The information contained in the latest population figures given in The Japan Times (“Population stat positive, but via foreigner influx,” Oct. 28) ignores many factors, making it misleading at best, bordering on nationalistic at worst.
Many non-Japanese living in Japan would prefer not to be referred to as a “foreigner influx.” Not a few have made or wish to make their home here permanently, and by choice or necessity, have retained their original nationality.
Whatever, their number is tiny compared to the millions of Japanese who have made their homes in other countries or are working overseas. If they were factored into the total, it might appear that the number of actual Japanese in the world has even risen.
Sure the same could be said for many other countries, but would they refer to a legitimate sector of their population as an influx of foreigners? Probably not without an ulterior agenda. Leading Japanese politicians in the past have not minced words about non-Japanese as being suspicious or even criminal, and the current immigration policy may also be symptomatic of such underlying attitudes. How many other countries insist on fingerprinting in the name of anti-terrorism in a country where terrorists, at least “foreigner” ones, are hard if not impossible to find?
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.
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