Can Immigration Reform Really Save Japan

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Japanese political administration and economic pundits are working hard to revive the ailing Japanese economy. However, these efforts were not met with success yet. Economists have different opinions about the reasons for the economic crisis in Japan. Some of them blame macroeconomic factors whereas others blame microeconomic factors for Japan’s economic crisis. In any case, it is a fact that the present economic climate in Japan is not so good compared to that in the ’60s and ’70s.

Chris Burges, in his article, "Can Immigration Reform Really Save Japan?" argues that immigration may help Japan immensely in regaining its economic growth back on track. He has pointed out that out of the forecasted 86 million population in Japan by 2060, 40% would be over the age of 65. In other words, rising life expectancy and falling birth rates cause rapid aging in Japan.&nbsp. Burges argues that without immigration, Japan may struggle to find enough labor power to meet the requirements in the near future. This paper analyses the claim that immigration reform can really save Japan.

&nbsp.According to Hidenori Sakanaka, a former director of the Tokyo Immigration Bureau, Only immigration can save Japan. He proposes bringing in 10 million migrants over 50 years (Burges). It is a fact that Japanese products are still number one in terms of quality in the global market. Chinese products are dominating in global market at present, primarily because of the cheap price. On the other hand, quality-conscious consumers still go for Japanese products if they are capable of spending a few dollars more. In other words, the higher price is the major problem which prevents Japanese products from competing in the international market. The major reason for the higher prices of Japanese products is expensive labor. In other words, manpower shortage is a severe problem in Japan at present. It should be noted that China is the most heavily populated country in the world and hence they are not facing any manpower shortage there despite the one-child policy.