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Why does Japan not have a liberal immgration policy like the UK?

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In the UK, walk into a coffee shop, or a restaurant and 70% of the time you're going to be served by an Eastern European, usually a Polish immigrant.

Likewise, most people working in low-wage, low-skill jobs in the UK are Eastern European immigrants, and in fact I would say British companies prefer to employ Eastern Europeans as they're usually just happy to have a job and don't complain about long hours or demand their employment rights like "lazy" British people do.

However, we all know in Japan this is not the case, and pretty much all low-wage, low-skill positions in Japan are filled by Japanese people almost exclusively.

Why has Japan not chosen to have a liberal immigration policy like the UK? Superficially, both countries seem similar. Densely populated island nations, constitutional monarchy, both industrialised at similar times, yet the two nations have vastly different approaches to immigration.

What is it about the social and political climate of Japan that has resulted in minimal immigration?

Also, I don't see how anyone can accuse this post of being racist while at the same time supporting the Japanese immigration policy.
 
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wow, when you put it that way you almost convinced me that Japan and UK are similar.
However, the big things that make them very different are British imperialism and Japanese 250 years long isolation.
That erased every possible similarity concerning perception of foreigners by two nations.

For UK immigrants are fine while working trash jobs or when bringing high knowledge and technology.
For Japan foreigners are maybe too different to completely assimilate in society which is precisely organized and again very unique. I think besides all effort just one life is not enough. I see that by strangers here in Serbia. My Japanese teacher, even after a 30 years here, speaking Serbian language fair enough, marrying to Serb and raising two kids here. And she is still Japanese, cannot be anything else, although she doesn't experience any problems about being Japanese in Serbia. So, I guess my point is: when cultural differences are too deep western type of immigration is not an easy thing...

Also I don't see Britain so open for us eastern Europeans. Why would I be "just happy to have a job", I wanna be like everyone else, to have equal rights because I worth the same as every other human in this world. Shouldn't that be a basic idea of open world and immigration.

don't get me wrong, I am not accusing you of being racist. I just think that you idealize to much British "openness to immigrants" and at the same time underestimating Japan's.
 
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wow, when you put it that way you almost convinced me that Japan and UK are similar.
However, the big things that make them very different are British imperialism and Japanese 250 years long isolation.
That erased every possible similarity concerning perception of foreigners by two nations.

The Japanese are not as isolated as they let on. For centuries they've had much interaction with China. In fact, the Japanese language was initially written using the Chinese script.

Likewise, Japan was a rather brutal imperialistic power. Ok, their empire didn't spread all over the world, but they certainly dominated East Asia.

For UK immigrants are fine while working trash jobs or when bringing high knowledge and technology.
For Japan foreigners are maybe too different to completely assimilate in society which is precisely organized and again very unique. I think besides all effort just one life is not enough. I see that by strangers here in Serbia. My Japanese teacher, even after a 30 years here, speaking Serbian language fair enough, marrying to Serb and raising two kids here. And she is still Japanese, cannot be anything else, although she doesn't experience any problems about being Japanese in Serbia. So, I guess my point is: when cultural differences are too deep western type of immigration is not an easy thing...

Nonsense, we're all human at the end of the day. 60 years ago you could have argued that British culture is so different from Carribean culture, Chinese culture, Indian culture, Arabic culture, African culture, etc that multiculturalism would never work in the UK and assimilation would be impossible, yet today you have one of the most multicultural countries in Europe and it seems to work well. Why couldn't this work in Japan also?

Also I don't see Britain so open for us eastern Europeans. Why would I be "just happy to have a job", I wanna be like everyone else, to have equal rights because I worth the same as every other human in this world. Shouldn't that be a basic idea of open world and immigration.

don't get me wrong, I am not accusing you of being racist. I just think that you idealize to much British "openness to immigrants" and at the same time underestimating Japan's.

It seems most Eastern Europeans don't share your opinion as for the past 10-15 years, the UK has been the target for most Eastern European member states of the EU. I challenge you to find me another country that has taken more Eastern European immigrants in the past 15 years than the UK.

If the Eastern Europeans think the British are all so racist, why do so many of them come here?

If you're trying to suggest Japan is more open to immigrants than the UK then you've obviously never been to the UK and know very little about it.
 
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The Japanese are not as isolated as they let on. For centuries they've had much interaction with China. In fact, the Japanese language was initially written using the Chinese script.

Likewise, Japan was a rather brutal imperialistic power. Ok, their empire didn't spread all over the world, but they certainly dominated East Asia.



True, but that period was a blink of the eye in historical proportions, while British crown took half of the world by force, and kept them and exploiting them against their will for centuries. China had never been under strong influence of Japan except for 20th century, rather otherwise. If just they could they would have conquered Japan, no doubt. Again, I stick to what I said: Japan and UK are more different then similar.

Nonsense, we're all human at the end of the day. 60 years ago you could have argued that British culture is so different from Carribean culture, Chinese culture, Indian culture, Arabic culture, African culture, etc that multiculturalism would never work in the UK and assimilation would be impossible, yet today you have one of the most multicultural countries in Europe and it seems to work well. Why couldn't this work in Japan also?

yes, we are all humans but again we live in different worlds although in same town. immigrants stick to each other making their small getoes, living by their rules, and Eastern Europeans are no different, and mostly they came to UK because of money. But if they want to save some money they cannot live like other Englishmen, drinking tea at 5 living in the house in some fine place in the suburbs but rather few of them share apartment and eat McDonalds and Chinese food. And that works for both sides just fine, you're right. UK gets dirty jobs done, and Eastern Europeans bring that hardly earned money to their home country and make a house of their dreams and don't live any more like a second grade citizens. That's what most of them do, but there are also some that makes their way and stay forever in UK.
I have never been to UK, but I lived in USA and saw how that works. I am not saying UK is bad for immigrants, you sure get a chance to prove yourself and grow even as an immigrant, but if you think that's easy and that they are fully integrated by the system and society you're wrong.

If the Eastern Europeans think the British are all so racist, why do so many of them come here?

I never said or thought that all Eastern European think that British are all so racist, that's what you just said.
Multiculturality grows but at the slow pace, and it's gonna take another 600 years till we erase all differences. For now Africa is Africa, India is India, China is China, UK is UK. That's how I see it, no offense. Look at Balkan where I live. There is technically, genetically, just one nation in ex Yugoslavia, and just different religions which lead to whole 20th century to be full of (civil) wars.

If you're trying to suggest Japan is more open to immigrants than the UK then you've obviously never been to the UK and know very little about it.

Once again, you interpreted me incorrectly. I never said that. You asked why is Japan more closed toward foreigners, I gave you a hint. for the records, I know that Japan has totally different policy about immigration compared to UK. But, it is not completely closed, as we can see, many posters here live in Japan for very long period. There more than 2 milions foreigners in Japan, it is not closed, but less open. Immigration there has slower pace... That's all what I stated.

Again, please don't get offended by my personal opinion. Every country is to be critisized even Japan and UK. and the true is never black and white, but gray, too me.
 

Glenski

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Infection said:
Nonsense, we're all human at the end of the day. 60 years ago you could have argued that British culture is so different from Carribean culture, Chinese culture, Indian culture, Arabic culture, African culture, etc that multiculturalism would never work in the UK and assimilation would be impossible, yet today you have one of the most multicultural countries in Europe and it seems to work well. Why couldn't this work in Japan also?
Because it doesn't. It's clear you don't know much about the topic. I think when you use the word "culture", you are thinking about something vastly different from "attitudes" and "world perspectives" and "openness".

Japanese still largely think they live in a homogeneous society, and they treat it that way.
They signed an international discrimination treaty yet have not enacted any laws to enforce it.
Their population is on the decline, yet they are doing very little to attract foreign workers (which they need so dearly). Send a Japanese businessman abroad to work for a year or so, and when they return, it's not a matter of welcoming him to glean what he learned there. It's more a matter of "job done, now shut up and re-learn things the Japanese way again".

Their "culture" is traditionally slow to react, too, so that doesn't help matters.

The language in the UK is English, a language spoken by more people on the planet than any other except perhaps Mandarin. How many people do you see flocking to China from other countries, compared to the UK? Same holds for Japan and the language. Not so many speak it because there isn't as much of a need.

Look around the UK, and you will not be able to point out a foreigner. Look around Japan, and it's far easier.
 

undrentide

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In the UK, walk into a coffee shop, or a restaurant and 70% of the time you're going to be served by an Eastern European, usually a Polish immigrant.

Likewise, most people working in low-wage, low-skill jobs in the UK are Eastern European immigrants, and in fact I would say British companies prefer to employ Eastern Europeans as they're usually just happy to have a job and don't complain about long hours or demand their employment rights like "lazy" British people do.

However, we all know in Japan this is not the case, and pretty much all low-wage, low-skill positions in Japan are filled by Japanese people almost exclusively.

It's ridiculous to take a Polish immigrant as an example when you compare UK and Japan and their immigration policy.
UK is a member of EU and when Poland joined EU, UK labour market was opened to the Polish. They are free to go and work there.
UK is famous for its strict immigration policy and since 2004 they have millions of workers from other EU countries and decided to give higher obligation for those apply fork permit. (English proficiency level of 窶喇窶單窶嗅窶嘖S 5.5, which is equivalent to those who finished the compulsory education in UK.)

If you want to say UK is liberal and Japan is not, please tell us how easy for a non-EU nationals to obtain a work permit visa in UK.
 

nekojita

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I can give evidence about the UK visa/naturalisation process - and I'm a native English speaker, immigrated from a Commonwealth country. It's an expensive bout of extended hoop-jumping, "easy" in the way that it's probably not difficult to book yourself in for root canal surgery, either. The EU thing is reciprocal so those who whinge about Polish workers should remember that they have the same right to go work in the EU - it's just that Brits, on average, don't speak anything other than English so are ineligible for most jobs.

The UK also has reciprocal arrangements with countries like Australia for younger people to come over for the short term - basically like a holiday but you're allowed to work - seems to remind me of a scheme that exists between the UK and Japan. Can't for the life of me remember what it's called, but I'm pretty sure that should one acquire one of these visas-for-holidaying-where-one-might-also-work, that the person in question could work in a coffee shop or similar establishment, if their language skills were up to the task (ニ暖ニ鍛ニ致ニ馳ツーニ淡ツ|ナ?Oツ坂?伉人ナスツキナス窶凪?ケi窶卮達UTLERS CAFE ?)

This thread is extra amusing to me in that we've lately had a lot of keruffle about the tightening on the immigration rules regarding non-EU citizens which has many people worried (google 'skilled worker visa cap' or something).

Basically, wherever you go, immigration is a PITA. Depending on what your base nationality is, some places are going to be easier to get into than others. An EU citizen has an easier job of it moving around the EU. A Brazilian who has Japanese ancestry would find it easier to go to Japan than to the UK.
 

Glenski

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The UK also has reciprocal arrangements with countries like Australia for younger people to come over for the short term - basically like a holiday but you're allowed to work - seems to remind me of a scheme that exists between the UK and Japan. Can't for the life of me remember what it's called, but I'm pretty sure that should one acquire one of these visas-for-holidaying-where-one-might-also-work, that the person in question could work in a coffee shop or similar establishment, if their language skills were up to the task
It's called a working holiday visa, and Japan has such a relationship with Canada, the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Korea, Germany, France, and Denmark.
MOFA: The Working Holiday Programmes in Japan
 

ruwan

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apan's restrictive tendency is deeply embedded in its history, perhaps even in its people's genes. It has a past of hundreds of years of Seclusion Policy, let alone restrictive.
Historically it has had very little experience of invasions (if any), and visitors bringing in influences and disease from abroad (compared to EU countries). This inherited mentality lives on today in all aspects of its society. Japanese like to stretch out and imitate what they fancy from abroad, but have extremely strong reservations of letting in things they are not used to or not sure they want.
 

OsakaMarie

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I totally agree with undrentide. A Polish friend of mine simply arrived in the UK, found a job and settled in London but ask my Japanese teacher about her experience of staying in London, and it's a totally different story. Despite a long term relationship with a UK citizen, there was no way she could extend her visa. Hopefully, this has a happy ending as these two are now getting married, which will in turn settle the visa matter.
If it is true that it's difficult to get a long-term visa for Japan, I would say it's not that there are flocks of people who actually truly want to stay over here either. There is a lot of superficial interest in Japan and its culture but after a few years (if not a few months) many foreigners get tired of living on planet Mars. Because this is really how it feels being in Japan. Nothing is the same as back home, wherever you come from!
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WeBlogInJapan.com
 

Mike Cash

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Not thinking of it as Mars would help.....
 

Glenski

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If it is true that it's difficult to get a long-term visa for Japan,
Work visas are for 1 or 3 years. They say with some Japanese language ability, immigration might give a 5-year visa beginning in 2012. Otherwise, there is no "long-term" visa. Permanent residence is forever, but it is not a visa status.

many foreigners get tired of living on planet Mars. Because this is really how it feels being in Japan. Nothing is the same as back home, wherever you come from!
I went home last year and thought I had been transported to the United States of Human Balloons. That was Mars to me.

Well, of course, nothing feels the same as back home, simply because this is not back home! People have to have the right expectations or learn to adjust, otherwise they will not have a good time...even on Mars.
 
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