Prying open the door: foreign workers in Japan

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Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1994 - Business & Economics - 83 pages
Immigration is a sensitive issue in most societies today and Japan is no exception. In this penetrating study, Takashi Oka brings to light the current trend toward a more heterogeneous Japanese labor force. The report questions the traditional notion that Japan is a closed society, as it is perceived both at home and abroad. It focuses on Japanese policy toward foreign workers and new social dynamics brought about by economic prosperity and demographic shifts. Oka explores the motivation that drives economic immigrants - from Latin America, the Middle East, and all parts of Asia - to Japan. His anecdotes demonstrate the unique problems that each ethnic group has faced and the public debate that increasing social diversity demands. The author closes the discussion with near- and long-term recommendations that include consideration of illegal-alien amnesty laws, health care coverages, and the adoption of comprehensive domestic and regional immigration strategies.

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