Japanese immigration policy

Authored by: Ken Haig

Routledge Handbook of Japanese Politics

Print publication date:  February  2011
Online publication date:  February  2011

Print ISBN: 9780415551373
eBook ISBN: 9780203829875
Adobe ISBN: 9781136818387


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Few countries have encountered greater pressures to expand immigration than Japan has in recent years. With one of the most rapidly aging populations in the world, Japan faces growing internal demand for foreign workers. Demographers argue that an influx of migrant labor is needed to maintain Japan’s current levels of productivity and economic prosperity. 1 Small and medium-sized employers have been pushing for deregulation of labor migration since the early 1970s, especially in the labor-intensive sectors that Japanese workers shun, the so-called “3D” (dirty, dangerous, and difficult) jobs in manufacturing, agriculture, and service industries. Recently Keidanren, Japan’s big business federation, has also lobbied for foreign workers in high-skilled sectors like information technology (IT), where continued innovation is needed to maintain Japan’s global competitiveness.

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