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Immigration policy: Framework and challenges

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Chapter Summary

This chapter first acquaints the reader with the general trends in migration to Japan from the late 1980s onwards, and then turns to the question of how Japanese intellectuals and others have responded to the suggestion that low birth rate projections should be compensated for by increased migration. It discusses the latest government responses toward changing the migration policy framework. Legal benchmarks leading to new immigration were made when Ministry of Justice (MOJ) revised the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Law in 1989. In 2000, a United Nations report suggested that in order for Japan to maintain its population in the face of the coming population decline, it would need to accept about 381,000 foreign migrants annually, and if Japan desired to keep the size of the working-age population constant at the 1995 level (87.2 million), Japan would need to allow 609,000 migrants to enter per year to 2050.

Keywords: immigration control; migration policy framework; Ministry of Justice (MOJ); population decline



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