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Easier Permanent Residency for Highly Skilled Foreign Professionals—Is Japan Ready?Himeda Konatsu

The administration of Prime Minister Abe Shinzō has made luring more “highly skilled foreign professionals” to Japan a critical link in its growth strategy. Yet the problems could far outweigh the benefits if more and more immigrants are allowed into Japan before appropriate preparations are put in place.
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5,805 Foreigners Refused Entry to Japan in 2016 (News)

Tokyo, March 24 (Jiji Press)—The number of foreign visitors who were refused entry to Japan in 2016 rose 25.9% from the previous year to 5,805, the Justice Ministry said Friday. The figure surpassed 5,000 for the first time in eight years. By nationality, 1,683 Indonesians were turned away, the largest group, up 86.8% after inflows of visitors from the country surged under a visa waiver prog…
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Foreign Residents in Japan Hit Record High for Second Year (News)

Tokyo, March 17 (Jiji Press)—The number of legal foreign residents in Japan came to 2,382,822 at the end of 2016, hitting a record high for the second straight year, due to robust inflows from Vietnam, the Justice Ministry said Friday. The figure rose 6.7% from a year earlier. The ministry also said illegal foreign residents increased 3.9% to total 65,270 as of January 1, extending the risin…
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Highly Skilled Foreigners to Get Permanent Japan Residency in One Year (News)

Tokyo, Dec. 17 (Jiji Press)—The Japanese government plans to grant highly skilled foreign people permanent residency after they live in Japan for one year, at the earliest, informed sources said Saturday. Currently, such foreigners as researchers and corporate managers can become permanent residents if they stay in the country for at least five years. The government is now working to shorten…
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Refugee Applications in Japan January–September Exceed 7,900 (News)

Tokyo, Nov. 25 (Jiji Press)—The number of foreigners who applied for refugee status in Japan reached 7,926 from January through September, surpassing the record high for the entire previous year, Justice Minister Kaneda Katsutoshi said on Friday. The nine-month preliminary figure exceeded the previous annual high of 7,586 marked in 2015. "A considerable number of applications seem to have be…
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The Lure of Tainan: The “Roots” of Taiwan with Links to JapanHitoto Tae

Taiwan is just a three-hour flight from Tokyo. Although it is a small island—around a tenth the size of Japan—its history of colonial control by a range of foreign powers gives it a unique, multicultural atmosphere. The capital of Taipei, known for its xiaolongbao steamed buns, night markets, and massage, is a particularly popular destination for Japanese travelers. The city of Tainan, some two …
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Kawasaki Youth’s Murder Exposes Japan’s Social and Policy Failings in Coping with ImmigrationSugiyama Haru

The brutal murder of a junior high school student in Kawasaki stunned Japan. As more information came to light about the victim and his alleged assailants, it revealed profound rifts in the fabric of Japanese society. This incident has cast a glaring light on shortcomings in Japan’s capacity for adequately dealing with the issues of single-parent households, poverty, and immigration.
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Japan’s Closed-Door Refugee Policy

Few nations are as generous as Japan in financing international relief efforts for persons displaced by war, civil strife, and natural disasters. Conversely, few nations are as miserly as Japan in providing physical asylum to refugees. Resolving this incongruity is a central issue for Japan in shaping a viable refugee policy.
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A Look at International Marriage in Japan

The number of international marriages in Japan rose rapidly in the 1980s and 1990s, peaking at over 40,000 in 2006. Since then, the number has been decreasing, and now averages around 20,000 per year. Despite this decline, interest in international marriage remains strong in Japan, as reflected in popular books and TV programs.
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