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Hi Blog. Leaving aside the unproblematized JT headline below about “foreign Japanese”, we have the five-year work visa we talked about last blog entry (the one that exploits “Trainees”, sometimes to the point of death) now being offered to “fourth-generation Japanese”. (Y’know, the “foreign” ones; yonsei is the word in the vernacular, and we’d better develop similar linguistic flexibility in English too for accuracy’s sake).
As noted in the article below, these are the children of the Nikkei South Americans who got sweetheart “Returnee Visas” due to racialized blood conceits (being Wajin, i.e., with Japanese roots) back in the day. However, Wajin status only counted as long as the economy was good. As soon as it wasn’t, they were bribed to return “home” no matter how many years or decades they’d contributed, and forfeit their pension contributions. While this is nice on the surface for reuniting Nikkei families (now that Japan has been courting the Nikkei to come back for renewed exploitation and disrespect), now they want these children, many of whom grew up as an illiterate underclass in Japan with no right (as foreigners) to compulsory education in Japan, to come back and work again starting July 1. Even work as minors!
The article below rightly gets at the caveats and policy subterfuge (such as merely using these kids as temporary Tokyo Olympics construction fodder), so read the whole thing at the Japan Times website. But the big picture is this:
The GOJ will simply never learn that having a racialized labor policy (where Japanese bloodlines were theoretically a way to bring in low-impact “foreigners”, while Non-Wajin were expendable no matter what — in theory; turns out all foreigners are expendable) simply doesn’t work. It doesn’t keep a labor market young and vibrant, and in fact winds up exacerbating ethnic tensions because migrants who assimilate are not rewarded with immigrant status, with equal residency or civil/human rights. If there’s no incentive to learn about Japan well enough to “become Japanese”, then NJ will either leave exasperated (or rather, be booted out due to expired visas), and Japan demographically will simply continue to age. And as my book “Embedded Racism” concludes, that means, quite simply, Japan’s ultimate downfall as a society as we know it. Dr. Debito Arudou
Preferential visa system to be extended to foreign fourth-generation Japanese [sic]
BY MIZUHO AOKI, STAFF WRITER
THE JAPAN TIMES, MAR 30, 2018
Foreign fourth-generation descendants of Japanese will be able to work in Japan for up to five years under a preferential visa program to be introduced this summer, the Justice Ministry said Friday.
The new program applies to ethnic Japanese between 18 and 30 who have basic Japanese skills equivalent to the N4 level of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test. Applicants will also be required to have support from residents they know in Japan, such as family members or employers, who can get in touch with them at least once a month.
Among those planning to apply are people who spent their childhoods in Japan with their parents before losing their jobs during the 2008 global financial crisis. Some of their parents later returned to Japan, but their grown-up fourth-generation offspring could not because the visa system only grants preferential full-time working rights and semi-permanent status to second- and third-generation descendants.
“The door has been closed for fourth-generation people. So there are definitely people who really need the new program,” said Angelo Ishi, a third-generation Japanese-Brazilian professor in the sociology department of Musashi University.
At present, fourth-generation ethnic Japanese are required to meet certain conditions to get a visa, such as being single minors who live with their parents, but can’t work full-time.
Under the new system, minors will be able to work. The new program begins on July 1, and the Justice Ministry expects around 4,000 descendants of Japanese emigrants from such places as Brazil and Peru to enter Japan each year. But the ministry said the new system is not aimed at alleviating the national labor shortage, but at nurturing people who can “bridge Japan and the Japanese-descendant communities abroad”.
Critics are skeptical. They say the new immigrants could be used as cheap labor at factories or construction sites in dire need of labor, especially ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
“I believe one of the reasons behind the change has to do with the Olympics,” said Kiyoto Tanno, a professor at Tokyo Metropolitan University who is an expert on foreign labor issues. “But such demand could disappear. That’s why, I guess, the ministry placed a cap on the number of years.”
Read the rest of the article at https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/03/30/national/preferential-visa-system-extended-foreign-fourth-generation-japanese/
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3 comments on “Japan Times: Preferential visa system extended to foreign 4th-generation Japanese [sic]: Allowing even NJ minors to build Olympic facilities!”
It doesn’t matter how many come (although these schemes never attract the numbers they aim to, hence their constant revisions and rebrandings), these people will still be obliged to go home, leaving Japan with a shrinking population, an aging population, and plummeting numbers of births.
The result will be the same; shrinking population, decreasing tax base, increasing social welfare costs.
Immigrants contribute to society. But since Japan is allergic to immigrants, this plan (as all other plans before it) will oblige NJ workers to go home. So, they won’t get married. They won’t have kids. They won’t buy a house. They won’t buy a car. They won’t buy a TV. They’ll just save as much as they can and send it ‘back home’.
The J-gov’s inability to grasp this simple dynamic ensures that even this doubling down on already failed policies will surely result in more failure.
It doesn’t even deserve serious debate, we should be too busy laughing at the ludicrous delusions of the policy makers behind it.
BTW, didn’t ’empty suit Shinzo’ promise to fix the labor shortage last year when the government starting handing out even more corporate welfare to companies so that they could develop AI and ‘automation’ to relieve the shortage of workers?
I guess that another Abe ‘vow’ or ‘pledge’ that didn’t work out? Why isn’t he being held accountable for handing over tax revenue to his corporate buddies with nothing to show for it?
And now the government is seeking to squeeze more money out of these imported NJ laborers because ‘The insurance system was not originally designed to take into account a time when foreign people would be receiving medical services.’
Ok, but the contributions NJ pay are in the same ¥ that Japanese people pay, so where’s the problem?
Right here; when you let ‘students’ and ‘trainees’ work full-time to fill your labor shortage, and their visa status doesn’t let them stay here long enough to contribute enough to government coffers, despite being able to receive the same benefits as Japanese citizens, the situation isn’t to legislate new laws to make NJ pay more for health insurance! The solution is to establish a functioning immigration policy! Japan’s refusal to do this, and instead rely on back-door immigration is directly responsible for this situation coming to pass. But instead of recognizing that and fixing the root of the problem, the government wants to ‘crack-down’ on NJ even more. Doesn’t contribute to their goal of attracting more NJ labor to fill the labor shortage at all.