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Hello Blog. My old friend Sakanaka Hidenori, who has had his writings featured on Debito.org in the past, has bravely spoken out once again to talk about Japan’s inevitable decline into oblivion if present trends continue. He calls for a revolution through immigration and… well, let me excerpt from the Japan Times article on him that came out yesterday. Says things that have also been said here for a long, long time. Arudou Debito
‘Only immigrants can save Japan’
The Japan Times, October 21, 2012
By MICHAEL HOFFMAN, Special to The Japan Times
PHOTO CAPTION: Face of change: Hidenori Sakanaka, the former Justice Ministry bureaucrat and Tokyo Immigration Bureau chief fears the nation is on the brink of collapse, and says “we must welcome 10 million immigrants between now and 2050.”
Japan as we know it is doomed.
Only a revolution can save it.
What kind of revolution?
Japan must become “a nation of immigrants.”
That’s a hard sell in this notoriously closed country. Salesman-in-chief — surprisingly enough — is a retired Justice Ministry bureaucrat named Hidenori Sakanaka, former head of the ministry’s Tokyo Immigration Bureau and current executive director of the Japan Immigration Policy Institute, a private think tank he founded in 2007.
It’s an unlikely resume for a sower of revolution. Sakanaka clearly sees himself as such. His frequent use of the word “revolution” suggests a clear sense of swimming against the current. Other words he favors — “utopia,” “panacea” — suggest the visionary.
“Japan as we know it” is in trouble on many fronts. The Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011, and the subsequent tsunami and nuclear disasters, struck a nation whose economy had been stagnant for 20 years while politicians fiddled and government floundered. But that’s not Sakanaka’s point. He is focused on demographics. “Japan,” he said in a recent telephone interview, “is on the brink of collapse.” […]
No nation, barring war or plague, has ever shrunk at such a pace, and as for aging, there are no historical precedents of any kind. The nation needs a fountain of youth.
Sakanaka claims to have found one.
Japan, he said, “must welcome 10 million immigrants between now and 2050.” […]
It sounds fantastic, and in fact, Sakanaka acknowledges, would require legislation now lacking — anti-discrimination laws above all.
Full article at http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/fl20121021x3.html
52 comments on “Sakanaka in Japan Times: Japan as we know it is doomed, only immigrants can save it”
As I’m the guy who asked, I’d just like to thank everybody for their takes on the bubble era. Very interesting. Xenophobia is a fear – I wonder why the East Asians have always been so fearful of the different, while other “old” cultures have usually (with some grave exceptions) embraced people from other places.
I can’t say im surprised by these findings at all..except that it has taken this long for ‘outside’ media to notice and report it and no mention of NJs for once to blame:
“..Japan has spent funds intended for reconstruction after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami on unrelated projects, a government audit has found.
Projects financed by the $150bn (£93bn) fund include roads in Okinawa, an ad campaign for Japan’s tallest building and support for whaling research..”
— I’ll have this issue up as my next blog post, so hold your comments on that until then!