Japan’s xenophobia is directly hurting itself

Japan Comic

As I watched Japan’s recent struggles with earthquakes the quotes of the survivors stood out to me. One older gentleman said that his neighborhood was done. He said, “Rebuilding takes young people, but we don’t have any so this area is over.”

In both the 1950s/1970s, it was clear that Japan’s population was declining. Yet for decades they continued to make it difficult for non-Japanese to have a place in their society, and only in 1990 start to reform their immigration laws. Now immigration law reform is a hot topic, and interviews on the street of the average Japanese person show overwhelming support for immigrants.

Japan Comic
japan comic

Isn’t this interesting? Like Japan, the US Census Bureau said we will peak in 2080 with 370 million and then start to decline. That means that there will be a tough economic environment in the future when the demand is decreasing. What this also means is that we also have to decide what our immigration policy will be as well.

The older Japanese gentleman could see the need for young people to help rebuild. In the video, they showed two younger people helping do most of the hard labor, and overwhelmingly it was filled with older people who could barely take care of themselves. I bet that Japan is fiercely pushing robotics so that they will have someone to take care of them as they get older, otherwise, they will be begging for immigrants.

So the lesson here is clear. When people are rigid about how they treat others, it reduces their ability to live. If Japan had been more welcoming to immigrants in the 1970s, then this wouldn’t be such a problem today. Isn’t this a warning to us, that if we don’t allow immigrants we face the same future? Already there are shortages in certain professions that will get worse with time. Why are we so short-sighted?

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