In recent years, Japanese population is decreasing due to declining number of children, so there are many people who claim Japan should accept immigrants to get the workforce. However, accepting immigrants have not only good points but also bad points. For example, there are many problems between Japanese and Brazilian immigrants in the Homi housing development.
The Homi housing development was built in time of rapid economic growth in Toyota city in Aichi. Many Brazilian came to Tokai district as immigrants, because there are many manufacturing industry such as auto industry in Aichi. In 2010, about 9,000 people live there, and 4,000 of whom are Brazilian immigrants. Many Brazilian has been lived there, so there are many posters which are written in Portuguese. However, there are many problems which were caused by difference between Japanese culture and Brazilian culture.
Most of Japanese who live there claimed Brazilian people’s manner is very bad. For example, illegal parking is increasing, they do barbecue at veranda, they often drink and make merry at night and so on. Many Japanese said “Brazilian immigrants shouldn’t move into here anymore” because Brazilian behaviors make Japanese angry. On the other hand, Brazilian also complained against Japanese who live there. Of course, Japanese and Brazilian hope that the Homi housing development become comfortable place for them.
I think they should promote exchanges between Japanese and Brazilian. Brazilian may not know about Japanese low, so they do illegal parking, and they may not know about Japanese culture, so they think “our manner isn’t bad.” Japanese also should understand Brazilian culture to make good relation. I think self-governing body have to hold exchanging party, and they can introduce each other’s culture there. However, in case of this situation, I felt Brazilian immigrants need more effort to adjust Japanese life style. There is a proverb such as “When in Rome do as the Romans do.” They should not only tell about Brazilian culture but also learn about Japanese culture. Now, most of Japanese approve accepting immigrants, but there are problems such as the Homi housing development. Should we accept immigrants? What do you think?
by Mari Honda
I think we should accept immigrants. It is because even though we refuse them, there are many immigrants in Japan now. We should make sure of this fact. I learned the problem about the Homi housing in other classes. In there, I saw a film and it said ” some Japanese do harm to Brazilians for example, throw garbage out and try to appear Brazilian done.” This made me angry because it is clearly breach of manner. However, it appears those Japanese are really irritate for Brazilian behavior. Therefore I think both of Japanese and Brazilian should consider each culture and behavior, like the author say. We need to get on well with immigrants.
English class : immigration
I am an American. I think that Japan should be very restrictive on allowing immigration. The cohesive Japanese culture brings many advantages to Japan. Immigrants are hard to make leave after they come to a country. Then they have children and that requires more social spending when the Japanese already pay very high taxes. Japan has limited natural resources and land, and more immigrants leaves less room for the Japanese. We in America have many illegal immigrants and they cause many problems, including law violations, consumption of social services, and increased population pressure. Japan should not make the same mistake that America has made.
Another problem of our illegal immigrants is that we are importing more food than before to feed our larger population. We now owe more money to other nations than we can pay back, and that is very dangerous to our future.
Marvin, thank you for your comments on the post. You bring up some important issues. In the case of immigration to Japan, immigration actually helps solve many problems the nation is facing. The Japanese population is declining, with predictions of a decline in the ten of millions over the next 40-50 years. Plus, the proportion of elderly in the country is quite high and will continue to climb.
Japan needs workers to pay taxes, to contribute to the pension plan, and to support local businesses in their community. Immigrant workers fill this need. They also perform jobs that many Japanese don’t want to do. When given a choice, many Japanese prefer not to work in low-level factory positions, and yet there is a need for workers in these jobs. So immigrant workers are contributing to the Japanese economy and the Japanese state.
These immigrant workers can learn the ‘cohesive Japanese culture’ you refer to. I’ve lived in Japan for 5 years, speak Japanese, and get by just fine with the culture. Japanese is the dominant language for immigrant children, just as English is the dominant language for immigrant kids in the US.
As for social spending on the children, immigrant children are no different from Japanese children. Investing in their health and education yields positive returns when they become capable adults who can contribute to the broader society.
As for crime, immigrants in Japan and the US are no more likely to commit crime than the native-born population.
The import of food into the US is not due to immigration, as the US produces more than enough food for its entire population. Global food imports and exports are driven by the global economy. The US imports grapes from Chile, for example, not because it can’t produce enough grapes on its own, but because some of the grapes it produces go to exports, others go to wine, etc.
Integrating immigrant populations into the broader society poses challenges, for sure. But these challenges are surmountable, and immigration could provide Japan with the stimulus and vitality it needs to jump-start its sagging economy and social life.
I agree that immgrants “can” learn the national culture. The question is, do they and to what extent? That question can better be answered by the native Japanese themselves. We are certainly asking that question in America, as our prison population increases.
Our ratio of food imports to food exports has increased over the years and rising population is a factor. In fact, our increased illegal immigration population has come with high social and economic costs. I see it locally, my relatives see in in Riverside California, and tensions are mounting in Arizona and several other high-immigration states. However, this is an issue I will trust the Japanese to decide for themselves. I do note that you left a high-immigration country for one that iby comparison is low-immigration.