Japan’s population is decreasing and there is tremendous need for immigrants to assume roles not being provided by native born Japanese, but the new problem is not so much in attracting foreigners to Japan, but where exactly will they be able to live once in the nation. Japanese landlords require a deposit(shiikin) and key m oney(reikin) which usually means several months up front and a potential tenant must obtain a guarantor who attests to honesty and being trustworthy. Even after meeting those challenges, they often encounter prejudice from landlords whose famous expression is “no dogs or foreigners allowed in this building.”
It is common for landlords to demand their tenants speak Japanese and for a newcomer attempting to learn the language this is an insurmountable barrier. John Clark, a Canadian who has been in Japan for several years and is fluent in Japanese was told by a landlord in Hiroshima he did not take foreigners because he heard of a Peruvian Japanese man who killed a child. Many landlords have prejudice against white people who they believe like to party and have wild times, and they fear Asian tenants would bring other family members into the apartment and create problems.
If Japan is to enter the 21st century, it might have to adjust to the realities that foreigners who make the trip to live in Japan are serious and they need time to learn and adjust to a new society.