Immigrants, Refugees, and Precarious Japan

Japanese painting depicting a group of Portugu...

Japanese painting depicting a group of Portuguese foreigners (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

by Yuki Sakurai

Nowadays the world is globalizing more and more as time passes, so it is easier than before for people to go abroad or move to somewhere in the world. However, there are some issues in order to live comfortably and at the same level as local people. I am going to refer to those problems. After that, I would like to relate their problems with Anne Allison’s opinion in her book, Precarious Japan.

We call people who leave their home country and enter another country for the purpose of living or working there, immigrants. However, as I mentioned above, there are a lot of problems related to immigration, such as lacking equal rights and status. In Japan as well that is true. Foreigners who work and live in Japan have difficult issues except for some. For example, “3K” work (dangerous, dirty, and hard jobs), low salaries, discrimination, and sometimes illegal arrivals who come to Japan for the purpose of working.

Moreover, I think that most Japanese people do not really consider foreign workers’ problems. Especially, the 3K problem is extremely serious and it may infringe on human rights. However, according to a survey y the Japanese government about what people think about foreigners engaging in dangerous jobs that Japanese dislike to do, 30.7 percent of Japanese think that although it is not good, there is no other choice to do so, and 33.9 percent of Japanese think it is really favorable if foreign workers want to do so. Only 31.2 percent of Japanese think the idea is wrong. Also, foreigners who work in Japan sometimes cannot get statuses and rights at the same level as Japanese people. Despite of that foreigners all are living and working same as Japanese, there is somewhat divides.

Recently in Japan, people are more likely to feel apprehensive about the precariousness of current Japanese society, as Anne Allison says in her book. Due to something difficult including the big earthquake in the east of Japan, now there are a number of Japanese refugees as well in Japan. The whole of this society is unstable, so that means it is more precarious for foreigners. What is worse, it seems that Japanese government is now planning to accept more and more foreigner workers as a big workforce towards the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. We have to pay more attention to the serious issues about treatment of foreign workers, and seriously improve them so as to treat them equally. Also, in this global world, people have to reconsider refugees who come from all over the world.

References

Allison, Anne. 2013. Precarious Japan. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Japanese Government Report http://www8.cao.go.jp/survey/h12/gaikoku/

Yahoo News!外国人労働者受け入れ拡大か?その背景と問題とは?http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20140130-00000013-wordleaf-bus_all

 

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