Does Japan need to accept more immigrants or not?

by Takumi Matsumoto

Today, our world is going to be globalized and the borders of country are vanishing little by little. Many people are traveling all over the world for business, sightseeing, or migration. In this situation, we are required to consider “How should Japan play an active part in international situation?” China overtook Japan as world’s second-biggest economy last year and we have been influenced by Europe’s debt crisis. In addition, we had the big earthquake on 11th march last year. Things in Japan are not good in terms of economy. In my opinion, Japan has to discuss about immigrants and immigration system in order to accept more immigrants. There are several reasons for that. But, we have to develop the plan slowly and carefully.

First reason why I recommend getting immigrants is countermeasure for aging society. Aging society is one of the most serious problems we have in Japan. Some researchers said that the population of elderly people will be one-third of total population in Japan. It means that young people are imposed great financial burden on the health care for elderly. The decline of young people accelerates to make the situation worse. So accepting immigrants brings the labor force and rises up the birthrate. Second reason is finances that they pay as taxes. If immigrants live in Japan, they have to pay taxes. Then government makes most of the money useful for health care or economic recovery.

However, there are difficulties at the same time. For example, many Japanese residences are not willing to accept immigrants partly because they are afraid of increasing criminal rate and a job shortage for Japanese people. According to one research, 48.5% of Japanese firmly refuse immigrants. 19.3% don’t want immigrants that much. 16.8% said that there is no choice but to accept immigrants. It means 74.6 % of Japanese have a hesitant idea for immigrants. Besides, Japan doesn’t have good enough immigration system. If we accept immigrants easily and carelessly, immigrants will get old and become a part of aging society, even though they give us great labor force in few decades.

In conclusion, Japan cannot make requirements for immigrants loosely now because of insufficient system or law for immigrants. But we finally have to accept immigrants in the future in order not only to make Japan better, but also to make futures of world better. We need to think about Japan and immigrants.

2 thoughts on “Does Japan need to accept more immigrants or not?

  1. Young immigrants can, temporarily, slow down the aging rate of all people in Japan. However, they cannot slow down the aging rate of the Japanese themselves. That is an important distinction. Long term, the only alternative to an aging society which has good health care is continuing population growth. However, the decision is Japan’s to make. Do you want to have native Japanese to become a smaller percentage of your nation?

  2. The only alternatives to sustaining the population numbers for an aging society are an increased birthrate, immigration, or both. And the decision whether to allow increased immigration is Japan’s to make. Many Japanese are comfortable with living in a more diverse society. Plus, with the native population shrinking, the percentage of non-Japanese in the country will increase even if the foreign population stays the same size. So, even if Japan changes nothing, native Japanese will become a smaller percentage of the nation.

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