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Japan’s immigration policy rift widens as population decline forces need for foreign workers

by

Staff Writer

Shigeru Ishiba, minister in charge of reinvigorating local regions, says Japan should let in more immigrants to mitigate issues related to the nation’s declining population such as labor shortages.

Ishiba’s position highlights a growing rift in the Cabinet over easing the nation’s strict immigration policy.

“Japan’s population is shrinking. I believe (Japan) should further promote policy measures to accept immigrants,” Ishiba said in response to a question posed by a reporter during a news conference at the Foreign Press Center in Tokyo on Tuesday.

“At one time, people from Japan migrated to South and North America and managed to fit in with the locals while maintaining their pride as Japanese … It doesn’t make sense to say no to foreigners who come to Japan when our people did the same thing overseas,” Ishiba said.

Ishiba’s remarks followed similar calls from Taro Kono, the minister in charge of administrative reforms and who concurrently serves as chairman of National Public Safety Commission, which oversees the National Police Agency.

On Nov. 7 in Okinawa, Kono argued Japan should consider accepting more immigrants to help boost the country’s gross domestic product to ¥600 trillion from the current ¥490 trillion, a key economic target set by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

However, on Wednesday, when asked to comment on Ishiba’s remarks, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga indicated that the government is not currently reviewing its immigration policy.

The country should first focus on accepting more foreign labor in certain sectors, such as ship-building and construction, which is needed to prepare for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games, Suga said.

He also said the country should make an effort to attract highly-skilled professionals in other areas as well.

“Foreign countries have undergone and experienced various difficulties in accepting immigrants. … We must first address the urgent needs I mentioned earlier,” Suga said.

Suga also noted that the government has already been “conducting comprehensive and concrete studies” on long-term immigration policy with a focus on “areas that actually need” more foreign workers.

According to a government forecast, the nation’s population, which stood at 127 million in 2013, would more than halve to 52 million in 2100 if the current low birth rate continues.

Many experts argue that letting in more immigrants could help mitigate a number of population-related issues, such as a contraction of the economy and the expected shortage of workers that will be needed to support the rapidly aging society.

But many conservative politicians, including Abe, are reluctant to ease immigration rules, particularly for unskilled foreign workers, apparently fearing social and economic tensions that could arise from the introduction of different ethnic groups.

During Tuesday’s news conference, Ishiba emphasized that wages and working conditions for non-Japanese workers should be equal to those for normal citizens.

“We shouldn’t expect foreigners to do jobs that Japanese people are reluctant to do,” Ishiba said.

“We should implement measures to remove as many obstacles as possible for foreigners working in Japan, including those related to languages and customs,” he said.

At the news conference, Ishiba went on to highlight the serious situation the nation finds itself in with the “super-aging” process and low birth rate. He also discussed the massive migration of people from rural areas to the Tokyo metropolitan area.

  • tisho

    Immigration and labor force are two different things and must be viewed separately. The only thing Japan needs to do is remove the restrictions and regulations imposed on the private sector, and allow businesses to freely recruit and supply itself with the needed labor from overseas. You don’t need to bring them the labor, you need to let them take the labor they need. Also, once they get hired, you issue them a working visa and allow them to compete in the market freely, otherwise if you impose any restrictions on them, you make them an easy target for labor abuse, the labor workers need to be free to compete on the market, that way, they have choice for a job, and therefore they will not allow themselves to be abused by one company and that company will not be able to abuse them, as they can just change jobs quickly. This is all Japan has to do, it is that simple.

    • Stewart Dorward

      Well said. Workers can move from abusive / racist employers to sensible ones and the market can correct itself.

      • Charles

        As a foreign worker myself, I agree with you. However, how do you sell this idea to the Japanese?

        Trying to convince Japan to do something is like trying to convince a totally selfish person, with no interest in helping anyone else out, to do something. In that situation, the answer is either $ or punishment.

        Nobody is going to invade or sanction Japan based on foreign trainee labor abuses, so the “punishment” option is out.

        What about $? How can Japan benefit economically from allowing these foreigners to change jobs? If you can figure out a way to convince the Japanese that this will be profitable for them, then you might have a fighting chance. Otherwise…good luck.

      • Mike549

        As the West extinguishes itself by inviting the third wold, I doubt Japan will be easily convinced to emulate this madness.

    • Paul Johnny Lynn

      But for Japan’s future immigration and labour force ARE the same. Abe’s attempts to get more women and retirees into the job market aren’t working. Especially regarding women the attempts are contradictory. That pie-in-the-sky salvation by robots is going to take a good deal more time and research too.

      • tisho

        Yes that’s true. What i meant to say is that simply accepting more immigrants without fixing your labor market or economic policies is not going to be productive for anyone, the best immigration policy is the one based on labor force. You make it as easy as possible for anyone to get a working visa and work, that way only people who want to work will come, and definitely the welfare benefits need to be allowed only to either full time residence or citizenship holders, otherwise the welfare benefits become a magnet for free loaders, and if a foreign worker is excluded from receiving welfare benefits, he should also be excluded from those taxes.

  • disqus_vBekJrf7g5

    Ishiba is saying all the right things. Unfortunately (for a man who wants to be the next PM) its a vote losing proposition, as demonstrated by Suga’s comments.
    Until Ishiba can make it happen, it’s all just so much hit air; Japanese policy makers have known for the last 20 years what the problem is, and what to do, but there is no will at any level of Japanese society to do anything about it.
    And the longer they wait, the less attractive an option Japan becomes for the kind of people Japan needs.

  • Hendrix

    Ishiba and Kono are very rare in Japanese politics, they want to see equality and fairness and show a degree of realism, sadly they may as well talk to a wall. The people running the show in Japan and a large part of the electorate don’t feel that foreigners have human rights let alone give them a fair chance of making a life in Japan with equal rights in the workplace or whatever…

  • Steve Jackman

    As I wrote before, Japan needs immigrants, but immigrants don’t need Japan any more (at least, not the type of high potential immigrants Japan needs and could benefit from most). There is a window of opportunity for everything and this window has closed.

    Japan offers low salaries, low standard of living, almost no career development or advancement opportunities and a society which is extremely parochial, racist and xenophobic. It is not an attractive destination for highly educated, skilled professionals. Countries attract the immigrants they deserve. Sure, it may attract low skilled economic migrants, but robots are better suited for such jobs in Japan, given its history of abusing and exploiting these vulnerable immigrants.

    • tisho

      I don’t think you understand how things work. The reason why there is no career development is because of the overly-regulated economy, which is a policy away from changing, meaning, it can be changed with one policy. Your salary depends on your production. You begin with an entry level job, low paying job, and as you gain more skills and experience, you can then trade your experience for a better paying job, most Americans *used* to get a very low paying first entry level job and then they climb the job ladder. You can’t pay someone high salary if his labor productivity does not equal that money. Also, you can’t tell the market which immigrants to take and which not, nobody knows that, the market must be left alone to supply itself with the labor they need. Being low qualified or high qualified is irrelevant, that’s just a current temporary status, as you work you gain more experience and you become more productive, then your salary begins to increase. The abusing of foreign labor workers happens because they get trapped with no alternatives, so their employers can exploit them. If the gov. did not restrict them from completing freely on the labor market, they would’ve been free to change jobs, and therefore have choices and other alternatives, so nobody can afford to exploit it. It’s a result from very bad economic policies. But the good thing is that these policies can be changed, very easily, it just takes someone who actually understands basic economics.

      • Stewart Dorward

        “I don’t think you understand how things work.” You really don’t – racism is not changed by one policy.

      • tisho

        No but one policy can create the environment in which racism diminishes and is killed eventually. Free market allows people rwho may otherwise hate each other to work together, even when you hate your neighbor you still wanna sell to him.

      • Stewart Dorward

        I get your point now – my apologies – it is a good one. I would only qualify it by saying one policy can help change – one policy alone rarely does so.

      • Stewart Dorward

        I get your point now – my apologies – it is a good one. I would only qualify it by saying one policy can help change – one policy alone rarely does so.

      • Mike549

        You’re assuming that eliminating “racism” is the greatest good. You’ve already disqualified yourself from any RealTalk. That’s why the future of Asia looks bright, while the West will enter a new dark age.

      • Stewart Dorward

        My comment does not state or imply that eliminating racism is the greatest good + even if it did it does not disqualify me from entering any discussion.

    • king and slave

      Some may argue that xenophobia is a GOOD thing these days considering the risks of letting immigrants into your country. You may disagree with this, but that doesn’t change the fact that a large number of people think this way.

      • disqus_vBekJrf7g5

        That’s just an apology for racism.

      • king and slave

        And? So? You act like racism is a bad thing. Your labels don’t work anymore. No one is ashamed. They don’t have time to feel ashamed. If your so-called “racism” keeps people safe and among the living, then perhaps we need more, not less, racism!

      • EUCollapse.blogspot.com

        The vast majority of Japanese don’t want their children and grandchildren to feel like strangers in their own country which their ancestors have lived in for millennia. People can call it ‘xenophobia’ and ‘racism’ as much as they like, it’s a basic survival instinct for colony mammals. That the Japanese still have that healthy instinct only means that Japan will still be Japanese in a hundred years. The same cannot be said for countries in Europe and North America.

      • Paul Johnny Lynn

        No, it’s racism. Even if the immigrant population were to reach 10%, which it is nowhere near, there would still be far, far more Japanese than others. But carry on with your unsubstantiated inference that immigrants are bad for a country, in complete opposition to any evidence.

      • king and slave

        So what? The “you’re racist” label doesn’t work anymore. We’re WAY past the nineties. We’re in survival mode now, so go on with your “racism” labels all you want. It won’t shame your opposition into changing its views on cultural survival.

      • EUCollapse.blogspot.com

        Paul Johnny Boy: “Waah waaaaaah waaaaah raaaaaaaycism.”

        How you can call anything else ‘unsubstantiated’ with a straight face after that comment is laughable.

        The Japanese want to keep Japan Japanese. France is 10% Muslim and large parts of Paris are not only dangerous but off limits to civil authorities. The Japanese see that and don’t want it. And the bottom line is, the Japanese are the ones that get to decide the direction of their own country.

      • Paul Johnny Lynn

        Why don’t you try NOT pulling out those old wives tales about “no-go areas”? They’ve been proven false and I’d provide with a link but J.T. won’t let me. Can honestly tell me you’re against immigration on something such as economic grounds? Or would it be closer to the truth that you can’t stand “those people”? You say Japan has seen what’s happening in Europe and so is against immigration. Japan has been against immigration for far longer than that, and as someone who’s lived here for some time, I can promise you that the average Japanese citizen is, if not unaware, mostly uninterested in anything that happens off these shores. The reluctance to bring in people from overseas is based on nothing more than their ages old xenophobia.

      • EUCollapse.blogspot.com

        ‘No-go’ areas are ‘proven false?’ Well, I think I’ve wasted my time arguing with a delusional person. Go back to the ‘bizarro universe’ and don’t forget to loosen that tinfoil hat a bit.

      • Paul Johnny Lynn

        I’m gunna’ make a wild guess and say your part of that other right-wing troller’s “kampfgruppe”, would that be correct? He seems to have disappeared. Been booted off again has he? Anyway, off you go too, find some ants to toast with a magnifying glass, or something equally snicker-worthy.

      • Lev Bronshtein

        It’s not even “Japan for the Japanese” any more. It’s “ONE GLOBAL HELL FOR ALL!”

      • disqus_vBekJrf7g5

        Yeah, you’re just repeating untrue Japanese creation myths. The Japanese have not ‘been here for millennia’. First there were that Yayoi and Jomon cultures that were indigenous (like the Ainu- possible the same ethnicity), then about 1500 years ago refugees escaping from the Three Kingdoms (under T’ang invasion) came to Japan (along with many disaffected T’ang) and brought with them rice cultivation, and Kanji. These people exterminated the aboriginal Japanese as they cleared the land for rice cultivation. Even in the Nara era, mass immigration from Korea was still in progress, with Nara era census in the Diet Library showing that 9 out of every 10 people living in Nara were born in Korea.

      • EUCollapse.blogspot.com

        so what? The number of years is irrelevant. Ethnic Japanese have still been around for awhile and they don’t want foreigners settling there. Sorry.

      • king and slave

        I hear ya, and I hope Japan continues in its so-called racist ways. “Diversity” is just a codeword for cultural suicide.

      • disqus_vBekJrf7g5

        Nothing ‘so-called’ about it. The Japanese government admits it needs foreign workers, even though it won’t let them immigrate; gee, I wonder why those workers aren’t coming? It’s because of Japan’s institutional racism. Japan either needs the workers, or it doesn’t. It does. Even Suga said so. But those workers aren’t coming in large enough numbers, because there are countries that can offer them more than Japan. Who loses out? The Japanese, because there won’t be enough taxpayers to pay the salaries of all the nurses and carers to feed and wipe the butts of all the old people Japan will have in 20 years.
        The longer Japan resists accepting immigrants without trying to treat them like criminals on day-release, the less attractive an option Japan becomes for immigrants daily due to Japans economic and demographic time bomb.
        And no, robots are not the answer because they don’t pay tax or have babies.
        Maybe in 100 years, the last Japanese person can try decommissioning Fukushima alone?

      • king and slave

        My university students said they’d rather die as a race than pollute their culture with (too many) foreigners (who won’t/can’t assimilate). They’d rather cease to be than cease to be Japanese. Can’t you understand where they’re coming from? Again, your “racism” cries have no effect, because people must first agree that “racism” is bad before your censure can actually … censure anyone. You’re trying to apply your “we shouldn’t be racist” values to a culture that doesn’t share them.

      • king and slave

        My university students said they’d rather die as a race than pollute their culture with (too many) foreigners (who won’t/can’t assimilate). They’d rather cease to be than cease to be Japanese. Can’t you understand where they’re coming from? Again, your “racism” cries have no effect, because people must first agree that “racism” is bad before your censure can actually … censure anyone. You’re trying to apply your “we shouldn’t be racist” values to a culture that doesn’t share them.

      • Magus

        Wow… Japan and the Japanese will be gone in 100 years if things stay the same. If population will shrink 40 million by 2050 (current birthrate and immigration), do the math for 2115.

        “You cannot have a country without people” (‘Zombieland’ film)

      • EUCollapse.blogspot.com

        the birth rate won’t persist as it is now in perpetuity, especially after the population declines and real estate becomes more affordable.

      • Mike549

        Birthrates naturally ebb and flow for various reasons. There is no reason to expect that the Japanese will continue with sub-replacement birth rates. For an island of its size, the population density is still much higher than the United States, for example. It might be that as that decreases, people naturally have more children.

      • Magus

        Low birthrates are a natural phenomenon in rich countries. Small fluctuations won’t change that. To counter them you have to take serious measures like France, where welfare etc is free, and you get *huge* monthly payouts for each kid. Oh, and being back home at 7PM was already a given.

        If Japan was taking serious measures I wouldn’t be commenting here. But they just offered some extra cash to companies that promoted women (no company applied), and there was huge backlash just for trying to double the meager 13000 yen monthly allowance for children.

        Yes, I too was thinking 40 million population for 2115; but it surprises me you consider that sustenaible. If it comes to that Japan as we know it will be gone. Economy needs growth, it cannot sustain negative growth for a century, just look what’s happening after 20 years. With the Japan global powerhouse gone and a population of one tenth that of its old ally, the US might well decide to drop this quirky Pacific nation.

        Supporting a no welfare, no cultural, no immigration change is basically getting ready for double the changes that occurred after 40% of the European population was wiped away by the black plague. With the huge difference that neighbours also suffered that whereas Japan would shrink alone in importance and power.

        I’m European and I’ll proudly take changes in culture and race any day over another «plague».

      • EUCollapse.blogspot.com

        Low birthrates are a natural phenomenon in rich countries. Small fluctuations won’t change that.
        You’re mostly right, but my point was 100-year predictions are ridiculous. We don’t know what new factors will be introduced to society between now and then. What if Japan comes to its senses in ten years and does what Sweden or France does? That would change the whole equation. What if real estate prices get cut in half? Both are highly possible.

        If it comes to that Japan as we know it will be gone.
        How? Japan will still be Japanese. Just fewer of them and more open space.

        Economy needs growth, it cannot sustain negative growth for a century, just look what’s happening after 20 years.
        So what? Living standards are measured per person, not by the whole number. Japan’s economy has been stagnant over the last 20 years, but living standards are already high. If the population is shrinking, an even GDP would actually lead to higher per capita GDP.

        With the Japan global powerhouse gone and a population of one tenth that
        of its old ally, the US might well decide to drop this quirky Pacific
        nation.

        For who? China? Their population is going to crash even harder in the coming years. Same with Korea and Taiwan. The US has no reason to abandon Japan, especially if the country can keep its GDP even, like it has over the last twenty years. There’s not going to be any strategic geopolitical shift from Japan not taking immigrants.

        Supporting a no welfare, no cultural, no immigration change is basically
        getting ready for double the changes that occurred after 40% of the
        European population was wiped away by the black plague. With the huge
        difference that neighbours also suffered that whereas Japan would shrink
        alone in importance and power.

        That’s not correct. China, Korea and Taiwan will all shrink in population as well, and none of them will be inviting any immigrants, either. And Japan is extremely crowded as it is. It will be less so in the coming generations, because, as you know, the Japanese government will not be opening its borders to these people, ever. They see what is happening in Europe, and of course, want nothing to do with it.

      • Mike549

        The insanity here is that we’re seeing the dire consequences of third world immigration into western nations as we speak; yet you’re more worried about a theoretical consequence decades, perhaps a century, in the future. It’s really hard to take you seriously. It’s little more than signaling your virtuousness.

        Japan remains a first world livable nation where you can forget to lock your doors; large parts of the West have ceded that by inviting the third world, while at the same time trying to convince us all that’s it’s for our own good. Complete utter madness.

      • Mike549

        I recommend you read the book Rise of the Robots by Martin Ford. Ford predicts that up to half of all jobs will be eliminated by automation in the next few decades. It seems plausible.

        Japan may be positioning itself perfectly.

        Only slightly off topic, but I predict the rise of virtual reality to drastically impact our lives as well. This will begin in 2016.

  • Hendrix

    on another point Suga said ” The country should first focus on accepting more foreign labor in certain sectors, such as ship-building and construction, which is needed to prepare for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games…”

    He means slave labour, yes the foreign internship program that abuses workers and keeps their wages and when they complain they get deported… type in on Youtube ” Vice news, Japan’s labor pains” something worth watching.

    • Steve Jackman

      In addition to that, I recommend reading the Reuters story titled, “Subaru’s secret: Marginalized foreign workers power a Japanese export boom” by Thomas Wilson, Antoni Slodkowski and Mari Saito (July 28, 2015). It states:

      “What Subaru does not tout is that its boom is made possible in part by asylum seekers and other cheap foreign laborers from Asia and Africa. They work at the automaker and its suppliers at Subaru’s main production hub, here in the Japanese town of Ota, two hours north of Tokyo. Many are on short-term contracts. At Subaru, some foreign workers earn about half the wage of their Japanese equivalents on the production line.

      A Reuters investigation of factory conditions in Ota – including a review of payslips and asylum applications, and interviews with dozens of laborers from 22 countries – reveals that foreign workers are enduring abuses at the hands of labor brokers and companies in the Subaru supply chain. These include workers at Subaru’s suppliers like Lakhan Rijal, a stocky 34-year-old asylum seeker who said he was fired after injuring his back at a plant that makes seats for the automaker. Other foreign workers spoke about being pressured to work double shifts, being dismissed without notice and having no insurance.

      Most of the 120 workers interviewed by Reuters were earning the minimum wage for machinery manufacturing in Ota’s Gunma prefecture – $6.60 an hour – or above.

      But Reuters also found more than a dozen Indonesian laborers at two small Subaru suppliers who said their net monthly pay was $730. That works out to $3.30 per hour after rent, utilities and fees owed to the dispatch company in their home country had been deducted.

      Lakhan Rijal worked with asylum seekers like himself and other foreigners at the Subaru supplier NHK Spring Co, commonly known as Nippatsu. At the plant they muscled pieces of leather by hand onto hundreds of headrests every day. Many of those on the production line lost fingernails, and others were unable to close their fists after a shift because of the strain of the repeated effort, Rijal and his fellow workers at the plant said.

      In January, Rijal says he woke up with severe pain in his lower back and numbness in his right leg. He had injured his back previously before coming to Japan, requiring surgery. He said the labor broker who placed him with Nippatsu gave him an ultimatum: Work or don’t come back. Unable to move, he said he was fired. Medical records show Rijal underwent spinal surgery for a herniated disc on March 12. He says he owes about $9,000 to a local hospital and to the Nepali agent who arranged his move to Japan.”

      • Hendrix

        I didn’t know about that Subaru issue, will look into it, of course a story like that will never see the light of day in Japan, international media only… I expect this kind of exploitation will get worse for the Olympics and as usual all will be covered up.

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      • Stewart Dorward

        I am a bit skeptical about the asylum seekers aspect of the story – there were only about 5,000 such applications last year in the whole of Japan – that is not enough to build any industry on.

      • woodynatural

        you build “and economy” on immigrants with skills not on asylum seekers (many of whom are bogus…) that will bring huge families with them and live for years if not generations on social benefits……. Japan has many legal ways to come to this country if you’re skilled but I would say asylum seekers should mostly be helped in their own countries and only a very few special cases should be granted asylum/refugee status in Japan and for that matter in Europe, but that is already to late….

    • tisho

      How can it be a slave labor if it’s voluntary? Nobody is forcing these people to stay, they chose to stay because the job they are doing is better than all the alternatives. The problem of abuse comes when the laborers are not allowed (by the gov. restrictions) to change jobs and compete freely on the labor market. When you restrict the labor workers, you take away their alternatives, and now a labor worker gets stuck with one job only, this is why that employer can afford to abuse the worker, because he knows that worker has no alternative. Although he still have an alternative, he can quit and go home, so it’s not a slave forceful labor, if the worker choses to stay despite being abused and having not option to change jobs, than to go home to home country, then it means that the abuse is better than the alternative of going home. I am not supporting it i am just saying they chose this option to the alternative. All the gov. needs to do is lift all restrictions imposed on labor workers and allow them to compete freely on the labor market, that way, their salaries will be low as their productivity is low, but at least they will not be abused and they will have the opportunity to gain experience and skills on the job, and get a higher paying job or an increase in wage.

      • woodynatural

        you’re right but the usual brigade is out here to criticize Japan for whatever reason… you really wonder why they chose to live here, maybe they were first as well lol

      • Steve Jackman

        Perhaps they just want Japan to try and make an effort to be part of the global community. It would help if it would abide by global norms and U.N. expectations. It is after all the world’s third largest economy and an important ally of my country, the U.S.

      • Hendrix

        ok i will just go home then, sorry for existing.

    • Reyter

      “Vice news”………? God have mercy. Are you from the US Embassy in Japan?

      • Hendrix

        yeah thats right im at the us embassy im talking bs as usual, vice is all made up, dont bother watching it, go back to your life of drudgery nothing to see here.

      • Reyter

        Yeah, anyone who doesn’t follow the official line of ruling US plutocracy leads a life of drudgery. This being so, it doesn’t change the fact that as you elided to, there is noting to see of any value on Vice news.

      • Hendrix

        As someone just said on here, Vice is a damn sight better that NHK propoganda.

      • Reyter

        No it isn’t. It’s just more sophisticated. At least NHK doesn’t claim to be anything other than a propaganda outlet for the Japanese government. Vice doesn’t make much of a secret of it’s corresponding role for the US government but obviously even impressionable minds know about NHK. Evidently not so for Vice.

      • Steve Jackman

        Hey, I’ll take Vice news over NHK anytime.

      • Blair

        check out Vice for Muslim street patrols trying to enforce their religious ideology on non-Muslim citizens in Europe

      • Reyter

        Vice may be more interesting. This is the reason for it’s existence and the slow but sure demise of its predecessor, RFE which is even less interesting than NHK.

        In Syria for example, Vice news correspondents are protected by ISIS but if they set foot in Syrian government controlled areas they will be arrested, at best.

  • Hendrix

    on another point Suga said ” The country should first focus on accepting more foreign labor in certain sectors, such as ship-building and construction, which is needed to prepare for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games…”

    He means slave labour, yes the foreign internship program that abuses workers and keeps their wages and when they complain they get deported… type in on Youtube ” Vice news, Japan’s labor pains” something worth watching.

  • Douglas

    Japan has a very low rate of women in the workforce and this is the area that needs addressing. Immigration is lazy politics.

    • disqus_vBekJrf7g5

      No, not really. japan needs more taxpayers. Now, I don’t think that women are ‘baby making machines’, but if they are working, where is the next generation of citizens coming from?

      • Stewart Dorward

        Countries with well organized and accessible child care usually have higher birth rates.

      • disqus_vBekJrf7g5

        But Japan doesn’t have that.

      • Clickonthewhatnow

        Thus, if Japan changes that, they can fix the population issue without having to rely too heavily on immigration.

      • disqus_vBekJrf7g5

        But they won’t fix that problem, because the government is too busy spending every ¥ they can get on pork-barrel infrastructure projects (and associated back-handers) instead.

      • Charles

        “pork-barrel infrastructure projects”

        Agreed, the construction industry in this country is “amazing.” The same road crew has been working on a stretch of road in Tsuruta-machi, Utsunomiya full-time for almost two years, now. Usually they’re just standing there or sleeping in their truck.

      • Clickonthewhatnow

        You don’t know what will happen. Abe just talks change in regards to promoting families, but someone in charge of that department may eventually do more than talk.

      • Charles

        Now, this is something I don’t get.

        Supposedly, Japanese women “want to work,” but there are “no accessible child care services.”

        Umm…where are we living? Soviet Russia? Because as far as I know, Japan is capitalist, and anyone is free to set up a daycare business. Anyone can set up a childcare business, charge a fee, and make profit. So why aren’t they doing it?

        The only answers I can come up with are the following two:
        1. Japan is communist like North Korea and no free enterprise is allowed (not what I have observed while living here for 4 1/2 years).
        OR
        2. There just isn’t much demand for childcare services because, well, Japanese women don’t want to work. They’re rather squeeze out one child (or have no children at all), stay at home, study subjects that interest them but aren’t necessarily lucrative, do yoga and aerobics at the gym, and have hubby foot the whole bill.

        #2 is plausible. I’ve seen #2 happen many, many times. #1 is not.

      • Stewart Dorward

        Charles – your comment sets up a totally false dichotomy:

        1) Japan is not a free market capitalist economy – it is a highly regulated corporate state. There is no economy in the world that is totally capitalist.

        2) The average full time employee earns 4.4 million a year and since about 30% of workers are part time that figure would be much lower if they were included. So, the wife needs to work so they family can survive. So, they cannot afford to pay for high cost child care – it has to be granny or local govt. subsidized facility.

        3) There is a strong cultural aversion to having strangers care for your kids.

        4) There is a labour shortage for such low paid unskilled work as childcare.

        5) No visas are granted for Japanese who would like to employ a foreign Nanny (and could afford it such as women doctors and other professionals).

        As a manager, I have seen the struggle of professional women trying to get their kids into kindergarten and lost some good staff who have failed to do so. For a low paid female worker without amenable parents nearby – it would be impossible.

    • Steve Jackman

      Just getting more women into the workforce will not by itself change anything, unless it is accompanied by a huge cultural shift in Japan. However, such a cultural shift is simply not in the cards, so the whole womenomics thing is just pie in the sky thinking.

      Remember, it is the cultural programming in Japan from the earliest stages which leads a third or more of young Japanese women to openly proclaim that their desired profession is to become a hostess or to be a housewife.

      So, womenomics may be fine if Japan is interested in only filling open positions with bodies. But, it’s not going to do anything to make Japan competitive again or to get it out of the secular decline its stuck in. For that to happen, it needs new and bold thinking, creativity, assertiveness and fresh blood, none of which Japanese women can provide unless there is a massive cultural shift in the country first (of course, there are a few exceptions to this, but not enough to move the needle in any meaningful way).

      • tisho

        Cultural shifts do not happen by themselves out of the blue, they are a result of something else. It’s usually a slow process.

      • Charles

        “Remember, it is the cultural programming in Japan from the earliest
        stages which leads a third or more of young Japanese women to openly
        proclaim that their desired profession is to become a hostess or to be a
        housewife.”

        Agreed. A major cultural programming shift would be required.

        What always gets me is the line “Japanese women would have more labor force participation if only there were more childcare services.”

        To which my response is:
        “Where is this? Soviet Russia? Mao’s China? Pyongyang? We have ‘supply and demand’ and ‘free enterprise’ here, don’t we? If Japanese women really _WANT_ childcare services so they can go out and work a stressful, full-time job for 50 hours a week and make money, then such services will pop up almost immediately! That’s the beauty of capitalism!

        That these services _HAVEN’T_ popped up is an indicator that maybe, just maybe, Japanese women are not _INTERESTED_ in these services and becoming full-time workers. There’s clearly little demand, otherwise there would be a supply–because this is a capitalist country, after all.”

        No, more childcare services (privately- or government-owned) will not solve this problem. A major cultural shift is required. After this cultural shift, the childcare services will pop up immediately to fill the demand. But before there’s a supply, there has to be a demand, which there isn’t right now.

      • Charles

        “Remember, it is the cultural programming in Japan from the earliest
        stages which leads a third or more of young Japanese women to openly
        proclaim that their desired profession is to become a hostess or to be a
        housewife.”

        Agreed. A major cultural programming shift would be required.

        What always gets me is the line “Japanese women would have more labor force participation if only there were more childcare services.”

        To which my response is:
        “Where is this? Soviet Russia? Mao’s China? Pyongyang? We have ‘supply and demand’ and ‘free enterprise’ here, don’t we? If Japanese women really _WANT_ childcare services so they can go out and work a stressful, full-time job for 50 hours a week and make money, then such services will pop up almost immediately! That’s the beauty of capitalism!

        That these services _HAVEN’T_ popped up is an indicator that maybe, just maybe, Japanese women are not _INTERESTED_ in these services and becoming full-time workers. There’s clearly little demand, otherwise there would be a supply–because this is a capitalist country, after all.”

        No, more childcare services (privately- or government-owned) will not solve this problem. A major cultural shift is required. After this cultural shift, the childcare services will pop up immediately to fill the demand. But before there’s a supply, there has to be a demand, which there isn’t right now.

  • barry07

    Why would Japan want to become non-Japanese? We all know that is the agenda. Tell the foreign dirtbag bankers to take their economic model an shove it. Someday all the races will be destroyed.

  • Forest2014

    Oh No Don’t please, well, it maybe a little, No, absolutely not. Never

  • Forest2014

    Oh No Don’t please, well, it maybe a little, No, absolutely not. Never

  • Richard Solomon

    The back and forth in the comments below suggests just how divisive them issue of immigration is in Japan. Even if the governmental officials announce and enforce a consistent, and hopefully humane, policy the long standing xenophobia which has characterized Japan for centuries will continue to be a factor to be dealt with in future programs aimed at using immigrants for various kinds of labor.

    It’s not likely Abe or any other leader can institute enough changes to dramatically reverse the sliding birth rate which has been going on. Either Japan will have to open up its doors to a very large number of immigrants or it will have to lower its hopes for economic growth in the future. Tough challenges lie ahead, to be sure!

    • EUCollapse.blogspot.com

      I don’t believe so. The back and forth in the comments section only shows that some Westerners are envious that the Japanese still live in a homogenous society and that they want the Japanese to be as miserable and alienated as they are in their ‘multicultural’ countries.

      The Japanese, however, are pretty clear about immigration to Japan: They don’t want it. And why would they? A survey recently taken in the United States says that 53% of Americans feel like strangers in their own country. The Japanese see that and know theirs is the wrong path, no matter what economic growth may entail as a result.

      • Paul Johnny Lynn

        Envious? The only ones envious of a “homogenous society” are unreconstructed racists.

      • Toolonggone

        Well, Japan, which remains(or wants to remain) to be semi-homogenous society, has been in a wrong path in many respects. Japan should have started accepting people of color as part of community–not as guest– years back ago while national economy was still in better shape. Last time they produced 3% or more of GDP growth per year is 1991. Recent economic news report deals another blow to Abe’s 600 million yen GDP per capita by 2020–which is nothing more than a pie-in-the sky.

      • disqus_vBekJrf7g5

        Japan has citizens with one parent of many different nationalities, but instead of just embracing these children as ‘Japanese’, the Japanese are forced to label them as ‘Half’. If the Japanese can’t stop discriminating against Japanese citizens, there is no hope that they can make a society that will attract immigrants in the the numbers they need to maintain their standard of living.

      • Toolonggone

        Quite. The willful blindness to practice of racliazation and dehumanization against people of ‘color’ in Japanese society is canary in a coal mine. Kids are the ones who become the victim of ill-treatment.

      • Toolonggone

        Quite. The willful blindness to practice of racliazation and dehumanization against people of ‘color’ in Japanese society is canary in a coal mine. Kids are the ones who become the victim of ill-treatment.

      • Blair

        How would you like to live in Britain where Muslim patrols take to the streets to enforce sharia on non Muslim British citizens?

      • disqus_vBekJrf7g5

        Utter rubbish.

      • Charles

        Agreed, there were plenty of Muslims in my hometown in Fairfax, Virginia, and they never once “enforce[d] Sharia” on me or anyone I knew.

      • Blair

        Youtube…Muslim sharia patrols on the streets of London. See for yourself…or burry your head in the sand

      • Charles

        Just because it happened once and somebody with a camera phone happened to be there to film it doesn’t mean it’s a common occurrence.

      • Blair

        That guy with the camera phone is getting around…Belgium,Germany, Sweden…

      • Charles

        How about some hard data rather than anecdotes? What percentage of Belgians say they have had sharia patrols “enforce sharia” on them? What about the Germans? What about the Swedes? Yeah, show us some hard data. If you can find a reputable source that shows that more than 1% of Belgians, Germans, or Swedes have had sharia enforced upon them (not just anecdotes or one-off YouTube videos), then I’ll retract everything I just said.

        The plural of “anecdote” is not “data.”

      • Blair

        a heck of a lot of “one-off” videos out there…along with News programs from all over Europe reporting incidents of people being hassled and threatened by Sharia patrols…It’s hardly “rubbish”

      • Charles

        Funny how there are also “a heck of a lot” of videos proving the existence of the chupacabra.

        But hey, I’m trying to be open-minded: if you show me actual data (1% or more of the population of any western or northern European country being harassed by Sharia patrols) from a reputable source, I’ll retract everything I’ve just written.

        That’s a pretty generous offer. How often do your opponents on Internet forums just offer to retract everything they’ve written if you prove your point?

        What are you waiting for?

      • Blair

        There are videos showing flying saucers too…but I think we’re being just a bit disingenuous to suggest they’re of the same ilk

      • Charles

        “There are videos showing flying saucers too…but I think we’re being just a bit disingenuous to suggest they’re of the same ilk”

        I don’t think it’s at all disingenuous to suggest that that sharia patrols enforcing sharia law on non-Muslims in western/northern Europe is common place is of the same ilk as claiming that flying saucers exist, based solely on YouTube videos. I think that skepticism of both is warranted until hard data is provided.

        But hey, I have an open mind. If you show me hard data from a reputable source that these sharia patrols are anything more than an extremely rare occurrence affecting less than 1% of the population in western/northern European countries at some time or another, then I’ll change my mind.

        The same policy stands on flying saucers. If you can get me a reputable source that one of these flying saucers was real and was really piloted by aliens, with some kind of hard proof, then I’ll gladly believe that one (I always hoped we weren’t alone in the universe).

      • Blair

        your open mind is buried in the sand

      • Charles

        Where’s the hard data? Surely, if Muslims enforcing sharia on non-Muslims in western/northern European countries is as commonplace as you say, then there must be some hard data to back it up, not just YouTube videos. Where’s your hard data?

      • Blair

        You might want to ask Dutch filmmakers, Danish cartoonists and French Satirists for their “hard” data, about sharia enforcement…

      • Charles

        “You might want to ask Dutch filmmakers, Danish cartoonists and French Satirists for their “hard” data, on sharia enforcement…”

        Okay, so you don’t have any hard data. Just your emotions and some YouTube videos. Got it.

      • Blair

        …and bodies lying dead in the street

      • Charles

        …still no hard data, just (angry) emotions, I see.

      • Blair

        the bodies being an indisputable example of sharia being enforced for such heinous acts as “depicting the prophet”…an obvious point you’ve intentionally ignored. How about your coming up with some hard data that shows fewer than 1% of Muslims in Europe being against retribution for drawing a caricature of Mohammed? Don’t get hysterical…just come up with the data

      • Charles

        “How about your coming up with some hard data that shows fewer than 1%
        of Muslims in Europe being against retribution for drawing a caricature
        of Mohammed?”

        That sounds like a very, very obscure statistic. Not sure where I’d find it. Perhaps you can provide a link?

      • Blair

        You could refer to Pew polls that have polled Muslims throughout Europe about such things…but you’ll be disappointed to find they don’t support you

      • Charles

        Really, there’s a Pew Poll showing me that 99% of Muslims in Europe support retribution for drawing a caricature of Mohammed? Please, send me the link! This, I want to see!

      • Blair

        fewer than 1% to 99%…bit of a leap there, Chuck

      • Blair

        fewer than 1% to 99%…bit of a leap there, Chuck

      • Charles

        …oh, an appeal to my emotions, “bodies lying dead.”

        You know, the funny thing is, I realized that almost all your “logic” about the dangers of sharia patrols could also work for plane crashes–also something that happens very infrequently, but that people are irrationally scared of because of sensationalist media clips and over-reporting.

        So I took it on myself to copy your posts, and change the “Muslim” and “sharia patrol” themes to “airplane” and “plane crash” themes. This was the result:

        “…and bodies lying dead in the street [from plane crashes]”

        “You might want to ask Dutch filmmakers, Danish cartoonists and French Satirists for their “hard” data, on [plane crashes]…”

        “your open mind [about the possibility that airplanes are exceedingly dangerous] is buried in the sand”

        “There are countless news reports on [plane crashes] that’s sweeping
        Europe and videos to corroborate those reports as well as [airport officials]
        confirming them, some condoning others condemning. But it’s irrefutable
        that they’re happening”

        “a heck of a lot of “one-off” videos out there [about plane crashes]…along with News
        programs from all over Europe reporting incidents of people being
        [in danger when they fly on an airplane]…It’s hardly ‘rubbish'”

        Wow, reads surprisingly smoothly. Tell us Blair, since almost all your logic works for plane crashes, as well, are you afraid of flying on an airplane?

        Come to think of it, this would work for driving a car, riding a motorcycle, climbing a mountain, etc., as well.

      • Blair

        …and bodies lying dead in the street

      • Steve Jackman

        “your open mind is buried in the sand”. Umm, inconsistent statement there, Blair. But, no problem, happens in Japan often.

      • Paul Johnny Lynn

        “I saw it on You Tube so it MUST be true!” I have a bridge in Sydney I could sell you…..

      • Blair

        Do they have newscasts and Muslims discussing the patrols on newscasts in Sydney?

      • Charles

        Just because it happened once and somebody with a camera phone happened to be there to film it doesn’t mean it’s a common occurrence.

      • Steve Jackman

        OK, Blair, I’m going to call you out on your hypocricy and double standards for denying the widespread racism, xenophobia and discrimination faced by foreigners in your own country of Japan.

        Since, you seem to be a fan of Youtube, you should look at Youtube video footage of all the racism and racist demonstrations which take place in Japan against foreigners. Just do a search on Youtube for, “Anti-foreigner demonstration July 9th, 2011 Shibuya Japan.wmv” and “Japanese shouted White pig Go home” for starters and go from there.

      • Blair

        This coming from someone who up voted disqus_vBekJr7g5’s “are you going to smash his skull in” comment…on a black man’s post who is totally unrelated to Baye McNeil another black man who the quote actually came from. I realise that all black people and Japanese are the same to you two…but really, Steve, you shouldn’t be so blatant about your racism on a public forum

      • Steve Jackman

        Blair, you’re way off topic.

      • Blair

        The thread on which you’ve interjected is about the foisting of a foreign culture on native citizens not of that culture, by patrols and ,in the extreme, resulting in execution for non compliance

      • Paul Johnny Lynn
      • Charles

        Japan has taken one extreme.

        America has taken another extreme.

        Extremes are generally not good.

        America has taken over 1,000,000 immigrants per year (basically more than the rest of the OECD combined) including literally millions of illegal immigrants over the past few decades. The racial and ethnic fabric of the country is changing radically, and whether people want to admit it or not, the strain on the society is quite severe.

        Japan takes the other extreme–almost no immigration. The population of non-Japanese in Japan has actually DECREASED in recent years, and has never hit more than about 2% of the total population. Even within this <2%, many of those people are not "immigrants," but simply groups of people who were stripped of their Japanese citizenship in 1952. Japan requires ten years minimum for permanent residency (unless married to a/ethnically Japanese). Only the top 1% of professionals can get it in a shorter time than this. Even well-qualified immigrants with Japanese language ability, master's degrees, even PhDs have to wait ten years to permanent residency–which results in few of them staying on in Japan and benefitting Japan.

        Surely, there is a middle path? Let the good ones in and keep the bad ones out? Surely there's some middle ground between western Europe/America and what Japan is currently doing?

      • tisho

        How exactly does accepting one million immigrants per year a bad thing for the US? You said both countries have taken the two extremes, and at the end, when you look at both, who do you think is better off? Japan or America? America is literally built by immigrants, i think there is no denying that immigration has only benefited the United States. What do you mean by changing society? American society has always been changing, that is why America is so ahead of other countries, no single ‘cultural custom’ or ‘way of doing things’ stuck in the US, because new people constantly arrived. America had completely open borders up until the beginning of the 1900s, do you think that was a good thing? Hardly anyone would say it was a bad thing, your parents most likely came during that period. America today has almost closed borders, the legal immigration law is based on whoever has relatives in US can come, for the rest, good luck. I am supporter of completely abolishing the b orders and letting anyone who wants to come to come, that also includes abolishing the welfare state too. I am not alone in this, there are literally hundreds of economist who i got my idea from. Feel free to raise any questions about this. There is absolutely no question or doubt that open immigration will massively increase the productivity in the US and will rise the standards of living so much more than it is now.

      • Charles

        tisho, I think that you’re a market capitalist. Is this a correct statement?

        I agree with your ideals. I think that capitalism works best for humans (the greedy little creatures that they are). It’s unfortunate but true.

        An extension of capitalism is open borders. Because borders interfere with supply reaching demand.

        However, I think that capitalism is a game of sorts. Depending on the roll of the dice, sometimes good things happen to you (like getting an Albert Einstein as an immigrant), sometimes bad things happen to you (like getting the 9/11 terrorists as immigrants).

        As long as everyone is playing the game, this is fair. If every player is willing to accept the 1s as well as the 6s every time they rolls the dice, then we can still play a fair game, and generally have a good time.

        The problem is when some players start rampantly cheating. Imagine playing a board game in which half the players would accept any number the dice landed on, and the other half of the players would keep re-rolling until they got a 6. Would that be fair? Would that be fun?

        To apply this to immigration, I don’t think it’s fair that America lets in so many illegal immigrants, nepotism-based immigrants, etc. (in my game analogy, the 1s and 2s on the dice) while Japan only lets in the 5s (very begrudgingly) and the 6s (somewhat willingly through the highly-skilled foreigners category). In this rigged game, America is losing.

        “when you look at both, who do you think is better off? Japan or America?”

        Difficult to say. America has a better GDP per capita, more international power, more consumer choices, a more democratic form of government/society, etc. Japan has a more even income distribution, fewer people in poverty, far lower crime rates, and the majority race isn’t constantly getting guilt-tripped and told by the bile-spitting far left how they’re evil colonizers who only got what they have by being privileged. Honestly, to decide which country is doing better, flip a coin.

        “America had completely open borders up until the beginning of the 1900s”

        Simply not true. Go look up the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. Something I do not agree with, but it completely disproves your “open borders up until the beginning of the 1900s” bit.

        “America today has almost closed borders, the legal immigration law is based on whoever has relatives in US can come, for the rest, good luck.”

        I agree with you, here. Immigration systems should generally be based on individual merit and not whose coattails you can ride in on.

      • tisho

        I disagree with your premise and understanding. Let’s examine everything you said.

        First of all, free market capitalism is based on the human nature, or rather human behavior. It is who we are. I don’t think being greedy is a bad thing. Everybody is selfish and greedy. Why is that a bad thing? Everybody wants more, the question is how do you discipline this behavior. Everything you do you do it for yourself, and i mean that literally. Even when you help others, you still do it for yourself, there is nothing that you do that you don’t do for yourself and your own benefit ,even though often people don’t realize this.

        Open borders is nothing more than a free trade. Capitalism is based on voluntarism. Free trade. Free trade of goods and services, as well as free trade of labor. Capitalists see trade of labor the same way they see trade of goods. There is no difference. It is all voluntary exchange.

        Your premise is that capitalism is game and we all must play fairly, otherwise it’s not fair. This premise is incorrect. First of all, the way you described immigration is like it’s a 50/50 chance to get the good immigrant, i again disagree with this. It’s more like 90 to 1, or even 99 to 1%. The 9/11 was not a result of immigration, it was a result of the American foreign policy and constant intervention into other countries conflicts. Why is it that Switzerland or Norway have never had a terrorist attack, and nobody ever threatens them? Is it not because they don’t provoke others and mind their own business? The middle east problem is a whole another story, which i will be happy to talk about if you want.

        Like i explained to you few months ago, illegal immigration is only a result of bad immigration policies. If you make a law banning the use of something popular among people, you are only creating incentives for people to break the law. Illegal immigration to the US is the same thing as the drug war in the US. People smuggle drugs because it is illegal to sell them on the market, and there is a demand for them. People come illegally only because there is no legal alternative of doing it. There is no ”line” to get on and wait. It has been estimated that it would take 120 years for a Mexican teen to come to the US legally if he applied for a visa and waited. It would take about 80 years for an Indian programmer to apply and wait. Obviously they’re not going to wait for 120 years, they will just try other way. If you make it easy for people to get a working visa or a work permit, the illegal coming will literally end the next day, there will be no need for people to come illegally anymore.

        Also, your understanding of how trade works is again a common misunderstanding. Trade of labor and goods and services is a ONE WAY STREET. You don’t need other countries to have free trade for you to benefit. Japan loses by restricting the trade of labor. America wins by having free trade of goods and labor, there is no fair or unfair here. It’s like saying – he shoots himself in the foot, so it would be unfair if i don’t shoot myself too. You WIN by having free trade of labor, you LOSE by not having one. There is an old quote by a very smart economists, who said: ”In time of war, we blockade our enemy, in order to prevent them from getting goods from us. In time of peace, we do to ourselves by tariffs, what we do to our enemy in times of war”.

        Immigration and trade of labor is always positive for the host country, at the very minimum those people become consumers. A very low skilled native person who loses a job to an immigrant, will be hired on another job created by the demands of that same immigrant. America does not lose just because Japan is foolish enough not to accept more immigrants. Japan’s policies are irrelevant to the US policies. Japan chooses not to benefit by restricting their trade of labor.

        The way you view an immigrant is incorrect, it’s not – you are either a highly skilled therefore we need you, or you are a low skilled therefore we don’t need you. It’s not like that. It’s about productivity. You are not born skilled, skills and experience is something you ACQUIRE by working. You need to be somewhere where you can develop your productivity. The world is probably full of Einsteins but they are all in places where they can’t be productive, if they were free to come to the US, they will be able to develop their ideas and be productive. There are literally thousands of giant US companies that were started by immigrants selling cow milk on the street, but it was the ambitious and the free market that allowed them to climb the job ladder and do something big. Hollywood was built by dirt poor immigrants. Human capital is the best thing you can invest in, it is not up for the gov. to choose who is worth enough to come in and who isn’t, all you have to do is let the people get a job and compete freely on the labor market, some will make it big, others will settle for less, in any case, they contribute, they are consumers are the very least.

        Most of the things you said about Japan and US are all a result of government intervention. Japan has a big welfare state and a big welfare redistribution. The question you wanna ask is – is the middle man better off this way? You are not going to increase the standards of living by redistributing wealth, by taking money from one person and giving it to another. Also, the problem with poverty is again created by the gov. intervention. There will always be poverty. The most important thing is not equality but freedom. The most important thing is for the people at the bottom to have the opportunity to climb the ladder and lift themselves out of poverty. As long as you have this social mobility, you have no problem. America used to have this, it doesn’t anymore. And the problem with the black community is again created by the crony-capitalists in the government. This is again topic for another time.

        let me end by saying this – in a free market society, how can one become rich? There are two ways. One is to create a service or a product that people need, and to satisfy the people’s demands by proving good quality services on a lower prices, i.e. to beat the competition. The second way is by making the government get rid of the competition for you. There is no other way. Free market capitalism provided equal playing field for everybody. Government controlled market and society is where you have the unequal playing field.

        I think if i had to put myself into a category, i would say i am anarcho-capitalist or a libertarian. The more i studied about the market and the problems of countries, the more i realized (based on the facts) that the more the government intervenes the worst it gets. There is nothing that the government provides that the market cannot provide privately, much better and efficient. When something is privately provided, the customer has the power to fire that service if it’s not good enough, when the gov. provides something the customer can’t fire anybody even if the service is bad. That’s a very big difference. When im not happy with the way the police is doing their job, i can fire the police and hire a new one, privately. But if the police works for the gov., i can’t fire him even if im not happy with the service im getting. Same goes for everything.

  • Charles

    This article in a nutshell:
    – Some minor official or pundit thinks Japan should open up and accept immigrants because Japan’s population is declining and its economy is shrinking.
    – Japan allowing much more immigration is extremely unlikely to happen because of old men in the LDP who are anti-immigration.

    In other news, water is wet. Really glad I took the time to read this article. Not.

  • Liars N. Fools

    Japan needs a serious political, societal, and cultural debate on this, but there is every likelihood that that won’t happen as it becomes too politicized.

  • Ahojanen

    Despite cynicism somewhat dominating the forum here (I don’t necessarily blush aside some), I look at a bright side. For a last few years Japan has made a significant progress in immigration and integration issues.

    Besides as a relative latecomer, Japanese can take cautious and sensible approaches by learning a lesson from the cases of other receiving societies… or their failure as well? :)

  • woodynatural

    so the guy means we should just swap one population with another or a mix of others, great problem-solver he is lol Japanese immigration is easy if you bring the right skills with it, I’m the living proof, mass immigration can be very difficult and until now, when you look at what’s happening in Europe (and I don’t mean the latest wave of migrants) it really doesn’t look to good. For example in Switzerland 80% of the people granted asylum are even after 5 years on social welfare… Japan, choose your immigrants very carefully and avoid huge problems in the future…

    • Charles

      “Japanese immigration is easy if you bring the right skills with it, I’m the living proof”

      Really, so you have permanent residency now?

      • woodynatural

        well yes, you are right, in Europe I would have just walked in and been put on welfare, so yes, Europe offers much better deals to migrants but certainly not to its citizens, that’s probably a reason the Front National got 30% at the elections….

      • woodynatural

        well yes, you are right, in Europe I would have just walked in and been put on welfare, so yes, Europe offers much better deals to migrants but certainly not to its citizens, that’s probably a reason the Front National got 30% at the elections….

  • Reyter

    Japan is lucky in the way it can accept so many Chinese or Koreans who generally work hard and fit in seamlessly. They don’t have to accept the majority who kiss the ground for up to 20 or 30min several times a day, often when they are supposed to be working and think drinking a beer, eating pork, a woman driving a car and not wearing a burqa in public is a sin worth killing for.

  • Reyter

    Japan is lucky in the way it can accept so many Chinese or Koreans who generally work hard and fit in seamlessly. They don’t have to accept the majority who kiss the ground for up to 20 or 30min several times a day, often when they are supposed to be working and think drinking a beer, eating pork, a woman driving a car and not wearing a burqa in public is a sin worth killing for.

  • Ciaran Reid

    “HURR-DURR, JAPAN NEEDS MOAR DUNE-COONS!”

  • Lev Bronshtein

    Don’t trust any Westerner pushing immigration. He just wants to turn your country to a Western s**thole.

  • Ghost of Virtve

    Japan is a precious and unique nation with a rich cultural history and many great achievements in the modern age; the product of a people with high spiritual and intellectual quality. Don’t listen to the delusions of the Tabula Rasa internationalists who want a homogeneous and peaceful nation like Japan to sell their soul to solve a temporary economic retraction. This will quantifiably degrade the social and genetic capital of the nation, forever.