Thursday, September 07, 2006

The New Japan

I found an interesting article today about immigration in Japan. Although we personally have no plans to apply for naturalization, we have certainly seen the lack of foreign support inherent in the society as a whole. Things like signing up for cell phones and the internet, purchasing a car, even finding a place to live are incredibly difficult without the support of someone, be it friend or company, who is indeed Japanese.

I don’t mean to sound arrogant, as if the nation has to get down on its hands and knees and cater to foreigners. I believe those who move to a foreign country have a responsibility to spend time and effort learning the language, government processes, and rules of their new home. But I also think that it’s necessary to have structures in place that will assist these efforts, especially if the nation begins to rely heavily upon these immigrants for their economic well-being.

At the very least, pave the way in legislation that allows the immigrant groups themselves to support each other effectively and without governmental hindrance. It would be a step in the right direction, which is anywhere away from the "gaijin may be in Japan, but they're not part of Japan" mindset.

Sadly, second-class citizenship is not a thing of the past. It can even be found in the teacher's room of a junior high school.

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