Posted by debito on May 13th, 2009
Hi Blog. On the other end of the cantilever balancing out those who would sooner cleanse Japanese society of the foreign element, we have those who accept the reality of immigration and call for something to be done to help people. Excerpting from the Japan Times. Arudou Debito in Sapporo
Opening the door to foreigners
Expert warns Japan shuns the very immigrants it needs to thrive
…”Japan’s immigration policy has always been a patchwork. We need to have proper laws and regulations in place when accepting people from abroad,” Susumu Ishihara, 57, president of the Japan Immigrant Information Agency, said during a recent interview with The Japan Times.
Motivated by a sense of urgency, Ishihara recently spent ¥5 million of his own money to launch a quarterly Japanese-language magazine, called Immigrants, focusing on immigration issues. The goal is to provide more information on foreigners living here to Japanese people to bridge the gap between the two sides.
The first issue of the quarterly, circulation 10,000, included messages from ambassadors of South American countries as well as interviews with immigration policyexperts, including Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker Taro Kono, and Shigehiko Shiramizu, a professor of global media studies at Komazawa University…
“When I use the term ‘immigration policy,’ people may think I am urging Japan to accept more foreigners, but it’s not quite true. What I’m saying is that there are already so many foreigners living here, so we have to think about them. We have already opened the door to foreigners, and companies need them, too,” Ishihara said.
His views are shared by politicians in the Liberal Democratic Party-New Komeito ruling bloc. In February last year, about 80 LDP politicians, led by former Chief Cabinet Secretary Hidenao Nakagawa, formed a group to promote foreign personnel exchanges.
The group submitted a proposal to educate and train foreigners who wish to come to Japan and to accept 10 million immigrants over the next 50 years. The policy proposal also called for accepting 1,000asylum seekers annually and others who need protection on humanitarian grounds.
Separately, current Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamuraestablished a lawmakers’ group to create a bill to support schools for foreigners living in Japan. In addition, the Cabinet Office set up an office especially to deal with problems facing foreigners here earlier this year….
End excerpt. Full text of the article at