A new proposal by 80 members of the Liberal Democratic Party will move Japan onto new roads in fostering the immigration of foreigners to their nation. The plan which is being submitted to Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda would witness the arrival of 10,000,000 foreigners over the coming fifty years which would result in a Japan containing 1.6% people of foreign heritage into one in which one out of ten is of foreign background. Hidenao Nakagawa, says immigration is “the most effective way to counter the labor shortage.” Japan’s low birth rate is resulting in a declining population which increasingly will impact the industrial base of life. The Japanese Immigration Policy Institute emphasized “we will train immigrants and make sure they get jobs and their families have decent lives.”
The plan also involves focusing on foreign students who now constitute 130,000 people and increasing that total within the coming years to 300,000 and to a million by 2025. The emphasis in accepting immigrants will shift from one in which only those with high skills could enter to a more comprehensive approach that welcomes unskilled labor as well.
The Meiji Restoration in the 1860s opened Japan to foreign influence. Perhaps, we are witnessing a second Meiji Restoration which opens Japan to foreign citizens.