Within the coming years, Japan will finally come to grips with realty–it needs immigration in order to maitain is position as a leading world power. According to Hidenori Sakanaka, “By 2050, Japan’s population will have shrunk from the current 127 million to about 90 million, and to about 40 million by the end of the century.” He estimate Japan needs about 10 million new immigrants just to survive as a viable nation. A declining birth rate, an ever increasing aging population are combining to create a huge population gap in Japan. Some estimates believe if Japan seeks to maintain its present economic power and high standard of living, it might require about 30 million immigrants by 2050.
The Japanese government is ordinarily more intereted in controlling and limiting immigration rather than coming to grips with its need for more people. There are currently about 2 million registered foreigners in the country and about 40,000 people who annually obtain permanent residence. Immigration officials mainly concentate on controlling foreigners, not seeking to make them become citizens of Japan. Many foreign students who obtain degrees from Japanese universities run into bureaucratic paperwork when seeking to remain in the country even when they have job offers.
There are over 200 milion immigrants in various nations of the world. Japan continues purusing a policy of avoiding immigration which may work in the long run, but comes, the year 2099 and the 40 million Japanese may well rue the day their ancestors ignored population realities by encouraging immigration.