Friday, June 02, 2006

Limiting immigrants: naked racism or blatant stupidity?

How can Japan, a nation which depends on foreign countries for its very survival succeed in closing doors to immigrants? Aso, Abe, Koizumi and "Kozumi children" must be kidding!

Even a "not-so-smart" layman can see that if Japan limited the number of immigrants to 3% or less, its future would surely be gloomy. If the Japanese are to maintain their relative position in the world or even avoid a substantial or perhaps catastrophic decline, there must be significant flow of foreign workers to Japan. There also must be a steady or even rapid growth in world trade, which itself is possible if there is continued world peace (especially in East Asia) and a marked improvement in the handling of international tensions and global problems.

If the Japanese refused to share their nation with others (especially the Chinese and Koreans), economical and political nationalism on the part of other nations (especially China and Korea) would not be surprising, and this could lead to increasingly restrictionist policies and trade wars. In these, Japan, because of its poor hand in natural resources and manpower (recently), would certainly be the loser.

To state the case in positive terms, Japan has as great an interest as any nation in the maintenance of world peace, the expansion of world trade, and the solution of the problems its own citizens face (the problems of aging society, low birthrate, labor shortage ...) Japan in its own interest needs to do better. Japan, with its great potentialities at the moment (various industries that need workers; many abandoned lands, houses, shops and schools that need to be revived, many universities and research centers that need "brains" from other nations ...), should be attempting to maximize its effort to the solution of these problems.

To do this, Japanese leaders and ordinary people would have to have a much stronger sense of mutual trust and cooperation between themselves and others. Without a greater sense of fellow feeling on the part of Japanese for other peoples and, perhaps more difficult, of other peoples for the Japanese, there may not be enough mutual trust and understanding to permit the solutions of these problems Japan faces.

The needs go much deeper than the enthusiasm for the United Nations and the formal "internationalization" (Let's study English, French, Korean, Chinese, Arabic, Swahili and all the languages in the world ...) that Japan have espoused. The Japanese must overcome their sense of separateness and, to put it bluntly, show a greater readiness to join the human race. They must really identify themselves with the rest of the world and feel a part of it.

1 comment:

Pathdoc said...

I read all of your entries and really enjoy learning about your perspective.