Illegal Immigrants in Japan and the world today

There are many illegal immigrants in Japan today, and also illegal immigrants with fake official documents. I want to see how nations should try to treat immigrants and their own citizens, and think about how the world can change its policy towards non-nationals.

To draw a line between Japanese and non-Japanese people, there is one big question. What makes a person Japanese? Japanese government takes Jus sanguinis, that is, right of blood. Therefore, to become a national in Japan on the official document, you have to have a Japanese national in your family. Then how close does that family member have to be? You have to have Japanese person among one of your grandparents or parents on the official document. However, it is possible, for example, that a person in Peru “happens to have Japanese grandfather” and buy or make fake document so that they can work officially and get the equal rights in Japan. That crime was popular at the beginning of 1990 when the Japanese Government accepted Nikkei Peruvians.

It is a cunning idea, but they want to make their life better if there is a chance. But why does a state limit their citizens? It is because the government want to put people under their control and do not want any social or economic problems. For example, tax, crimes, unemployment, etc. Now, Jus sanguinis or Jus soli (right of land) are the only ways that the government can control people in this world where nation-states are the mainstreaming concept. However, world is becoming much smaller in internationalization. And people have to pursue their economic gain because they will lose if they do not earn enough in capitalism. I am not saying that all the immigrants should be accepted in Japan whether they are legal or illegal. But I do not think an immigrant has to be treated as second citizen when they pay full tax, either.

Therefore I think it would be great if states can see people of their own record, not by their blood or historical heritage. Then it may make people’s lives better. I know it is too ideal, but then blood won’t be an obstacle in life.

by Kumi Nakamura

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