Japan urged to be more open to expats



A leading Japanese think tank has spoken out about Japan's strict immigration system, and claimed the system must be relaxed for the good of the country.

The Japan Forum on International Relations (JFIR) feels that a current lack of key skills within Japan could be aided greatly by an influx of foreign workers, however Japan has always been known to have a fairly restrictive immigration system in place.

The JFIR has released a report in which they state Japan should not only bring in more foreigners, but the country should also make greater effort to integrate such workers. This would include granting long-term residence for selected immigrants, relaxing social security systems to make them easier for foreigners to navigate through.

Kenichi Ito, president and chairman of the JFIR, said: “If Japan wants to advance its integration with the burgeoning East Asian economy it essentially has no other choice but to accept foreign migrants while making full use of domestic human resources. The annual intake is estimated to be 50,000 to 60,000 as far as the last 10 years is concerned. We think such a number is too small.”

The report also suggests that work should be done to highlight the roles that would be most suited for expat workers.

However the report still states that the country should be wary of giving foreigners permanent residency as it could lead to “grave political consequences”.