Japan historically has regarded itself as a hermit nation which intends to block out foreigners from becoming an important factor in their closed society. But, a rapidly declining population, a growing percent of people who are retired, has raised new issues regarding the future of a Japan which blocks out the world. In a surprising move, 80 legislators of the Liberal Democratic Party issues a proposal to dramatically alter Japanese immigration laws by encouraging foreigners to reside in their nation. “There is no effective cure to save Japan from a population crisis,” says their proposal. “In order for Japan to survive, it must open its doors as an international state to the world and shift toward establishing an ‘immigrant nation’ by accepting immigrants and revitalizing Japan.”
Japan currently has about 2.8 million foreigners residing in the country but only 837,000 are considered permanent residents. The lawmakers want to increase the ratio of immigrants so by 2050 they would constitute 10% of the population. They are proposing that any foreigner who resides in Japan for 10 years should be granted citizenship.
The increased life expectancy in Japan which is now over 80 years, and the decline in birth rate means there are fewer people working to maintain the lives of elderly people in a proper manner. The only hope is immigration which also would stimulate Japanese thinking and innovation.