Desirable Immigration Policy for Japan: Based on a survey of economic empirical analysis

Author Name HAGIWARA Risa  (Keio University) /NAKAJIMA Takanobu  (Faculty Fellow, RIETI)
Creation Date/NO. March 2014 14-J-018
Research Project Optimal Immigration Policy for Japan
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The purpose of this paper is to survey research papers on the effects of immigrants to economies and consider a desirable policy for Japan, a country with an aging population due to a low birth rate.

We have confirmed that immigrants with fluent language and high level skills can accelerate growth and stabilize a budgetary balance. This finding is consistent with the fact that many industrialized countries recently have introduced a "selective immigration policy," which requires a certain level of language ability, income, and skills from immigrants. This kind of policy, on the other hand, shows the egoism of immigrant countries: "Good Immigrants Only."

In Japan, there is an opinion that stresses an urgent necessity to receive a number of immigrants who could fill the job vacancies of the labor-intensive service industries. The policy, based on such a myopic view, in no way leads to a solution because immigrants could become "Japanized" as long as the current social system remains unchanged.

The desirable immigration policy for Japan should aim at a society of inter-culturalism, which accepts different cultures and makes use of their comparative advantages. This new paradigm would also promote the employment of women and physically and mentally challenged people.