Illegal Immigrants in Japan

by Shoki Fujimoto

As we learned in class, there are some people who are called undocumented immigrants in the world. Most of them came into other countries without necessary qualification, so they are illegal. The reasons why they went into other countries are various. Some people decided to go to foreign countries to get job, money and chance to be successful, and another went over boundaries to escape from the threats of the authority like government by political and religious reasons. There are many cases of undocumented immigrants in the world. In this article, I describe about undocumented immigrants in Japan.

According to the Ministry of Justice, in the case of Japan, there are 67,065 illegal immigrants. The country which produces the biggest number of undocumented immigrants is Korea, and Korean undocumented immigrants account for the quarter of the total amount. The second is China. It produces about 10% of the total. The reasons why they stay Japan illegally are various. The most common one is expire of short stay visa, and it accounts for about 70%. Then, why Japanese government permits this situation? I found interesting political reasons. One of them is that Japanese government would like to avoid political troubles between such countries.

Some years ago, there were many Iranian undocumented immigrants in Japan, and Japanese government made them go out from Japan. However, Iranian government took countermeasures to this. Iran stopped accepting Japanese tourists. What if this happen in Japan and China, Korea? Today, the economic connection between Japan and China, Japan and Korea is necessary. Therefore, if these countries government took countermeasures like Iran, Japanese economy and politics will get big damage. This is the biggest reason, I think.

We studied the case of Noriko Calderon. She is a child of parents who entered Japan with forged passports. Noriko grew up in Japan with Japanese environment, she knows only Japanese culture and speaks only Japanese, so there was a debate on what we should do about her situation. The Japanese government decided ejection of her parents and only permits for Noriko to stay in Japan alone.

It is a very difficult problem, but in my opinion, Japanese government should take a strict stance for illegal immigrants. Needless to say, it is a tragedy for the Calderon family to be forced to be separated, and of course I feel sympathy for her. It sounds merciless, but her parents are criminals. Moreover, I think it is not too much to say that Noriko’s human rights were trampled on her parents’ crime. To protect children’s human rights, Japanese government should take strict stance, and even if Japanese government does not hope to have troubles between illegal immigrants-producing countries, Japan should not be worried because it is not wrong.


Ministry of Justice [] (retrieved June 27, 2013)

Information on migration [] (retrieved June 27, 2013)