Embracing Immigration in Japan

NPO法人マイスターネットにて、「ソフトパワー外交に向けて―日中関係における文化外交の役割と将来―」(2015年1月17日)と題し講演した
http://meisternet.sakura.ne.jp/hp2/lecture/281-2015-02-05-02-27-16.html
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6djhS5DWU8&feature=em-upload_owner
Fredericさんに、移民について投稿してもらいました。

Please read my short paper on immigration. I hope it is easy to understand. I didn't argue whether immigration is good or bad for Japan, but rather how to prepare for immigrants if Japan chooses to welcome them.


Embracing Immigration in Japan

The major issues surrounding the immigration debate are well known in Japan. The country faces an aging population that poses an increasing economic burden for the younger generation of workers. In the face of this dilemma, Japan has the option of opening its doors to large numbers of young immigrants to bolster its dwindling labor market and sustain economic growth. However, choosing this path will also bring dramatic changes to Japanese society and must be wisely executed. While the details of managing immigration policy are complex and require a lot of attention and skill, this essay suggests a few guiding principals that can shape the initiative. Should Japan choose to adopt a more open immigration policy, the key to successful transition lies in proper planning, continuous dialog, and acceptance of immigrants as a long-term, beneficial presence in Japan.

Proper planning entails ensuring the well being of immigrants and promoting harmonious co-existence alongside native Japanese. The lack of language skills, personal connections, and unfamiliarity with Japanese culture will undoubtedly place immigrants at a disadvantage when studying at school, applying for housing and services, and searching for work. Many resources need to be devoted to educating immigrants in the Japanese language and customs, to job training, and to social workers who can assist immigrants and defend them. Native Japanese will also need to be educated on how to be sensitive to the needs of foreign cultural and religious customs. School curricula and workplace laws should be put into place that address the particular needs of foreigners, without excepting them from the standards expected of regular students and workers.

Throughout the immigration process a healthy and constructive environment for intelligent discussion on cultural differences is needed. All media will need to encourage publicizing immigrant success stories in Japan as well as the challenges they face. Japanese natives and immigrants need to be able to mutually voice their concerns and questions concerning their new neighbors and receive answers. Libraries, universities, public halls, and community publications and gatherings also serve as excellent venues for dialog. When such dialog is not practiced, many Japanese remain ignorant of the realities of their foreign neighbors, and immigrants can feel lost and unheard, hence fostering mistrust and friction between the two sides. Public dialog can better shape public opinion about immigration in a positive direction and help policy makers stay responsive to community needs.

Thirdly, in order for immigration to succeed in Japan, the public and government’s should be open to change. If they can accept newcomers as long-term neighbors then they can invest in long-term solutions. To treat immigrants as temporary guests will only discourage meaningful engagement between natives and their neighbors; immigrants will become sidelined and marginalized. Future problems will then likely fester due to increasing inequality and tensions. Many immigrants are honest, hardworking, and willing to be productive members of their adopted society. Accepting second and third-generation immigrants who are born and raised in Japan as equals, plus allowing them an active voice and role in social life, economics, and politics will go a long way towards integrating immigrants into mainstream society and building mutual respect, understanding, and goodwill. Japan can also benefit from the contributions from a diverse society.

In a word, this paper argues that resources, dialog, and attitude are the key to a positive immigration experience for Japan in the years to come. Many of the ideas discussed here are idealistic and there will be many challenges for Japanese and immigrants to adjust to one another. However, with a dedicated, deliberate, and optimistic approach Japan has the opportunity to open a new chapter in its history and continue being a key nation that exemplifies adapting to postmodern challenges in the twenty-first century.



dwindling 減少する entails 伴う venue 会場 unheard前代未聞 foster 助長
sidelined 欠場 marginalized 周縁化された fest er 化膿 dedicated, deliberate 専用の、意図的な
exemplifies adapting 適応例示している

ブログ気持玉

クリックして気持ちを伝えよう!

ログインしてクリックすれば、自分のブログへのリンクが付きます。

→ログインへ

なるほど(納得、参考になった、ヘー)
驚いた
面白い
ナイス
ガッツ(がんばれ!)
かわいい

気持玉数 : 2

なるほど(納得、参考になった、ヘー)
ナイス

この記事へのコメント

マイスター
2015年03月24日 21:22
これはグローバル化 への対応と、非常に共通性が高いのではないでしょうか。

この記事へのトラックバック