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“Another factor drawing flak pertains to cases in which foreigners with a spouse visa move away from their spouses, and thus fail to maintain ‘a normal married life.’ ” I found this quote from the April 17 article “DPJ slams strict bills on foreign residents” to be particularly ironic. I would say most Japanese consider living separately due to job requirements fairly normal, especially compared to the average foreigner whose cultural assumption is that being a good father/husband entails being with one’s family rather than working hard to provide, even at the cost of living away from the family. I find it infuriating that even in modern day Japan these extremely discriminatory laws can be seriously debated. Props to the DPJ for demonstrating some sense and human decency.

Considering the looming pension crisis and labor shortage, one might think the government would be doing what it could to make immigration an attractive option for those who would consider making Japan their home. I don’t understand why Japanese citizens aren’t protesting their government’s inaction and self-defeating measures (such as these laws that will make immigration of skilled workers far less likely)? Everyone talks about the time-bomb situation of the pension crisis, declining birth rate, and labor shortage, but nobody is doing anything about it — least of all the government.

samuel varian

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