Should Furriners Vote In Japan Local Elections?

Japan has the reputation of being a nation in which those born in other areas of the world experience difficulty in securing citizenship. Of the over 120,000,000 Japanese less than 1 percent are not considered to be citizens of Japan. The government introduced legislation which would enable non-citizens some voting rights in local elections. Of the 912,000 who are not Japanese citizens, over 420,000 are those of Korean heritage who were brought to Japan and worked in the country. Thousands from this group decided to remain in Japan and, although their children are born in Japan, they have never been regarded as true Japanese. The desire to give them voting power in local elections was deemed an honest effort to give those who have lived in Japan for decades to have some minor voice in local elections.

Naturally, it has led to a storm of protest from “true believers” who regard only pure blooded Japanese as fit to decide what happens in their nation. Of course, forcing people to live in your country and then denying them fundamental rights might be considered as denying basic rights to those who deserve them.