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  • Japan Today: Gov’t looks to immigrants as population shrinks

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on May 13th, 2008

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    Hi Blog. Good news. The LDP (yes, the LDP!) is actually considering a proposal for not only an immigration policy, but even an immigration ministry, addressing problems we’ve raised here all along regarding seeing NJ as disposable labor, not immigrants.

    No word yet on how to make NJ into actual legal residents, but these are still steps in the right direction. There are still politicians mouthing the same old canards at the end of the article, but one doesn’t expect everyone to see sense all at once. Let’s see how the proposals turn out when officially released. Arudou Debito in Sapporo

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    Gov’t looks to immigrants as population shrinks
    AFP/Japan Today Tuesday 06th May, 07:17 AM JST
    Courtesy of Scott Walker
    http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/govt-looks-to-immigrants-as-population-shrinks

    TOKYO –Japan’s ruling party is considering plans to encourage foreign workers to stay in the country long-term, a daily reported Monday after the birth rate fell for the 27th successive year.

    The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) has proposed setting up an “immigration agency” to help foreign workers—including providing language lessons, the Nikkei economic daily said without naming sources.

    The party also intends to reform current “training” programs for foreign workers, which have been criticized for giving employers an excuse for paying unfairly low wages, the paper said.

    LDP lawmakers believe that immigration reform will help Japanese companies secure necessary workers as the declining birthrate is expected to further dent in the nation’s workforce, it said.

    A group of about 80 LDP lawmakers will draw up a package of proposals by mid-May, it said. No immediate comment was available from the party on Monday.

    A government report on the falling birthrate warned in April that Japan’s workforce could shrink by more than one-third to 42.28 million by 2050 if the country fails to halt the decline.

    The government said Monday the number of children in Japan has fallen for the 27th straight year to hit a new low.

    Children aged 14 or younger numbered 17,250,000 as of April 1, down by 130,000 from a year earlier, the internal affairs ministry said in an annual survey released to coincide with the May 5 Children’s Day national holiday.

    The figure is the lowest since 1950 when comparable data started.

    The ratio of children to the total population sank for 34 years in a row to 13.5%, also a record low, the ministry said.

    Local media said it was also believed to be the world’s lowest, coming below 14.1% for both Italy and Germany.

    Japan has struggled to raise its birthrate with many young people deciding that families place a burden on their lifestyles and careers.

    Japan’s population has been shrinking since 2005 and the country is not producing enough children to prevent the drop.

    Government leaders in Japan, which largely thinks of itself as ethnically homogeneous, have rejected the idea of allowing mass-scale immigration.

    Some politicians have argued an influx of immigrants would lead to lower wages for Japanese workers and a higher crime rate.

    AFP
    ENDS

    3 Responses to “Japan Today: Gov’t looks to immigrants as population shrinks”

    1. DR Says:

      Debito, I think it’s crystal clear that we’ve seen the ideas of, “Government leaders in Japan, which largely thinks of itself as ethnically homogeneous, have rejected the idea of allowing mass-scale immigration, and politicians have argued an influx of immigrants would lead to lower wages for Japanese workers and a higher crime rate.” debunked on more than one occasion in your recent posts. Good for you. Looks like they’re not interested in being confused by the facts and their own numbers, which point to the opposite.
      My favorite rallying cry comes from our friend Taro (the) Aso, “One Culture, One Race.” Third Reich overtones! This time it won’t be marauding Panzer divisions, but scattered senile seniors on their battery-powered Suzuki’s!

    2. E.P Lowe Says:

      And will such immigrants be protected from such events as the ‘Great Gaijin Massacre’ in the 90’s, where foreign staff at Japanese universities were ‘let go’ en-masse?

      Whilst in that case it was 40-year olders let go because METI wanted ‘fresh, new-model gaijin’, I wonder if high-upkeep immigrants might find themselves out of work and replaced by a ‘newer model’ just as they’re coming eligible for retirement benefits?

    3. Johnny Says:

      Same old story. Japan needs labour, so will use the immigrants for what it can get from them.

      I don’t expect the lawmakers to spend time thinking about how to make life easier for people.

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