More Japanese Children Have Foreign Parents

Globalization increasingly is impacting nations that previously in history had not witnessed the presence of foreigners in their land. One out of 30 babies born in Japan in 2006 had at least one parent who originated from overseas. A survey by the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry, found that either one or both parents of 35,651 babies was born in another nation other than J Japan. This is further evidence an increasing number of foreign nationals are coming to Japan for employment or study and then deciding to settle in the land and become citizens. However, there are many legal barriers that still must be addressed in Japan regarding the rights of foreigners who live in their land. Around 19,000 of the babies had non-Japanese fathers, 26,000 had non-Japanese mothers, and 9,000 had parents who both were born abroad.

North and South Korean nationals formed the largest group among non-Japanese fathers, followed by Chinese and Brazilians. Among the non-Japanese mothers, Chinese were the largest group followed by women from the Philippines and North and South Korea. Of the newly registered marriages in 2006, 6.6% involved at least one foreign national.

A newly emerging education issue revolves around language concerns for children whose parents are of foreign birth. There are now thousands of children in Japanese schools who need language assistance.

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