Atsushi Kondo: Can Japan turn to foreign workers?

Japan has a rapidly ageing and decreasing population, and the government has started to realise that immigration can be part of a way to cope with this issue. But while its education-oriented immigration policy is relatively liberal Japan has no systematic framework to encourage integration and support recent migrants. Japan is still the only developed industrialised democracy that does not have an anti-discrimination law. The Migrant Integration Policy Index of 33 countries shows that Japan has relatively less trouble in the fields of labour market access and settlement. Japan’s real problems are discrimination and education, and then political participation and citizenship. Since the end of the 2000s, the government has started to promote support measures for foreign residents of Japanese descent, but the targets and contents are very limited. In order to be an attractive country for foreign students and foreign workers, Japan should strengthen anti-discrimination policies and work to change the nation’s image as an exclusive society. Greater migrant participation is increasingly necessary for the improvement not only of the economic, but also political, social and cultural life of Japan...Read more

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