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OECD Reports International marriages in Japan doubled since 1980's

Mandylion

Omnipotence personified
Contributor
15 Mar 2003
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Just something I saw on the Childrens Rights Council: Japan, Yahoo groups listserver. Sorry for the whole article, I would link out to it if I had a source.
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No. of foreigners marrying Japanese soars since lateツ?1980s

Saturday, February 7, 2004 at 15:07 JST
TOKYO ツ・The share of marriages between Japanese and
foreign nationals among all marriages in Japan has more than
doubled since the late 1980s, according to a recently published
report by the Paris-based Organization for Economic
Cooperation and Development (OECD).

The percentage of such marriages to the total number of
marriages in Japan rose from 2.4% in 1988 to 5% in 2001, or a
total 39,700 cases, the report says.
Eighty percent of the marriages are between Japanese men and
foreign women, of whom 90% are from other Asian countries, it
says.

The OECD report titled "Trends in International Migration" for
2003 also says 18% of Japanese women marrying foreign men
married U.S. nationals.

The rise in Japanese-foreigner marriages in Japan stems from
the fact that the number of foreigners legally residing in Japan
reached a record-high 1.78 million in 2001, or 1.4% of the total
population, according to the report.

The figure, in preliminary data, is estimated to have risen to 1.85
million in 2002.

The 1.4% reading, however, was among the lowest level in the
30-member OECD and compares with 37.5% for Luxembourg,
19.7% for Switzerland and 8.9% for Germany, but higher than
0.5% for South Korea and 0.1% for Poland.

Deputy OECD Secretary General Berglind Asgeirsdottir said
Japan must seriously consider accepting a greater number of
foreign workers and migrants, and encourage more women and
youth to work, to cope with a predicted shrinkage in the labor
force.

Asgeirsdottir said it is not yet clear how Japan, just like other
major industrialized nations, can sustain its social and pension
systems amid a rapidly aging population and low birth rate.

"I'm aware that you have the unemployment problem now. But for
the future, several million people are leaving the labor market,"
she said in a press briefing before wrapping up a three-day visit
to Japan through Saturday.

Asgeirsdottir said that if Japan accepts more migration to bolster
the labor market, especially to cope with growing demand in
caring for the elderly, it should launch a program to help
foreigners learn the language.

"If Japan, it's a very big political question, wants to go more into
migration than you have now, there will also be some costs of
helping the foreigners so they can function better in the society,"
she said. "And education is very important in that respect."
(Kyodo News)
 
"I'm aware that you have the unemployment problem now. But for the future, several million people are leaving the labor market,"
she said in a press briefing before wrapping up a three-day visit
to Japan through Saturday.
Jobs in manufacturing are also leaving Japan in droves for cheap-labor Asia. It is not at all clear that the country will require a large influx of foreign workers. Nor is it clear why folks like Ms. Asgeirsdottir feel that it is their duty to "educate" the Japanese regarding their own economic and labor situation. My guess is that the anomaly of Japan, the only G7 country without a large foreign worker population, annoys those of a certain political persuasion.
 
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