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Immigration to Japan

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Immigration to Japan

According to the Japanese immigration centre,[1] the number of foreign residents in Japan has steadily increased, and the number of foreign residents (excluding few illegal immigrants and short-term visitors such as foreign nationals staying less than 90 days in Japan)[2] were more than 2.2 million people in 2008.[1]

In 2010, the number of foreigners in Japan was 2,134,151. There were 209,373 Filipinos, 210,032 Brazilians, mostly of ethnic Japanese descent,[3] 687,156 Chinese and 565,989 Koreans. Of all these foreigners, 7.5% are spouses of Japanese nationals.[4] Chinese, Filipinos, Koreans, and Brazilians account for about 69.5% of foreign residents in Japan.[5] The number naturalizing peaked in 2008 at more than 16000 declining to approximately 11000 in the most recent year for which data is available.[6] Most of the decline is accounted for by a steep reduction in the number of Japan-born Koreans taking Japanese citizenship. Historically the bulk of those taking Japanese citizenship have not been foreign born immigrants but rather Japanese-born descendants of Koreans and Taiwanese who lost their citizenship in the Japanese Empire in 1947 as part of American Occupation policy for Japan.

The concept of the ethnic groups by the Japanese statistics is different from the ethnicity census of North American or some Western European statistics. For example, the United Kingdom Census asks ethnic or racial background which composites the population of the United Kingdom, regardless of their nationalities.[7] The Japanese Statistics Bureau, however, does not have this question. The Japanese population census asks the people's nationality, and not their ethnic background.[1] It is common for people to mistake nationality for ethnicity and conclude that Japan is largely ethnically homogenous. It would be more accurate to state that the population is "multi-ethnic," although the percentage of ethnic minorities is very small compared with the numbers in the UK, the USA, and Canada.

However, such statements are rejected by some sectors of Japanese society, who still tend to preserve the idea of Japan as a mono-cultural, homogeneous society. These segments of society have not traditionally recognized ethnic differences in Japan, even as ethnic minorities such as the Ainu and Ryukyuan people campaign for greater recognition. In 2005 Former Japanese Prime Minister Tarō Asō described Japan as being a nation of "one race, one civilization, one language and one culture"[8] and in 2012, such claim was repeated by former Governor of Tokyo Shintaro Ishihara,[9] Such statements have led to media scrutiny[8][9] but repercussions among the Japanese public have been limited.

Opinion polls

Polls in the past have shown that many Japanese people oppose immigration.[10][11][12] However, a more recent poll conducted in 2015, by Asahi Shimbun, reported that 51 percent of the Japanese public support increased immigration while only 34 oppose it.[13] The poll conducted asked if questionnaires were willing to accept Immigration in the scenario of helping to ease effects of an aged population and labor shortages. A third of respondents declared security concerns around immigration, and half declared it to be somewhat of a concern.

References

  1. ^ a b c
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^
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  5. ^ [2]
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ a b "Aso says Japan is nation of 'one race'". The Japan Times. October 18, 2005.
  9. ^ a b
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^

External links

  • Points-based Preferential Immigration Treatment for Highly Skilled Foreign Professionals
  • Immigration Bureau
  • Immi-moj.go.jp


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