by Naruko Nakagawa
I think Japanese people don’t argue citizenship of immigrants as serious as other countries, because of characteristic of Japan as island country and homogeneous state. So Japanese don’t put a special emphasis on this problem of immigrant. Of course I was also one of them. But I wonder; now I think immigrants haven’t gotten “citizenship” yet, but if they get a citizenship officially, how does it influence our lives? What’s the problem of immigrant?
First, one of concern is possibility of political takeover by foreigner. The consensus of nations was made by citizens. So the more immigrants get citizenship by legal procedure, the larger consensus will be formed. Though I don’t know the example, this logic was told ever. Second, the Japanese society may blame the increase of unemployment on immigrant, as well as recent some countries, like French. I think that rate of unemployment is not related to immigrant, originally it’s structural problem in society or reason among individuals. And as other concern, in general government doesn’t have to take care of people of other counties. Is giving citizenship defined as immigrants become nations, or not? Are giving citizenship and the naturalization synonym? Before this question, should citizenship be given to someone at all?
My primary concern is discrimination toward immigrant. Some problem stated above may create new common sense of discrimination. Immigrant problem regards as outlet of complaint of nations by particular political group.
However, when I was high school student, I heard a story from the man, who was discriminated because he is from certain community (we called Buraku) ranked bottom of hierarchy in Japanese society, as Eta and Hinin (it means “not people”) in the past. He said that if young people haven’t known about discrimination toward this certain community, it’s OK. This problem is old contents, so most of them don’t know about this problem in detail. So they don’t have to know, because they can take it easy and deal with them as normal people when they remain unlearned about certain community. I think there is something in what he said, but at the same time, I wonder people must improve the situation of discrimination, or don’t have to? All nations are responsibility to face this problem, or not?
I think that the discrimination toward to foreigner or hafu is from difficulty of understand and fear against uncertain something. So responsibility to improve is in individuals. Giving citizenship is including many serious problems, so we can’t make light of this, we should ready for the time Japan will address refugee problem.