Japonia,[ ANALIZY ]

Japanese government’s response to migrant workers in the post-war period



The falling birth rate and the aging of Japanese society has raised the concern of the Japanese government. Japan’s population, which peaked at 128 million in 2004, is falling. If current trends continue, it will drop below the level of 90 million within 50 years and fall by two-thirds to 40 million within 100 years (Sakanaka: 2005). Japan is also confronting the fact that its citizens are entering the labour force in much smaller numbers. Moreover, the higher standard of living in Japanese society compared to other East Asian countries has contributed to the tendency that many Japanese people try to avoid performing jobs called “3-D” jobs – dirty, difficult, and dangerous. It has resulted that in some sectors of industry e.g. in construction there is a big labour shortage. The aging of Japanese society and the labour shortage in recent years has again triggered the debate on the future of Japan’s immigration policy. There are many voices wanting to attract more new immigrants to address labour shortfalls, with the consumer market shrinkage and pension funding problems that population decline will bring. On the other side there are many opponents of the acceptance of larger numbers of immigrants. They pointed out problems of the assimilation of immigrants into Japanese society, and also the language barrier and high crime rate among newcomers. They are advocates of continuing the conservative policy of strict control of the immigrant’s influx. Hence, Japan’s foreign worker problem is a serious one that will influence the future of country’s economy and the lives of ordinary people.

This paper examines the characteristics of the Japanese government’s policy toward immigrant workers in the post-war period. First, this essay will present the brief history of immigration to Japan after the end of the Pacific War in 1945. Second, it will describe the government’s policy toward immigrant workers and how this policy has changed. Finally, it will present opinions about the future of Japanese immigration policy.

I. Post-war immigration to Japan


Before the Pacific War and also during the war itself Japan attracted many labour workers from its colonies (especially from Korea and Taiwan). The reason was that during the war Japan began to face labour shortages because so many able-bodied young men were in the armed forces. As a result, by 1940 there were 1,190,444 Koreans in Japan. During the war, more Koreans were brought to Japan as forced workers. In 1944, the Korean population in Japan peaked at almost two million people. They were the biggest group of foreigners in Japan. It is necessary to stress that Koreans did not appear in Japan just before the war. After 1910 when Korea was annexed by Japan, the number of Koreans in Japan was already increasing gradually and reached the peak during the war. Many of them immigrated to Japan before the war seeking a better life. They had Japanese citizenship which was imposed on them by Japanese authorities. They tended to work as launderers, junk men, charcoal makers, garbage collectors, miners, and on construction crews. Ordinary Japanese looked down on them as poor, uneducated, and dirty people. Usually, Koreans existed at the bottom of society (Oka, 1994:12). On the other hand, there were smaller numbers of Chinese and Taiwanese residents in Japan at the end of the Pacific War.

The defeat of Japan in the Pacific War in 1945 meant that Japan and its colonies were occupied by the victorious Allies. Morris-Suzuki (2006: 3) explains that the Allied occupation forces in Japan and South Korea tended to regard colonial immigrants as “displaced persons”. Furthermore, they initiated massive repatriation programs. It was generally assumed that repatriation would result in the return to Korea of almost all the two million Koreans in Japan. However, it soon became clear that not all were immediately eager to return. Some had lived in Japan for most of their lives. Besides, the unstable political situation in post-war Korea meant that many had no homes or jobs to return to. After the war, most of the Koreans and Chinese were repatriated, but large numbers remained. It is estimated, that about 830,000 Koreans remained in Japan (Oka, 1994: 9). Many of them who had been repatriated tried to find ways to come back to Japan. Morris-Suzuki (2006: 9) pointed out that between April and December 1946, 17,787 “illegal entrants” to Japan were arrested by the police. The majority of them were Koreans wanting to come back to Japan. Moreover, the unstable political situation and the threat of civil war in Korea influenced the growing numbers of Koreans wanting to enter Japan. The main reasons of that were: to join relatives in Japan, the bad economic and politic situation in their country and the better working conditions in Japan.

In September 1951 Japan signed the San Francisco Peace Treaty ending the Allied occupation of Japan. In article 2 it is stated that Japan recognized the independence of Korea and renounced all right, title and claim to Korea. In April 1952, on the day when the implementation of the San Francisco Peace Treaty ended the occupation, the Japanese government unilaterally revoked the Japanese nationality of all Koreans and Taiwanese in Japan. It resulted that those who lost their nationality were also left without any clearly-defined residence status (Morris-Suzuki, 2006: 8).

The “illegal immigration” to Japan stabilized in the late 1950s and started to decline gradually in the first half of the 1960s. In that period Japan’s economy recovered and faced a labour shortage, first in small workshops and in the service industries, then in construction. In Europe, under similar circumstances, industries imported foreign workers. It was common in Germany and France. Japan overcame its labour shortage in the 1960’s relying on its internal workforce from the countryside and by employing laboursaving measures (Manic, 2003:21). Companies were encouraged by the government to automate and to use robots rather than to depend on cheap imported labour (Oka, 1994:9).

The second stage of large influx of foreign illegal workers started in the middle of the 1970s and ended in 1986. The majority of them were women from East-Asian countries (South Korea and Taiwan) and South-East Asia (Thailand and the Philippines). These women entered Japan with tourists or entertainers’ visas, and worked as singers, hostesses or strippers. Some even engaged in prostitution (Kim, 1997: 12). From 1976 the number of “entertainer workers” began to gradually increase. It amounted to 10,738 in 1976; 20,580 in 1980; 34,569 in 1985; 71,026 in 1988 (Shimada 1994: 16). In the 1970s entertainers’ workers represented majority of new foreign workers in Japan. It is interesting that comparing the 1950s to the 1970s there was shift in the motives for migration to Japan. In the early 1950s, family connections to Japan and the impact of Korean War were major factors. In the mid-1970s, the majority of undocumented immigrants were coming to Japan for employment purposes (Moriss-Suzuki, 2006:14).

It is characteristic that in the 1980s, during the period of the “bubble economy” when the Japanese economy was growing at high rate more males began coming to Japan to work as manual labourers in the manufacturing and construction industries. This period was very good for the Japanese economy and there was high demand for unskilled workers.

The fast development of the Japanese economy in the 1980s and the large demand for a labour force resulted in Japan revising Immigration Control Law and opening the country to descendants of its citizens who had emigrated abroad. Nikkeijin began to come to the country of their ancestors. Many of them were second and third generation Japanese who immigrated to South America. Most came intending to earn some money in Japan and then return home with savings. However, many of them remained in Japan. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs estimated that as of June 1991 there were 148,700 people in the country, made up mostly of Brazilians (80.7%), followed by Peruvians (12.1%), Argentineans (5.7%), Bolivians (1.0%), and Paraguayans (0.5%) (Komai, 1995: 3)

Today, Nikkeijin (particularly Japanese Brazilians) number is around 250,000 (Tsuda, 2004). Despite the fact that Nikkeijin are ethnically Japanese they have been assimilated into South American culture. They also hardly speak Japanese. In Japanese society they are perceived as foreigners. Tsuda (2004) explained that because of their limited Japanese, and other factors, with few exceptions the only work in Japan they are qualified for are low skill and low status positions, such as assembly line work.

At the same time many foreign workers came also from other countries like China, Malaysia, Thailand, Iran, Pakistan, Bangladesh, China and Philippines. Those people usually did not speak Japanese and were not familiar with Japanese culture so they worked as low-paid unskilled workers.

The revision of Immigration Control Law has relaxed the immigration policy in Japan and allowed to bring Nikkeijin and other foreign workers. The new Immigration Control Law introduced new categories of residence status which will be more widely discussed in the next part of the essay. The new law made it easier for foreign workers with specialist skills and knowledge to enter Japan. On the other hand, under the new law many unskilled foreign workers were attracted by Japanese companies as so called “trainees”.

It is estimated that the number of registered foreign residents at the end of 2004 totalled a record high of 1.97 million. It accounted of 1.5 percent of Japan’s total population. The majority of them are Korean, Chinese and Brazilians (see Table. 1).

Table 1. Foreign Nationals Registered in Japan by Nationality (Place of Origin), 1995 and 2004




(Place of origin)



South & North Korea











































Source: Migration Information Source, www.migrationinformation.org/Profiles/display.cfm?ID=487




II. The Government’s policy toward immigration to Japan

As was mentioned above the Allied occupation forces in Japan tended to regard colonial immigrants as “displaced persons”. As a result they initiated massive repatriation programs from Japan to Korea. At the end of the 1940s when the Cold War began and the political situation in the Korean Peninsula was unstable it was obvious that Japan and the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers (SCAP) wanted to control the inflow of foreigners. Morris-Suzuki (2006: 8) explained that Japanese government maintained sweeping restrictions on entry. In 1947, urged on by SCAP, the government introduced an Alien Registration Ordinance requiring foreigners in Japan to carry identity cards at all times. Both SCAP’s entry controls and the Alien Registration ordinance were applied to Koreans and Taiwanese despite the fact that they were at that time Japanese nationals in terms of international law. In the colonial period, Korean and Taiwanese had possessed Japanese nationality. Those who migrated to Japan and remained there after the war retained their Japanese nationality throughout the occupation.

The implementation in 1951 Migration Control Ordinance after consultation with the USA almost entirely prohibited the entry of foreign workers. On the other hand the new law said nothing about the status of Koreans and Taiwanese residents in Japan, because they were not officially “foreigners” at that time. Moreover, after the implementation of the San Francisco Peace Treaty in 1952, as was mentioned earlier, the Japanese government unilaterally revoked the Japanese nationality of Taiwanese and Koreans in Japan. In that situation many of them lost basic rights which they had possessed as Japanese citizens. Additionally, they were also left without any clearly-defined residence status or any assured right to re-enter Japan if they travelled abroad (Morris-Suzuki 2006: 9).

Under the new law the government conducted very strict immigration policy. The immigration control functions were in the Immigration Control Bureau located within the Ministry of Justice. Morris-Suzuki (2006: 16) explains that the Bureau worked closely with the coastguard, police, and the local officials responsible for implementing the Alien Registration system. All local government officials were supposed to report anyone whom they suspected of being an illegal immigrant.


These two previously mentioned regulations began the new shift in the Japanese government’s policy toward immigrants. It was a shift from policy of bringing foreign workers to Japan before and during the war to the conservative policy of “closed-door” for especially unskilled foreign workers. It is obvious that during the 1950s and 1960s the economy and political situation in Japan was completely different than during the 1940s. During the war Japan needed many foreign workers for war-orientated industry. After the war many demobilized Japanese soldiers returned home as did Japanese from former colonies. The country was destroyed; there was high unemployment and poverty was common. It was not necessary to allow entry to Japan for new foreign workers at a time when many native Japanese were unemployed. The situation changed during the 1960s. After the recovery in the 1950s the Japanese economy was developing very quickly. In some sectors of industry labour shortages occurred. The government was conscious of that situation. However, as Oka (1994: 9) notes; the Japanese government: “claimed that Japan’s economic prowess derived in large part from the homogeneity of its people, and they encouraged companies to automate and to use robots rather than to depend on cheap imported labour”. Weiner (2000: 58) points out that the problem of labour shortage was also satisfied through annual increases in the number of school graduates entering the job market and internal migration from rural to urban areas. On the other hand, groups of small enterprises tried hard to persuade the National Diet to invite foreign workers into the country four times at the end of the 1960s and the beginning of the 1970s (Kim, 1997: 26). However, despite discussion about the possible introduction of foreign migrant workers into the unskilled industrial sector, the government decided not to accept such workers following debates in 1967, 1973 and 1976 (Sellek, 2001b: 23).

Immigration Control Act

In the 1980s Japan was much better developed than its Asian neighbours. Unlike countries in Western Europe Japan achieved its success without reliance on foreign labour. However, in the 1980s Japan faced a fast growing number of illegal foreign immigrants, especially from other Asian countries. According to Sellek (2001a: 190) there were various factors causing that situation including: demographic forces (i.e. the low fertility rates and population aging), the economic boom in Japan, the labour shortage in certain types of industry where jobs which were characterised as “3D”, together with the appreciation of the yen. The growing number of foreign illegal workers again triggered the discussion about acceptance or refusal foreign workers by Japan. Opponents pointed out that Japan should accept only high-skilled foreign workers in order to participate in the global economy as well as to keep up with advanced Western countries. Therefore, Japan should import Western human capital. They also stated that the labour shortage in certain types of industry can be satisfied by automation of production, better utilisation of women and elderly workers. On the other side, advocates of attracting foreign workers explained that demand for unskilled foreign workers increased because native Japanese refused to take “3D” jobs. The only way to satisfy labour shortage in those sectors is to attract unskilled foreign workers.

The most significant development in Japan’s policy on foreign workers was the implementation of the revised Immigration Control Law in June 1990. It was the government’s response to Japan’s growing need for a foreign workforce while reinforcing measures to control illegal foreign workers (Sellek, 2001a: 191). The Revised Immigration Law has three main features. First, it simplifies immigration procedures for highly qualified foreigners with specialist skills or knowledge. Second, the revised law reaffirms the strict ban on immigration for the purpose of employment by illegal foreign workers. Finally, the new law clarifies the standard for immigration screening (Shimada, 1994: 62). The revised Immigration Control Act also separated alien residence status into eighteen categories, seven of which permitted employment. It established twenty-eight categories for legal residence and fourteen for legal employment. With the exception of company trainees, students, and the descendants of Japanese nationals (up to third generation), the employment of unskilled foreign workers was prohibited. The employer who employed illegal immigrants could be punished by a maximum fine of 2 million yen. (Weiner, 2000: 61).

In other words, the revised Immigration Control Act confirmed the very strict and long-lasting government’s policy to not accept foreign unskilled workers. It seems that the government still tried to avoid creating a long-term immigration policy.

On the other hand, according to Sellek (2001a: 192) it was characteristic of the government that it attempted to reduce the illegal workforce, but, in order to respond to the long-term structural shortages of labour in the Japanese labour market, it had introduced legal unskilled foreign labour using various informal “side-door” mechanisms. Kim (1997: 16) explained that government decided to create such mechanisms because they could not ignore the real problem of growing labour shortages particularly in manufacturing and construction sectors. It is possible to recognize three main kinds of informal way of accepting unskilled foreign workers. First was allowing the entry of Nikkeijin, second was Training Programmes and third was allowing to work by foreign students.

  • South American-Japanese descendants (Nikkeijin)

The Revised Immigration Control Act created a new category of residence called “long-term resident” which made available to the second and the third generation of Nikkeijin as well as to the the spouses of Nikkeijin. Sellek (2001a: 192) stressed that “it happened while still preserving the myth of Japan’s ethnic homogeneity…” The government decided to attract descendants of Japanese citizens supposing that they could adapt to life in Japan more easily. However, the number of Nikkeijin, especially third generation, who were able to understand Japanese culture and to speak Japanese, was extremely small. It resulted that assimilation into Japanese society was very difficult for them and very often Nikkeijin live together creating their own distinct society. Their contacts with local Japanese people are very rare and the process of integration with the local community is very slow. On the other hand many of them came to Japan to attempt to earn some money and then come back home with savings. They do not intend to settle in Japan permanently. Usually, Nikkeijin work as low-paid unskilled workers. Between 1990 and June 1991, the Nikkeijin population, comprised primarily of Brazilian and Peruvian nationals, more than doubled from 71,495 to 148,700 (Weiner, 2000: 61).

  • Trainees

The system of Industrial Trainee Programs existed on a small scale in Japan in the 1960s. During that period enterprises saw the programme as an alternative way to bring in foreign workers. Kim (1997: 26) notes that no large scale attempts to use trainee programmes had been made by the early 1980s. In 1981 the Japanese immigration control system established the initial arrangement for accepting trainees by defining trainee status (Mori, 1997: 116). The term “trainee” referred to unskilled workers who could gain skills and practical work experience doing job for employers. However, this system was very often used by employers to abuse labour law. Trainees were not classified as labourers. Since their work was seen as a part of their training, they normally received pocket money and a living allowance only. Moreover, the training was often simply the provision of jobs that required few skills and no training at all. In many cases, trainees were sent directly to the workplace on arrival in Japan. It was obvious that Industrial Trainee Programme was just an alternative way of bringing cheap labour into the workforce (Manic, 2003: 28).

In 1993 the Ministry of Justice implemented the Technical Intern Training Programme (TITP). It was the response of the government for the criticism that the training program had been used to allow companies to use trainees as low-paid workers. According to Mori (1997: 118) there were two main objectives of new trainee systems. First, to prevent illegal employment under the pretext of training; and second, to pave the way for private enterprises to invite trainees through private-based channels in response to their increasing demand for trainees.

Under the TITP, foreigners are allowed to work for a maximum of three years under the residential status of “special activities”, if their skill levels have achieved a certain standard for a certain period after completion of the internship program (Kuwahara, 2005: 15). With the introduction of TITP the situation of trainees became better in comparison to the system of Industrial Trainee Programs. The trainee covered both the conventional training period and practical training. The programme is distinguished from conventional training (on-the job training and off-the job training) based on the fact that it is executed under an employment contract. Since the trainees in the TITP work legally under an employment contract, they are fully paid as employees and since trainees as treated as workers Japan’s labour law covers their work (Mori, 1997: 127).

To conclude, the TITP is recognized as a channel of introducing legal foreign workers for unskilled jobs. However, according to Kuwahara (2005: 16) many users of the training program are small and medium-sized firms which can not provide satisfactory training programs by themselves.

  • Foreign students

Many foreign workers very commonly use the residence status of “pre-collage student” to work illegally. Many of them come to Japan to study Japanese at language schools in order to enter Japanese universities. The increasing influx of pre-college students begun in 1983 when Prime Minister Nakasone proposed to accept 100,000 foreign students by the beginning of the twenty-first century as part of the campaign towards the internationalisation of Japan. Hence, the government significantly simplified the procedure for the issuance of pre-college-student visas. From that moment the number of pre-college students started to increase. The number of foreigners entering Japan on this kind of visa was 4.140 in 1984, but by 1988 this figure had risen to 35.107. The majority (90 per cent) of pre-college students were Chinese. Together with this, the number of Japanese language schools also increased rapidly. In 1984 there were 49 language schools in Japan, but by 1988 there were 309 (Sellek, 2001b: 86-88).

In order to cover tuition fees and living expenses, pre-college students could work a maximum of four hours a day and report that to the Immigration Bureau. In reality, the cost of living in Japan is very high so that limit was usually not observed by foreign students. Thus, the large proportion of foreign students work longer hours than permitted and fail to report about it to the authorities (Kuwahara, 2005: 13). The majority of foreign students work in the service industry as, for example, waiters, waitresses and newspaper-delivery boys. By 2002 the number of foreign students doing part-time work stood at 83.340 (Tezuka, 2005: 11).

The government is conscious that many students work longer hours than permitted but because of Japan’s declining birth rate and falling university-age population; there has been intense competition to attract foreign students to Japanese universities. Therefore, the government conducted a policy to facilitate studying at Japanese universities. In November 1999, the government set up special measures to help those who intend to study in Japan on a private basis by providing each student with a one-off financial contribution of 150,000 yen towards their accommodation expenses. The acceptance of a large number of foreign students is important for the government in order to create the vision of Japan as an intellectual and economic leader in East Asia (Sellek, 2001a: 195).

III. Conclusion. The future of Japanese migration policy

It is necessary to stress that during the post-war period the Japanese government did not establish the long-term immigration policy. All steps which were taken by the government were focused on current problems regarding foreign illegal immigrants. The Government policy was ad hock. During the post-war period the following governments maintained the “closed-door” policy for foreign unskilled workers. On the other hand, they created mechanisms (formal and informal) to accept some numbers of unskilled immigrants. The following Japanese governments accepted only high-skilled foreign workers. That policy was conducted in the spirit of introducing modern western-ways of management and maintaining the competitiveness of the Japanese economy. However, during the last 20 years the number of foreigners in Japan increased greatly and now they account for 1.5 percent of Japan’s total population. Foreign immigrants have begun to be part of daily life in present-day Japan. Moreover, as the low birth-rate continues and the Japanese population declines the number of foreign residents will surely increase year by year. In that situation the Japanese government should set up a long-term immigration policy in response to the above-mentioned problems. It might be possible to predict the vision of that policy. According to Sakanaka (2005) the government can consider two options. The first option, the small option is to allow the population to decline and to strengthen the “closed-door policy”. The big option is accepting larger numbers of immigrants. The danger in accepting the small option is that if the population continues to fall, there is high chance of economic depression and social stagnation. On the other hand, accepting the big option would help to compensate for the declining of the Japanese population through a mass influx of immigrants. It would also maintain economic growth and Japan’s position as a leading global economy. However, there is a danger that mass influx of foreign immigrants can cause many social problems. It is estimated that Japan should accept approximately 400,000 foreign workers a year. Sakanaka (2005) stressed that it is perhaps unrealistic to expect that Japanese people would welcome so many immigrants when they have almost no experience of living together with people from other countries. In 2004, the public opinion concerning the acceptance of immigrants was expressed in a survey. The survey showed that those who replied “unskilled workers should be widely accepted without any particular condition” accounted for 16.7 percent, those who called for “acceptance with certain requirements” accounted for 39.0 percent, and those “who refused to accept any foreign workers” for 25.9 percent (Ogawa, 2005: 9). The survey presents that Japanese society is still very distrustful of the idea of accepting a large number of immigrants.

To conclude, the Japanese government should take steps to establish a long-term immigration policy. Ogawa (2005: 19) argues that the question of the acceptance of immigrants is a crucial issue in national politics. It should be discussed in connection with social security, education, public safety, industrial competitiveness and regional policies. Thus, any policy toward foreign immigrants requires a public consensus.  

List of References

Herbert, Wolfgang (1996) Foreign Workers and Law Enforcement in Japan, London and New York: Kegan Paul International.

Kim, Je-Yong (1997), The Development of Japan’s Migrant Worker Policy, unpublished MA dissertation, University of Sheffield.


Komai, Hiroshi (1995) Migrant workers in Japan, London and New York: Kegan Paul International.

Koshiro, Kazutoshi (1998) “Does Japan Need Imimmigrants?” in Weiner Myron and Hanami Tadashi (eds.), Temporary Workers or Future Citizens?: Japanese and U.S. Migration Polices, London: Macmillan Press Ltd.

Kuwahara, Yasuo (2005), Migrant Workers in The Post-War History of Japan, Japan Labour Review, (2)4: 25-48.

Manic, K. Devina (2003), Immigration Policies of Japan and Germany: Comparison, unpublished MA dissertation, University of Sheffield.

Mori, Hiromi (1997) Immigration Policy and Foreign Workers in Japan, New York: Macmillan Press Ltd.

Ogawa, Makoto (2005) Current Issues Concerning Foreign Workers in Japan, Japan Labour Review, (2)4: 6-25.

Oka, Takashi (1994), Prying Open The Door: Foreign Workers in Japan, Contemporary Issues Paper No.2, Washington D.C.: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Sellek, Yoko (2001)(a) “Migration, globalization and the nation state, Japan” 188-210, in Hasegawa Harukiyo and Hook D. Glenn (eds.), The Political Economy of Japanese Globalization, London: Routledge.

Sellek, Yoko (2001)(b) Migrant Labour in Japan, New York: Palgrave.

Shimada, Haruo (1994), Japan’s “Guest Workers”, University of Tokyo Press.

Tezuka, Kazuaki (2005) Foreign Workers in Japan: Reality and Challenges, Japan Labour Review, (2)4: 48-72.

Weiner, Michael (2000) “Japan in the age of migration” 52-69, in Douglas Mike and Roberts S. Glenda (eds.) Japan and Global Migration: Foreign workers and the advent of a multicultural society, London and New York: Routledge.

Internet sources

Morris-Suzuki, Tessa (2006), Invisible Imimmigrants: Undocumented Migration and Border Controls in Early Postwar Japan, Japan Focus- an Asia Pacific e-journal [online].

Available at <URL www.japanfocus.org/products/details/2210> [Accessed 18 April 2007].

Sakanaka, Hidenori (2005),The Future of Japan’s Immigration Policy: a battle diar, Japan Focus- an Asia Pacific e-journal [online].

Available at <URL www.japanfocus.org/products/details/2396 > [Accessed 11 April 2007].

Tsuda, Takeyuki (2004) Japanese Brazilian Return Migration and the Making of Japan’s Newest Immigrant Minority. [online]

Available at <URL www.international.ucla.edu/article.asp?parentid=6996> [Accessed 21 April 2007]

Treaty of Peace with Japan, September 08, 1951, San Francisco, California, USA [online]

Available at <URL www.isop.ucla.edu/eas/documents/peace1951.htm> [Accessed 20 April 2007]

Japanese government’s response to migrant workers in the post-war period Reviewed by on 12 października 2009 .

TYLKO WERSJA ANGIELSKA/ ENGLISH VERSION ONLY. The falling birth rate and the aging of Japanese society has raised the concern of the Japanese government. Japan’s population, which peaked at 128 million in 2004, is falling. If current trends continue, it will drop below the level of 90 million within 50 years and fall by two-thirds




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