Japanese Experts: “We Need More Immigrants”

Japan is often presented as a cultural counter-example to Europe and the United States, whose ill-conceived and self-destructive policies encourage mass immigration from the Third World in order to cope with demographic problems.

Japan is a small country with an ethnically homogeneous culture, and like the nations of the West it is facing a severe demographic decline. Yet its policy to date has been to restrict immigration and cope with an aging population via automation and other ingenious strategies in anticipation of caring for a huge population of elderly people with a relatively small cohort of younger workers.

Now it seems as if “the Japanese model” is actually more attractive to outsiders than it is to the Japanese themselves. A government panel has recommended that Japan take in more immigrants — to reach a level that would make the country comparable to France or the Netherlands.

According to Reuters:

Japan should tackle its dearth of young people by boosting the number of immigrants to 10 percent of the population, according to a ruling party panel report set to be presented to Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda next week.

Japan faces a bleak future as its population ages faster than that of any other country, and is set to shrink by a third in 50 years if current trends continue.

Foreigners made up less than 2 percent of the nearly 128 million population in late 2006, government statistics show, but many have expressed concern that crime could rise if more immigration was allowed.

“We think it would be appropriate for Japan to accept immigrants to make up 10 percent of the population over the next 50 years,” the lawmakers said in the report, which was unveiled late on Thursday.

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“Japan is an island country situated in the Far East, and seen as having a relatively homogeneous population, so some say it is not suited to accepting immigrants,” the lawmakers said.

“It is a fact that we have less experience of immigration than do Europe and America. But we are facing harsh times,” they added.

The report also called for Japan to accept more refugees. Asylum seekers are currently admitted to Japan only in very rare cases.

Japan, which faces a shortage of people to care for its rapidly ageing population, is already set to bring in hundreds of nurses and elderly care workers from Indonesia starting this year, under an Economic Partnership Agreement sealed with Jakarta.

Hat tip: AMDG.

17 thoughts on “Japanese Experts: “We Need More Immigrants”

  1. Japan…is already set to bring in hundreds of nurses and elderly care workers from Indonesia starting this year…

    Hundreds, huh? That actually sounds workable. Sometimes it’s handy to be an island.

  2. “We think it would be appropriate for Japan to accept immigrants to make up 10 percent of the population over the next 50 years,” the lawmakers said in the report, which was unveiled late on Thursday.

    10% how bad can it be? I mean you don’t want to appear “racist” do you? This is for the good of the country after all. Of course it all sound innocuous and very similar to the spew coming from Teddy Kennedy and his minions in 1965 in the US .

    “Out of deference to the critics, I want to comment on … what the bill will not do. First, our cities will not be flooded with a million immigrants annually. Under the proposed bill, the present level of immigration remains substantially the same … Secondly, the ethnic mix of this country will not be upset … Contrary to the charges in some quarters, S.500 will not inundate America with immigrants from any one country or area, or the most populated and economically deprived nations of Africa and Asia. In the final analysis, the ethnic pattern of immigration under the proposed measure is not expected to change as sharply as the critics seem to think. Thirdly, the bill will not permit the entry of subversive persons, criminals, illiterates, or those with contagious disease or serious mental illness. As I noted a moment ago, no immigrant visa will be issued to a person who is likely to become a public charge … the charges I have mentioned are highly emotional, irrational, and with little foundation in fact. They are out of line with the obligations of responsible citizenship. They breed hate of our heritage.

    – Ted Kennedy on 1965 immigration act.

  3. The Japanese are raciest to the core and will have a hard time with large numbers of non-Japanese. Look at the way they have treated the Koreans in Japan.

  4. What is going on in Japan? Crime is on the rise, parents are harrasing teachers because their kids dont get lead roles in school plays, citizens are stuck in permanent adolescence and now immigration? It seems as if Japan is picking up and keeping some of the wests worst attributes.

  5. This is very frustrating. So long as Japan kept out immigrants, they were proof that a 1st world country did not need 3rd world immigration.

    Now it seems that it’s inevitable, and we’re arguing against something so natural and irresistible that no one on earth can avoid it.

    I fear the whole world is going to be destroyed by third world overpopulation, 1st world underpopulation, and that capitalism/freedom/prosperity is a suicide pact. Maybe this debate needed to happen in the 1950’s. Now it’s already over and we’ve lost. :/.

  6. No, we’ve not lost!

    Nor did the Japanese. You know what? “Hundreds” of immigrants in a country of more than one hundred million people is far from the 10%.

    Also, Japanese are racists. First, they do not (and this is true) non Japanese women; Second, the Japanese do not treat well Japanese who do not follow their strict moral codes, what about foreigners…
    Third, an example:
    There are a lot of Brazilian-Japanese who (at least for me) look just like Japanese in coloured tropical costumes.
    Well, I heard that those people in Japan are not considered Japanese by the Japs.
    That’s how racists they are…

    As I said, the Japs would not tolerate 10% “ethnics” and hundreds of muslim nurses are not the same as the second generation “ethnics” we have here in the west, or is it?

    Japan will continue Japanese, (Eastern) Europe will continue European in the next five years at least, thanks to the Irish.

  7. Why not just scale back?

    Keep a strong core and let the mere size myth go.

    They can hire locally for help, and not repeat the “here comes the whole world!” follies of the West.

    The idea that endless population increase … on one planet …is a “good thing” brings more trouble than it solves, even as a tool against “demographic conquest”.

    If you can keep the colonizers out, if they want to increase on their own they’re run up against plague, famine, water shortages, crowding diseases, and other “usual suspects” in Nature to slow them down.

    We should aim at terraforming Mars, and get the populations focused outward, and beyond neo-medieval fixations, whether Islam or Climate Change.

  8. “There are a lot of Brazilian-Japanese who (at least for me) look just like Japanese in coloured tropical costumes.
    Well, I heard that those people in Japan are not considered Japanese by the Japs.”

    It is worse than that. A Japanese man worked for Mitsubishi was sent to Texas to a plant they had for five years. He brought his family with him. When they went back to Japan, they would not let his children go to public school because they weren’t Japanese enough.

  9. Japan, for good and ill, is not Europe. The Government panel may recommend, but is going to find heavy going being opposed by huge segments of Japanese society:

    Criminal Organizations such as Yakuza
    Robotics Manufacturers
    Citizens groups
    Conservative Culturalists

    Lacking strong, and overwhelming financial incentives (Kansai Airport, etc.) Japan’s consensus society prefers to punt: real estate and banking work-outs, reform of corporate structures and foreign ownership, transparency in financial markets, etc.

    Unions will face competition from foreign-directed laborers answerable to other unions. The Yakuza will face foreign criminal gangs, muscling them out on their own turf. Robotics manufacturers will be out-competed by cheap labor. Citizens groups will see their own power diminish by waves of immigrants over-powering them in cities and the countryside. And finally, the Cultural Conservatives who are very powerful, will decry this as an “invasion” of people who will destroy Japanese culture.

    Who is behind this report? Who benefits? Certain government bureaucrats, who get clients, and political coalitions. But Japan faces real threats in it’s neighborhood with an uncertain US: China and North Korea’s nukes. It needs a big Navy and Air Force. It’s welfare spending is aimed at big corporations who will not give up their cash (much of it indirect in tax breaks).

    There is too much power against this import of cheap foreign labor — I predict it will go exactly nowhere but be dusted off and presented to the UN or whoever when Japan is pressed against it’s refugee policy. There just is not enough money to pay for this and too many other folks will see money out of their pockets.

  10. If you let in a married couple of work-aged immigrants and allow them to bring in their elderly parents (as many western countries do) making four drains on taxpayers, you’ve worsened your situation for an entire generation until or if the couple have more than two children who reach adulthood.

    If you allow in a polygamous Muslim man with up to four wives including large numbers of children to be supported on Welfare (Britain and Canada), then you have worsened your situation remarkably until the children grow up and decide to get a job and that’s assuming they decide not to emulate their parents’ lifestyle of entitlement and complaint.

    If you allow people illiterate in any language and unable to speak English to immigrate, then the costs of schooling and training them will likely not be repaid in their lifetime so it’s another net loss.

    The more diverse communities that are allowed in, the more diverse the crime becomes requiring specialized policing, adding to a host nation’s costs. Apart from crime, running courts and extra-judicial human rights machinery to adjudicate and pay damages for real or imagined slights among competing and hostile groups is costly.

    If your stated reason for immigration is that you need more workers and taxpayers, why import cultures who are not known for their work ethic as observed in their home nations? Additionally, why import people from cultures that not only do not share Western values but express hostility toward us?

    If instead, the purpose of immigration legal and illegal and refugee acceptance is charity, to be the lifeboat for third world countries foundering under the mismanagement of their own governments, then how many free riders can a state take in before the golden goose develops a hernia, and shouldn’t these immigrants demonstrate appreciation and assimilation rather than set about trying to recreate the hellholes they have escaped?

    Though diversity for diversity’s sake is held up as some kind of good in the West, it has no obvious moral or economic value that counterbalances the problems above and may even result in a net loss if we were ever able to study it dispassionately without being called racist.

    The Tower of Babel fell.

  11. “to reach a level that would make the country comparable to France or the Netherlands.”

    In other words, to have no-go zones, high rates of unemployment among immigrants, sleeper cells, polygamy, mosques, roving bands of “youth”, burning cars, and dhimmitude.

    It should also be interesting to see how the Japanese cope with female Muslim nurses who refuse to follow rules of basic hospital sanitation.

  12. I’m sure all those Filipino nurses and maids now in Saudi Arabia would much prefer to work in Japan!

    For anyone interested in the Japanese situation, I strongly recommend a new article by the ever perceptive Takuan Seiyo over at the Brussels Journal:

    More Lessons From the East

  13. I was sure that GoV editors are readers would find it interesting. It actually is, and very concerning indeed.

    I have also sent it to a couple of Japanese persons, and I wonder whether a short letter for the Japanese ambassadors in Europe asking them to warn their Government would help.

  14. Unfortunately, this is what happens when a society refuses to have enough children to sustain itself. Contraception, abortion, homosexuality, and sterilization (voluntary and std induced) all have contributed to the disastrously low population replacement rates in Europe, Japan, and to a slightly lesser extent, North America as well.

    Besides importing hordes of foreign workers, what other options are there for nations that have ballooning populations of elderly and retired?

    In reality, huge influxes of immigrant workers might take some load off the native citizenry, but it won’t solve the problem. It is almost certain that the generation that created the culture of abortion and contraception will reap the grim harvest of it as the children of this age realize the financial burden they represent and in turn, kill them off in their beds via euthanasia.

  15. Sam Hall has already remarked on Japan’s solution:
    Look at the way they have treated the Koreans in Japan.

    Japan should start importing all of those “unwanted’ Koreans from Kim Jung Il’s Worker’s Paradise, which would keep those people from starving.
    It would also give Japanese society a chance to work through it’s issues with “gaijin”, otherwise known as non-Japanese. Importing workers from a Muslim country such as Indonesia may be a cure worse than the disease…

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