Current marry local people and settle in Japan.

Current
situation of Japanese immigration

            Many foreign
people may think Japan is an isolated island and is not very receptive to
immigrants. However, this is not true. The number of foreigners living in Japan
has increased significantly in recent years.

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            Most
of these foreigners are temporary residents, such as migrant workers coming
from “technical intern” visas and overseas students completing their
studies. Some will rotate back to their countries of origin, while new temporary
workers will come in and some will stay, especially those who marry local
people and settle in Japan. However, Abe’s government is not satisfied with
letting convenience store staff and fried chefs alleviate the labor shortage
caused by an aging population. It requires more skilled migration – engineers,
entrepreneurs, researchers, managers and professionals. In order to attract
global talent, the Japanese government has taken the example of countries such
as Canada to launch the point-based immigration system. Advanced degrees,
language skills, work experience and other qualifications are counted, and high
scores can help expatriates gain permanent residency in just one year – the
equivalent of a U.S. green card. Therefore, the government once boasted that it
has the fastest permanent residence system in the world. After that, it takes 5
years to stay, and another year or so of clerical work can become a citizen of
Japan.

Therefore, for
skilled workers, Japan is now one of the more affluent countries to enter.

There is only one problem – skilled workers do not come. According to the IMD
World Competitiveness Center, Japan is the least attractive country in Asia to
foreigners,

Immigration
issues in Japan

Although Japan
lags far behind Europe and North America in accepting foreign workers,
according to data collected by the Japanese government, there are currently 2
million foreigners in Japan and 30% of them are permanent residents. Although
the Japanese government retains an outward position that does not accept
low-labor occupations, it considers adopting a more positive attitude towards
accepting foreign workers required by the construction industry. However, Japan
is likely to soon violate its policy of safeguarding its own contradictions and
will at the same time expand the growth of foreign labor. In the last few days
before the bubble economy burst in 1993, Japan still relied on foreign labor and
the Japanese government launched the “Foreign Training Program”
(Satoshi, 2008). Although it is said that the system was designed to support
foreigners’ access to technology and know-how in Japan’s advanced technologies,
it is actually used to compensate for Japan’s unskilled labor shortage
(Satoshi, 2008).

In developed
countries where immigrants such as the EU and North America play an important
role, the acceptance of foreign workers has become a topic of increasing
controversy. A number of examples have pointed out the challenge of creating a
multicultural society, which illustrates the importance of starting discussions
on Japan’s acceptance of foreign workers. In Germany, for example, various
social issues related to immigration have taken shape. The German example shows
that avoiding face-to-face communication with immigration issues is essentially
the cause of this problem. Lack of policies may be a factor in the development
of immigration and labor issues and also a growing problem. In talking about these
issues, Japan has a lot to learn from the experiences of other countries.

In the case of
highly skilled workers, the competition among advanced countries is getting
more and more intense, in order to obtain such more people. One of the
unfortunate consequences of this competition is the loss of talent in countries
of origin when technical professionals such as doctors, nurses and teachers
migrate. This will lead to the deterioration of social infrastructure and
adversely affect the supply of local skilled workers. One way to avoid this is
to accept skilled workers from advanced countries to train workers in the
countries in which they work. For Japan, which has a weak competitiveness in
attracting highly skilled workforce, it is necessary to put forward a policy of
training qualified personnel and ask them to go to work.

As the Japanese
government is not willing to invite multinational migrant workers to enter
China, companies have to find new ways to find workers. As a result, many
foreigners have participated in a training internship program, an effective
three-year work permit, a source of cheap labor, and eventually work under
harsh conditions.

Japan’s
immigration policy history

Japanese
population contraction is “motivation” rather than
“burden”, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sought to encourage
more seniors and women to join the labor force. However, outside observers
believe that mass immigration will provide a more visible solution to the labor
crisis and population issues in Japan.

However, no matter how important this
demand is in the political ranks of this country, it seems that there is no
increase in the will of immigrants.

During the
period of isolation from 1641 to 1853, Japan prohibited its nationals from
leaving to foreign countries. Only Chinese and Dutch traders have access to
Nagasaki Port, Kyushu Island, the southernmost tip of Japan. According to
Atsushi Kondo, a law professor and immigration expert at Meiji University, is likely
to accept foreign workers in the late 1980s in the face of an increasingly
serious labor shortage threat. Since 1988, the Ministry of Labor has hosted a
small number of foreigners with higher skills and qualifications (Kondo, 2002).

In the 1990s, Japan began to encourage high-skilled workers from several
countries to work in Japan under special visa procedures and also welcome
Japanese who exchanged in other countries back to Japan (Kondo, 2002).

However, for
low-skilled workers, the doors are still closed. In 2005, Sakamoto Sakashita,
Tokyo immigration chief, put forward a plan for Japan to accept 10 million
immigrants in 50 years. Few people supported the idea and later gave up the
idea.

Although Abe
mentions the need for “foreign technicians” to build the 2020 Olympic
building in Tokyo, he stressed that he should not misunderstand the
implementation of immigration policies when he held an economic conference with
the Cabinet in April 2014.

The intern
program is a harshly criticized government initiative, mainly involving foreign
workers from China and South-East Asia who go to Japan for agriculture and
manufacturing and are said to have mastered the return skills. Experts say the
plan has led to exploitation by some and forced others to rely on
vulnerabilities in the system.

The 2010 law amendment allows asylum
seekers from foreigners applying for a valid visa to start their work six
months after submitting their application. Although it allows asylum-seekers to
wait for the outcome of the case, regains normality and supports themselves,
refugees who do not have a valid visa are still not allowed to work.

Is
it good or not to accept more immigration in Japan?

In fact, more
migration to Japan is inevitable and Japanese need to be used to it. The report
of the United Nations Population Division on whether or not alternative
migration is addressing an aging society concluded in 2001 that Japan will need
to admit more than 530 million immigrants by 2050 in order to maintain the
current level of support between pensioners and workers.

Japan is
considered as an “over-age” country, with more than 20% of its
population surpassing 65 and its birth rate has hit a historic low over the
past few decades. According to the forecast by the Japanese Ministry of Health,
by 2060, the population of China is expected to drop from over 40 million in
2010 to 86.74 million. To support the growing aging population in Japan, who
need pensions and medical services, fewer and fewer workers pay taxes and
Japan’s economy faces unprecedented challenges. In fact, it is time to begin
considering the best policy of accepting foreign workers and to base these
arguments on objective facts. However, the several issues occurred through
immigration still need to solved in the near future.