2nd Roundtable on Japan's Migration Policy FY2019

September 24, 2019
Tokyo, Japan

A meeting of the Roundtable on Japan’s Migration Policy was held with 20 of the 28 members represented. A new Roundtable member, Masahisa Miyazaki (member of the House of Representatives and parliamentary secretary of the Ministry of Justice), was introduced at the beginning of the meeting. Then, members reported on the recent status in their respective areas. 

Masaharu Nakagawa, a member of the House of Representatives who was involved in drafting the “Law Concerning Japanese Language Education,” explained that the government will be responsible for Japanese language education for foreigners, and will be formulating and executing plans for that.

Satoshi Seki, secretary-general of the Japan Association of New Economy, who attended on behalf of Hiroshi Mikitani, outlined that organization’s “Proposal for the establishment of Japan’s ‘immigration policy’—the enforcement of the revised Immigration Control Act.” He emphasized the importance of viewing immigrants not just as supplemental labor, but as a source of innovation, and stressed that public and private efforts are needed for Japan to be more attractive to foreigners and develop a broader array of career paths. Osamu Ide of Idea Kyushu Asia updated the group on preparations for a planned Roundtable outreach meeting in Fukuoka. 

Following the update on the members’ activities, Hideaki Sekino of Meiji University then offered a presentation on “Lessons for Japan from Germany’s Immigration Policy,” which was followed by a lively discussion that touched on the evolution of German immigration policy, the background behind the rise of the far right in Germany, and the impact of regional characteristics on that policy. Mr. Kunimatsu, co-chair of the Roundtable, concluded the meeting by emphasizing the need for a pragmatic approach toward increasing migrants, as was taken by the German government.