aging I'd say first you need to consider taking in refugees to SOLVE domestic problems. These guys, as usual, have their priorities out of whack.

1 ( +12 / -11 )

Muslims from the middle east don't assimilate, just look at Europe

Yeah, it's terrible, just look at the England international cricket team, it's got two of them Muslamic guys in it; awful really, I mean they don't even have a glass of champers with their team mates after they help them to win a match...

5 ( +15 / -9 )

well said for a second tier nation with no leadership ability

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Awesome Yoshi!

Muslims from the middle east don't assimilate, just look at Europe

They do a HELL of ALOT better than the Roppongi foreigners who hang out in western pubs and never learn a lick of Japanese. Most muslim immigrants can speak their host country's language which is MORE THAN I can say for most westerners in Japan.

Take note Brett- Japanese people can use the same logic to boot you out of Japan too.

7 ( +15 / -8 )

Well at least Abe did the right thing this time printing money, devalued Yen and sending money to help refugees. At least Japan don't have the headache, rapes, gangs, revolts of immigrants or refugees like Germany does right now and is regretting for accepting those who claim they were victims.

-7 ( +5 / -12 )

*

Abe said Tuesday that his nation needs to attend to its own demographic challenges posed by falling birth rates and an aging population before opening its doors to refugee*s.

Wouldn't taking in refugees help both of these problems????

1 ( +8 / -7 )

jinjapan: "Wouldn't taking in refugees help both of these problems????"

Exactly! I mean, it's like they don't even hear how stupid they sound when they literally say, "Before we deal with the problem of taking in more people we need to deal with the domestic problem of not having enough."

2 ( +12 / -10 )

I hope you all realize that governments don't give money away for free. They will either have to print it out of thin air, devaluing the Yen further, and robbing its citizens of more purchasing power, or take it from you through taxation. It's really not an act of being generous, but a way to steal money and funnel it to special non governmental agencies in the name of humanity.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Smithnjapan, Taking refugees with criminal, religious and persecution problems won't fix the demographic decline has Japan, just will get worse if not look right now how is Germany, Italy, France and Greece. You think gang of rapes in refugees camps will fix the situation? Or Christians or Muslim attacking and kill their selfs will encourage Japanese families to have children if you don't know who is your neighbor next to your home? I don't wanna rain on your parade but Abe is right for this time. If not look the news about Germany and their refugees immigrants situation.

3 ( +10 / -6 )

attend to its own demographic challenges posed by falling birth rates and an aging population before opening its doors to refugees.

Gee I guess common logic would suggest immigration would help with the attending to an falling birth rate. I mean, what is the suggested solution if not immigration?

Of course I expect nothing different; all those immigrants would be marginalized and have to learn Japanese.

Ive read allot about robots taking the place of immigrants. I think this is where the foriegn media is disconnected from reality Japan. Many of the positions that automation is taking over were already redudant positions that most companies in the West have already or never had to begin or were done away with decades ago. How many flag wavers and wand wavers do you see past any government spending road construction sites etc? many of those jobs are being replaced by automated signs. How many staff do you see sitting in train stations and dept stores, just there to answer some question you could read off a direction board? how many Oyaji do you see sitting in an apartment bldg, just there to keep the garbage separated? In many countries such jobs would of never exisited to begin with, in Japan its just so everyone can have a job. As the population declines, there wont be a need for such jobs.

Sometimes I wonder if the whole Japan will need immigrants to do its work is really true as most of the mfg sector has moved away from japan and many of the service jobs could be done away with.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Joshua: "You think gang of rapes in refugees camps will fix the situation? Or Christians or Muslim attacking and kill their selfs will encourage Japanese families to have children if you don't know who is your neighbor next to your home?"

Paranoid much? No one is saying open the doors and let ANYONE in, but they can certainly let in more than 11, especially if they have skills and their only defense for not doing what the rest of the world is is, "We have to deal with DEPOPULATION at home, first!". And not every person is a rapist or terrorist, just so you know, Josh. Shame on you for suggesting that letting in refugees would result in that kind of behaviour. Instead we're back to the "women have to be baby-making machines" type comments coming from politicians, slightly masked, as the way Abe vows the population will be stabilized by 2065, while also fixing the economy and taking care of every other social welfare problem with magic quiver full of magic arrows.

Sorry, bud, but there is no justifying 'depopulation' as an excuse for not taking in more people, many of whom could indeed help, ESPECIALLY when Abe announced only yesterday they're going to throw more money at the problem (despite the biggest problem with depopulation being the lack of funds to deal with problems!) and allow in foreign workers on short visas to provide care (if they can pass certain exams and pay all their taxes with no benefits, etc.). In other words, sligthly better than human trafficking.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced at the U.N. General Assembly that Japan is ramping up assistance in response to the exodus of refugees to Europe from the Middle East and Africa.

Like I said a week or so back -- Japan knows nothing other than "check-book diplomacy". Sorry, but IMO, you can't buy your way to the moral high-ground or a guilt-free conscience. Using an aging population, the status of women, and the low-birth rate as excuses for a lack of humanity is just pathetic. Japan has sunk to an all-time low.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

I can just imagine Abe confidently explaining as if he is letting his interlocutors in to a secret that is a decisive and sophisticated rationale. "You see, Japan is a unique, homogeneous country. It is also an island country with a unique culture. And for 250 years Japan had no contact with the outside world. So, we have little experience with dealing with foreigners who are all very different from us." Perhaps some of us have heard this many times from men such as him, told to us with serious faces.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

It's not like the countries taking in refugees don't have their own domestic problems. Is Abe suggesting that Japan can't walk and chew gum at the same time? Ironically, taking in a huge number of these refugees would be a great start in addressing the "demographic challenges" cited by Abe as a reason for not letting the refugees in. He might as well be saying, "Japan can't allow this sensible fix for our problem until we find a solution to our problem while doing nothing to solve the problem."

Translation: "We Japanese, four-season island people are raging xenophobes and would rather let our ship sink rather than fix the hole with a gaijin solution."

2 ( +9 / -7 )

@ joentokyo

But see, Im starting to think japans ship isnt sinking. I think the foriegn media etc gets it wrong, and Japan knows it and dosent care. Like I said, most of the work that so many say Japan will soon face a shortage, is redudant non sense jobs anyhow. If they disappeared overnight, nothing would change, it will just become automated. The main problem they are going to have is paying for the pensions etc, but with all the savings they probably got some plan to release their savings someday. They dont care what the rest of the world thinks and dont follow their logic.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

You seems you don't Google the news how Germany is regrets to open borders or riots. Even house/apartments owners in Germany aren't agreed refugees live next to them as neighbors because they property will not have value, some refugees don't the decent to be quite or respect the peaceful environment not make music pollution. That's a real fact if not go to housing section 8 in America how it's? Or housing assistance in Gatineau, Quebec in Canada? By the way I never says everybody is a rapist or criminal. I clearly say in my statement in this comments "Taking refugees with criminal, religious and persecution problems" You need to read what is the definition to be refugee and the psychological problems/issues they had already in their minds. I agree with your comment Japan could improve their Immigrations system, but the world just want Japan open their borders like Europe did a weeks ago and how they're now? I just spoken with my mothers friend live in Italy and the situation is more likely I describe in my comment. I would like to add when you get a visa worker you're still get tax refund like everybody who gets a Japanese visa worker have the privilege to get refund is for law, also every business with more than one worker is covered by accident insurance. The accident insurance premiums are paid by the employer, also employment insurance in Japan is fairly straightforward. If you, the worker, become unemployed, you will receive support payments until you find a new job, or for six months, whichever comes first. So isn't slightly better than human trafficking like you said.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Abe can not fix the economy. He has already used all of the available arrows. There is not much growth in Japan since 1991. Japan is losing industries and hopes.

Abe can not fix the Fukushima Crisis. Without nuclear reactor Japan needs to pay the huge price for energy. Many victims has given up for expecting Abe help.

Abe can not fix the demographic problem. Having and raising kids in Japan is very expensive. Japanese women do not want to carry huge burden of raising kids in touch economic time.

There are many homeless and unemployment in Japan. Japan has the highest suicide rate in the world. Japanese national debt is sky rocketing over 230 percent of GDP. Accepting 11 refugees is slapping the faces of Japanese hungry and homeless people.

Japan should look after her own before opening the gate for flood of economic immigrants. Not all asylum seekers from Europe are Syrians. Many are Iranian and Afghanis who are champions for getting favorable treatment from the governments of western nations. Besides that Iran and Afghanistan are not having civil war like Syria. They are not genuine and opportunistic for free lunches and free university.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Another proclamation of inaction. Getting a tad frequent, aren't they? This is what we're dealing with here, and I'm known to not mince words!

Debt-to-GDP ratio now at 240%. Pension system is on the verge of collapse, which will bring down the health system with it. Ageing population with a shrinking taxpayer base. Govt. spending has been out of control for decades and is only getting worse. Yes, they spent 1.3trn yen on a concrete wall which will effectively do nothing. Old boys' club keeping the family dynamic dysfunctional here with its 1950s views on corporate culture & (lack of) family life. Now, you tell me how we're getting out of this hole? Abe & his cronies just keep digging their shovels in! Japan's well & truly stuffed.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

There are people who say because the birth rate is falling Japan should take in more foreigners. The main reason for the falling birthrate is quite simply not enough money. It is hard enough for many Japanese to even live in a decent manner because of the low wages and short term jobs. No show of bringing up a family of kids.

Sometimes I look at couples with kids and wonder what would happen if Dad lost his job tomorrow. Could he survive on a wage of 800 to 900 yen an hour ? Believe me, there are many workers with skills in this position forced to accept part time and work without any benefits. The job brokers are flat out in Japan.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Japan will certainly benefit from an influx of refugees. The refugees will certainly solve many problems like sinking population and poorly exciting life. Do you know why? Because they are magicians! Yes, refugees are magicians! They all have a magic stick which will turn Japanese crappy housing bigger than the one Japanese people usually have. This is so great for the future foreign kids.

The magic stick also gives access to longer vacations than the one Japanese people have, much longer, so they can enjoy life! The magic stick is also great to avoid those terrible long commutes to work, so the magical refugees can spend much more time with kids not like those poor Japanese people who do not have a magic stick. It also gives them the magic Swedish maternity leave for both parents! Yes both! Just like in Sweden. The magical refugees in Japan can take care of the new baby and keep their jobs. And after maternity leave ends, they can have an easy access to childcare/nursery. No waiting list thanks to the magic stick!

Also with the magic stick no more low wages! Never! Bigger car, bigger house, longer vacations, big paycheck, easy life lead to more kids for the refugees. Poor Japanese people, I feel sorry for them! they do not have the magic stick that all refugees have.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Japan has the highest suicide rate in the world.

No it doesn't. Not even in the top 10.

Other than that, I generally agree that Japan should not take many refugees from the Middle East. There are sensible reasons for that policy. It's just that the reasons Abe gave made no sense at all. How would raising the birthrate be a prerequisite for accepting refugees, for example? A falling birthrate is normally one of the reasons given for accepting immigrants, not rejecting them.

I suppose Abe doesn't really care whether his statements make sense, as he is protected by the press and can now arrest those who don't play along.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Maybe I shouldn't be saying this when I don't have the power to do anything...but I wanted to try and voice my opinion:)

But it has offered very few if any resettlement places for refugees from the civil war in Syria. In my opinion, I think it's because Japanese think things thoroughly if too much. First of all, if you guys haven't visited, you'll see that Japan is seriously small to the extent that it's suffocating. But, maybe we could let them stay in "akiya" (empty houses) which is turning out to be a problem for us. They're normal houses that are not being used. We can't make new houses since we have alot of mountains and small amount of flat ground. For the problem with Japan trying to correct things by using money, I think it's the only thing we can do because we are a nation which doesn't have much resource nor land and mostly runs on economy. Also, although it is time for globalization, we're too scared to open up suddenly to foreigners. I'm meaning that we think Japan as a peaceful country compared to other countries to a great extent. It will makes us feel insecure because we are a nation that can let teenagers out late at night and not have to worry to such extent (like accidents). "In Rome, do what the Romans do". We have a saying in Japan "he who does not work neither shall he eat. " A lot of people are thinking how to raise employments for refugees since although the people are refugees, they should work if they want to live in Japan. It might sound harsh, but our economy will collapse, and it's truly hard to get a job in Japan even more if you're Japanese. The one thing I'm kind of mad at is the way tokyobakayaro wrote poor Japanese people who do not have a magic stick. I'm sorry but we don't think of ourselves as "poor Japanese people"! That's really insulting to those who work really hard!!!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

There is no reason for Japan taking in refugees from a far away country such as Syria. Same goes for Europe btw. If there was a war in Korea or Taiwan that would be different. Paying money to build and sustain refugee camps in Syrias neighboring countries such as Turkey is a far more sensible thing. By far the only sensible policy that Abe has unfortunately.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Gee I guess common logic would suggest immigration would help with the attending to an falling birth rate. I mean, what is the suggested solution if not immigration?

Yes it would, the problem is they (immigrants and offspring thereof) would be the wrong colour.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Ditto for him for knowing his priorities. Japan has many internal and outside challenges and those who keep on bashing just don't realize how hard it is to run an org in this entirely different setting. And no need to take in refugees really as there's an influx of Japanese language student mostly from Asian countries. Those students are enjoying Japan working 2 jobs making the salary that of a full timer yet they don't pay the proper tax. Those students aren't really rich in choosing to study here in Japan. And yes I agree the refugees shld work and not be choosy on the kind of work given to them. Some refugees feel that they have to walk a red, smooth carpet and be awarded a good paying job even if they don't have skills other than being young just because they experienced harrowing tales in their native country. Just unfair to the Japanese people and to those of us who suffer in silence.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Joshua Degreiff: "You seems you don't Google the news how Germany is regrets to open borders or riots."

It seems all you can do is lump one side with another. "Taking in wrong! Not taking in, right!" How many did Germany take in vs. Japan? Again, NO ONE IS SUGGESTING they take in all of Syria!

"some refugees don't the decent to be quite or respect the peaceful environment not make music pollution."

And I'm willing to bet a whole lot of Germans do the same and aren't peachy-keen neighbours, either. But again, you are suggesting all Germans are great and polite, law-abiding people, while all refugees would be raucous borderline (if not full out) criminals.

"I agree with your comment Japan could improve their Immigrations system, but the world just want Japan open their borders like Europe did a weeks ago and how they're now?"

No, the world wants Japan to ease its restrictions and take in MORE than they are now (by the way, what is the percentage of 11 out of 5000? 0.2%?).

"I just spoken with my mothers friend live in Italy and the situation is more likely I describe in my comment."

Good for you! So, how do you talk to a dead little boy who washes up on your shore and ask him what he thinks? how he felt dying because no one would help him because the little boy might be a terrorist or contribute to noise pollution? that he was nothing but a burden on the social welfare system?

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

Japan’s prime minister said Tuesday that his nation needs to attend to its own demographic challenges posed by falling birth rates and an aging population before opening its doors to refugees.

It's been proved that Japanese people are unable to fix the low birth rate problem on their own. This problem has been seen as serious at least for 15 years in the 21st century. But things have not become better at all. It's become worse.

If he says Japan must fix that problem before taking in refugees, that means Japan will never accept refugees.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Abe is actually doing the would be refugees a favor. It would be hell living in such a xenophobic racist country if you're not white, a Muslim, and a refugee. Just ask those dozen or so refugees already in Japan. Ask them how they're doing living in Japan.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

After Abe's government has just condemned about a quarter of its young people to a lifetime of temporary work, he thinks he's going to get them to have children? And he says he wants to get more women into the workforce...and have more babies at the same time? His economic flailing is never going to solve those problems, so obviously Japan is never going to accept any refugees. A few years ago there was a disaster movie called 'Japan Sinks'; as a series of volcanic explosions destroyed the country, Japanese citizens tried to flee to other countries, and the filmmakers took this opportunity to fan anti-foreign sentiment by having foreign governments refuse to accept them, forcing the hero to detonate nuclear explosives in the sea and thus stop the volcanoes. Yes, it was only a movie, and Japan is not going to sink, but the attitude of the film seems to be finding a parallel now: 'nobody would help us if we were refugees, so we don't have to help anybody now.' And Japan wonders why it is respected, perhaps, but not liked.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

@louis125

The one thing I'm kind of mad at is the way tokyobakayaro wrote poor Japanese people who do not have a magic stick

I guess you did not get the sarcasm...

What I meant is quite clear: Japanese situation regarding low wages, poor housing quality, long commutes to work, little vacations, and small number of nurseries, long working hours and many many other factors lead to a poor quality of life. My Japanese brother-in-law and sister-in-law have no kids because…well, they simply could not afford to have any.

If you want a metaphor, for me Japan is like quicksand. I will always find quite strange that some foreigners here think that throwing more people to quicksand will help those who are already drowning…

You can bring millions or billions of refugees to Japan if you want but all I know is that they will all end up with the same problems that a lot of foreigners and natives already here have. They will probably have the same fate. Drowning in the quicksand of low wages, poor housing quality, long commutes to work, little vacations…

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Well done Japan, don't be pressured by other countries.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

I didn't realize things are so bad in Japan. When I was there 1991 to 1996 life was wonderful. What happened?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Most foreigners in Japan don't study Japanese and don't assimilate.

This is incorrect. It may be true in regards to western foreigners, but western foreigners are a minority among foreigners in Japan. The majority of foreigners, Asian foreigners, do study Japanese.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I didn't realize things are so bad in Japan. When I was there 1991 to 1996 life was wonderful. What happened?

Still wonderful. Just lots of whiners here.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Sorry Mr. Abe, but Japan's population is expected to fall to about 90 million by 2050 regardless. I've got a good proposition for your women and elderly. Give the younger women jobs as fully licensed soapland workers and give the elderly the other kkk jobs that most people would rather not do. Problem solved. As for the reluctance of letting Syrian and other refugees in to settle, is it really surprising? I recenly asked a Japanese woman what she thought of the current mass exodus of refugees to Europe, and her response was a prosaic 'Well, of course I feel sorry for them and Japan should help by generously donating vast sums of money.That, ladies and gentlemen, is the typical response. And in retrospect, Abe is right. I mean Japan would be the last country on earth to accept an influx of ''gaijin''. Imagine your typical Japanese kid going to juku and then Friday prayers at the mosque in circa 2080. Actually, that sounds rather amusing. And come to think of it, I can think of other ''domestic problems'' that need fixing.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Throwing money at the problem (i.e paying for people to live in refugee camps in Jordan indefinitely) is as good as doing nothing.

As for the problems Japan "needs" to tackle before taking on any refugees? These problems have persisted for quite some time and there is no indication that we are going to solve them any time in the next decade. Should we just tell Syrians to hang in there till we do? Besides, there isn't a single country in the world without domestic problems that need addressing. Doesn't mean they should ignore people fleeing a war.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Throwing money at the problem (i.e paying for people to live in refugee camps in Jordan indefinitely) is as good as doing nothing.

Really? So you think the Japanese government should not give the money since it's nothing?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

@strangerland, there are a lot of Asians studying the language because first and foremost majority of them are here due to Student visas. They aren't rich, all of them I think are juggling two jobs and why do you think they are able to enjoy Japan? They aren't paying the proper taxes and no shakkai hoken whatsoever even if they're earning something like 20 man.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

this coming from the most stupidest PM in history?

he definitely needs a reality check thinking keeping them away will help. the decrease in birth population isnt going away anytime soon and having them would have helped.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

@strangerland, there are a lot of Asians studying the language because first and foremost majority of them are here due to Student visas. They aren't rich, all of them I think are juggling two jobs and why do you think they are able to enjoy Japan?

Maybe you need to re-read the comment I was replying to, and my comment as well, as you seem to be attributing things to me that I have not expressed. I didn't make any comments as to their ability to enjoy Japan (or not).

1 ( +2 / -1 )

That poor little boy died not because his family was escaping the war....he died because his father could only find temp work in Turkey and was trying to get to Europe for a better job. Japanese people can only get temp jobs....what sort of future are th going to offer a bunch of foreigners whose culture is utterly alien to them? They'll be trying to get out of Japan within a year.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Paranoid much? No one is saying open the doors and let ANYONE in, but they can certainly let in more than 11, especially if they have skills and their only defense for not doing what the rest of the world is is, "We have to deal with DEPOPULATION at home, first!". And not every person is a rapist or terrorist, just so you know, Josh. Shame on you for suggesting that letting in refugees would result in that kind of behaviour. Instead we're back to the "women have to be baby-making machines" type comments coming from politicians, slightly masked, as the way Abe vows the population will be stabilized by 2065, while also fixing the economy and taking care of every other social welfare problem with magic quiver full of magic arrows.

they are damn right , But they lack the way how to do it

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So odd to agree with Abe. If it's "culturist" of me to dislike Arab Muslim culture, so be it. I've lived in Lebanon, Jordan, and Egypt so I do know what I'm talking about. If part of what you enjoy about Japan is a lack of honor killings, religious conflict, and foreigners with an absolute determination NOT to assimilate or compromise, then don't bring a bunch of Muslims in. With the people come the culture, and it is utterly incompatible with Japanese culture. I've got Dutch family, and have seen the changes in Amsterdam over the last 20 years, and it is striking. And the second generation have even less respect for the native culture than their parents. Women do not walk on the streets even in groups, in whole sections of the city. Bring in these people, and within 20 years, Japan's opinion of immigration will make Abe look like a multiculturalist.

The best thing Japan can do is support the efforts to end the reason these people are fleeing so they can go home someday.

If any refugees ARE allowed in, how about the Yadzis and the Christians running from ISIS that no one seems to give a damn about? They're so used to being a despised/threatened minority they'd think Japan was the friendliest place on earth. And they wouldn't demand halal food and try to push their religious laws on others.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

nostrumo - The country [Australia] is made of of immigrants and refugees. Can you specify who is 'messing' things up?

Um, that would be the ones flying the ISIS flag and specifying halal foods and halal isles in the supermarket. None of which are endemic to Australia's 'immigrant' population.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Yeah, it's terrible, just look at the England international cricket team, it's got two of them Muslamic guys in it; awful really, I mean they don't even have a glass of champers with their team mates after they help them to win a match...

Yeah, it's terrible, just look at the England town of Rotherham, it's got them Muslamic guys in it; awful really, I mean they raped 1400 British school girls.

Oh, but at least we get to watch some nice cricket matches, because that's what really matters when it comes to immigration policy. That and the FOOD, I just love supporting mass immigration because of the food and sport!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Xenophobia anyone?

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Keep on swimming, we may come to help you, eventually. However, for now we want to pain our boat and make it nice. Should you drown that is unfortunate. You should have tried to endure until we can make up our minds.

What country does not have external troubles to fix these days and still takes in refugees? Memories are long and and those who will prevail will pass those memories on to the next generations. We reap what we sawed out.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

To fix the domestic problems it's going to take an ouster of the LDP, Komeito, the DPJ and most of the smaller parties from the Japanese Diet and install people who know what they be doing....

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

So odd to agree with Abe. If it's "culturist" of me to dislike Arab Muslim culture, so be it. I've lived in Lebanon, Jordan, and Egypt so I do know what I'm talking about. If part of what you enjoy about Japan is a lack of honor killings, religious conflict, and foreigners with an absolute determination NOT to assimilate or compromise, then don't bring a bunch of Muslims in. With the people come the culture, and it is utterly incompatible with Japanese culture. I've got Dutch family, and have seen the changes in Amsterdam over the last 20 years, and it is striking. And the second generation have even less respect for the native culture than their parents. Women do not walk on the streets even in groups, in whole sections of the city. Bring in these people, and within 20 years, Japan's opinion of immigration will make Abe look like a multiculturalist.

This, from someone with personal experience with Muslim culture. With all these societal problems Muslims are bringing in not only to Amsterdam but also other European countries with their refusal to assimilate or respect the local culture it's not really rocket science that bringing droves of them to Japan will bring nothing but trouble. Are people not learning from the mistakes of these European countries?

If any refugees ARE allowed in, how about the Yadzis and the Christians running from ISIS that no one seems to give a damn about? They're so used to being a despised/threatened minority they'd think Japan was the friendliest place on earth. And they wouldn't demand halal food and try to push their religious laws on others.

Good suggestion. They'd be the least likely to cause trouble and be even grateful for their new host country granting them safe haven. No demanding halal food, asserting their "religion", and worse, no noisy Friday call to prayers. They'd assimilate easier and be respectful immigrants in comparison. But this is Japan, so even that would be unlikely, unfortunately.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Too bloody right Abe should sort the problems at home first ! I just wish more country's would follow suit . The ageing and low birth rate in this county will just get worse if Japan starts helping other country's . How about giving the $8000000 to the people that have been evicted from Fukashima . A place that I'm guessing many generations of family's have lived and died there . Many are still living in sheltered accomadation to this day . They are the refugees now of Japan . Look after them first I say . Those people lost everything , family members ., businesses etc . I was gonna leave Japan when the earthquake hit but I stayed and I'm glad I did . My oppion . If Japan let in more refugees it wil be the beginning of the end for Japan. Crime rate will rise to start with. Then job sector will be next . People who feel safe in Japan will no longer feel safe .

2 ( +4 / -2 )

What is the relation between taking 1,000 refugees (0.00083% of Japan population) and fixing the domestic issues?

This has nothing to do with immigration or whatever to curb Japan natality problem.

And for sure if Tokyo takes its part with 290 refugees, the criminality will rocket... How ridiculous is that!

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Let's assume for the sake of argument that refugees who have living family members would prefer to resettle with their family members. Let's also assume that if a family is safe, well fed, housed in a stable location big enough for all of its members, free to do as it wishes within the constraints of law with its free time, and able to meaningfully contribute to the community and sustain its lifestyle by working and sharing in local festivities, its members will overwhelmingly be productive members of society. Note, also, that few refugees are truly unskilled - whole cities have been decimated, so a whole lot of teachers, chefs, janitors, construction workers, doctors, and programmers need a job somewhere.

If a family wished to resettle in Japan, even if every member is relatively unskilled, my understanding is that there are many senior care aide jobs available and many akiya that need to be maintained. If the taxes on those akiya were suspended for those who rent to refugees, maybe that would encourage all those folks who just want rid of their parents' properties to participate -- and after a resettlement/training period, once the families are earning wages, they could start to pay rent, gradually ramping up to a reasonable cost for whatever area they've settled.

I can see many families not wanting to stay in Japan long term because they'd be far from their extended family. I imagine those who would want to stay would be those who have the healthiest participation in their local communities. As for those who want to leave after a few years? If they've saved up enough money for the move, they've also contributed a lot in taxes and needed labor to their communities. If that exceeds the investment in helping them settle, great. If not, it's at least a partial return on aid funding -- and since they've already been, they are more likely to come back to visit.

In short, if the JET program exists, a similar scheme could certainly benefit refugees, meet local needs, increase the wealth of Japanese families, increase international goodwill toward Japan, and ultimately boost tourism and the economy.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

AND THE AWARD FOR MOST IRONIC STATEMENT OF THE YEAR GOES TO.....

“As an issue of demography, I would say that before accepting immigrants or refugees we need to have more activities by women, by elderly people and we must raise (the) birth rate. There are many things that we should do before accepting immigrants,” Abe told a news conference, according to the official translation of his comments.

Seriously, this is face-palm worthy.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

When read $800 ,illiom. I thought Y. But I now know whatever Abe mention ia 0. Abe has no intention to pay anything.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Typical copout excuse. As if other countries don't have domestic problems to take care of. The very artlessness and inaneness of it is comedic.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Are we missing the obvious? How would the proponents of taking in refugees suggest that said refugees would even be able to reach Japan? Notwithstanding reaching mainland, we are talking about a ridiculous journey or rather large expense to provide transport (let alone the costs involved with housing, education, finding gainful employment.

As an US expat myself, I wouldn't even know where to start if I didn't have a strong grasp of the language, highly marketable skills, education and a rather fat wallet.

Japan domestically has a great number of concerns (that won't be "fixed" entirely for those making ridiculous comments about the verbiage -- But that DO need attention). It's been a horrible year for rather devastating typhoons, we still have a number of economic programs that need immediate attention to the citizens of Japan whom are still making a comeback from Fukushima.

Interestingly, countries like New Zealand have added approximately 600 refugee spots as quoted by the news -- http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/71820234/new-zealand-is-to-take-an-extra-600-syrian-refugees Even more interesting is that it comes with a price tag of $50m??? At 1350 refugees in total, we are talking about an investment of $37K per person. Take the numbers with a grain of salt, but I can think of several programs in Japan that would benefit from such an investment.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japan must fix domestic problems before taking in refugees

IOW, ain't gonna happen any time this decade.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

he definitely needs a reality check thinking keeping them away will help. the decrease in birth population isnt going away anytime soon and having them would have helped.

No. It's essentially taking out a new credit card and drawing from it for these people will eventually grow old as well. The mindset and the policy where a nation's survival is based on population growth is completely idiotic.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Abe should start with the butter shortage.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Japan isn't going to have much of a population left unless it starts taking in refugees and immigrants. Japanese need to have a bubble burst and understand that people can have a different heritage and still become Japanese. For a supposed first world nation to cling desperately to itself means that it will fade away.

Japanese are not learning traditional arts and music either, so you can't say it's about saving culture when Japanese don't even do it now. There's a real crisis in those industries. Immigrants would want to join their new nation so ironically it would result in an increased interest in traditional arts and culture.

It's like a team. Once you're playing for your team to move towards a brighter future then it doesn't really matter where you're from. That's equality.

In Canada should we get rid of our Conservative PM, we will take in a lot of refugees, as we're a immigrant nation. 150 languages in Toronto. Even Japanese. But it's not our differences that are a burden, they are our strength.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

What language? Japanese? The one where 99% of the population are replacing it with English to the point that no English person can understand it so in the end they're just destroying their own language?

Abe is right in a way that it can't accept refugees. Japanese destroying slowly but surely their own language reflect a lack of self-respect that will end up ruining it. You need immigrants who will respect your culture and traditions before they're all gone.

By the way, if you're reading this on an Apple computer or iPhone then it is now laughing at you, because Steve Jobs was the son of Syrian immigrants to the USA. If you hate immigration you better throw out your computers. Ironic that the popular computer in Japan could never have been made there.

I hope that burst a bubble.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

One of Japan's problems, but also one of its charms, is its tendency toward xenophobia.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

First understandable response from Prime Minister Abe in quite awhile. Makes sense to me.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@strangerland, you said Asians study the language for assimilation. They do and they shld really do since majority of them are here under Japanese Student Visas. You did not say they're enjoying it but what else could you say if they do enjoy certain discounts as students and working 2 jobs without paying the proper taxes. Isn't that enjoying? Whereas the poor me if I went out of job and couldn't pay the taxes, someone from the city office would keep on calling me in different hrs of the day, would keep on knocking at my door in so inopportuned time aside from so post mails. Will you not call that enjoying?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

To be honest, I have no idea why you are directing your comments at me. I said one thing:

This is incorrect. It may be true in regards to western foreigners, but western foreigners are a minority among foreigners in Japan. The majority of foreigners, Asian foreigners, do study Japanese.

If you have any comments on what I have said, feel free to make them. I have no opinion on the other things you are talking about.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Bringing in unskilled, illiterate refugees will only lower the average GDP per person, as Germany is about to discover.

I have met Chinese and Taiwanese people working in Japanese companies who were recruited after graduating in China and Taiwan. The Japanese language isn't too difficult for them, they have a good education and don't demand special treatment on religious grounds. These are the kind of migrants Japan should encourage, but they probably won't.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

@sf2k: you wrote bunch of BS about Japan. Sorry to your imagination. Japanese language is not English.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Joui was slogan to modernize feudal era Japan Spirit still exists, Japan is not going to accept refugees easily. There are people who believe over populated. They call women baby making machine to discourage pregnancy.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I am not a big fan of Abe but he is spot on in this case, except the part about spending my tax dollars on people I don't care about. How cares about the problems in the Middle East? There have always been killings there and there will always be killings there, these people will never ever, ever evolve from their current level, thanks to islam and their backward thinking.

Their problems, they should solve them. In case people don't notice, muslims killing other muslims, and everybody else around there for that matter. Not my problem, I couldn't care less. It's not the Europe's or Japan's job to help these people. In this case go Abe go, just remove a few zeros from that darn cheque, we sure could use that money here.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

“As an issue of demography, I would say that before accepting immigrants or refugees we need to have more activities by women, by elderly people and we must raise (the) birth rate. There are many things that we should do before accepting immigrants,” Abe told a news conference,

Have any of you Japanophiles who are so aggressively supporting Abe's position stopped to think that his statement is basically an admission that Japanese society is broken? I mean it's aging; repressing women; and not having babies/declining. All of which have been known for years, and simply allowed to continue. And, yet, it wants to turn its back on folks possibly wanting to go there to get a fresh start, and work hard to create a better life for themselves. Good thinking!

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Most foreigners in Japan don't study Japanese and don't assimilate.

'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

Not so, Japan invited American teachers who are fluent in Japanese to change English learning method in Japanese schools, Beside that, gaijins in Japan even discuss about events in Japan which ordinal Japanese keep mouth shut. '

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Taking in refugees from other countries will completely **** up a county's society and culture. Muslims from the middle east don't assimilate, just look at Europe. I hope Japan can hold out, as it's already too late for some European countries. Even Australia's small refugee population is already messing up things.

Agree to some extent. However, I believe refugees from certain regions (like Southeast Asia) cost less trouble than others. Although not refugees, US immigrants from East Asian countries (China, South Korea, Taiwan, etc) tend to be model citizens (model minority).

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@maglev101OCT. 02, 2015 - 12:15AM JST Taking in refugees from other countries will completely **** up a county's society and culture. Muslims from the middle east don't assimilate, just look at Europe. I hope Japan can hold out, as it's already too late for some European countries. Even Australia's small refugee population is already messing up things. Agree to some extent. However, I believe refugees from certain regions (like Southeast Asia) cost less trouble than others. Although not refugees, US immigrants from East Asian countries (China, South Korea, Taiwan, etc) tend to be model citizens (model minority).

''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''' Filipino, Chinese, Korean and all sort of Asian immigrants' children achieve excellent in school.When my children were in elementary school. some surveyed and found their parents hardly spoke English.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Agree to some extent. However, I believe refugees from certain regions (like Southeast Asia) cost less trouble than others. Although not refugees, US immigrants from East Asian countries (China, South Korea, Taiwan, etc) tend to be model citizens (model minority).

Sure but they are not creative , They are good in polishing new ideas but doing a new one I don't think so

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Since 1962, Japan has admitted only 682 refugees. What Abe is saying is that Japan will be a monolithic society until its demise in the decades to come. It's depleted and aging population will not be able to withstand the expansive moves of its opportunistic neighbors. The purity of its race takes precedence over the pressing needs to admit a youthful labor force and thousands of intellectuals and entrepreneurs that will astronomically increase Japan's survivability in the future.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

How is this even news?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Lucky for him, some people were attending but no one was giving any attention to him. Then that was only one our local channel sowed about 2 minutes to be polite to Japanese American society that were busy preparing Hula Hula parade on Vegas Strip.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Abe is right not to allow these "Refugees"into Japan when there are so many people of the nation are suffering & while i'm at it why aren't Saudi Arabia,Jordan, Iran, U.A.E. & other Muslim nations taking in their brothers & sisters? Has anyone a clue?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Wow. Just make more babies huh? Easier said than done with regards to Japan! ;)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

tallpinedogOct. 01, 2015 - 01:51AM JST Abe should start with the butter shortage.---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

You are so right. How could refugees survive over here if they couldn't get cheap butter. These people use butter in their cooking. I am serious and joking at the same time. The mention of butter in posts is indicative of Japan's failure to address even the simplest of problems in this country. Government in control of importing food items for one. Anyway, how would refugees be able to live in Japan on temporary work at Yen 800 or so per hour, pay rent, power, gas, pension, health insurance, citizen tax, telephone, water use, travel expenses to work and back, and I nearly forgot- Food. Do the math.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Local culture keeps getting mentioned a lot regarding western countries. What local culture? Most (not all) of the people in those countries don't have any culture anymore. Walking around staring into cell phones when outside, watching the telly or on the computer when inside would seem to be today's main culture. Many of the migrants are far more cultured than we are though they also do easily adopt the western culture I just mentioned....

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Just look at France, Germany, UK, Sweden, where the feel good socialist have brought in those 'refugees'..... it's injecting cancer straight into their societies. Don't do it Japan!!!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Just look at France, Germany, UK, Sweden, where the feel good socialist have brought in those 'refugees'..... it's injecting cancer straight into their societies. Don't do it Japan!!!

they care about increasing number of temporary citizen at their best hospitality so much for their non-racism mentality ,I hope it keeps like that , Each day will be a suicide , murder , rape in their daily news thanks to conservative mentality of taxes up , keep it up mr.abe shinzo

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Japan must fix domestic problems Pi** poor excuse for , "we dont need anymore unskilled gaijin in Japan"

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Sure but they are not creative , They are good in polishing new ideas but doing a new one I don't think so

Many high-tech firms, among other notable things, have been started by Asian-Americans. Just Google them son.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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