JCIE conducted a survey of local Japanese governments on July 10–30, 2014, as part of the Population Decline and a Vision for Accepting Foreigners into Japan Project. Japan’s shrinking population has spurred fierce debate about accepting foreigners. This survey was conducted in order to gauge the attitudes of local governments toward accepting incoming foreigners (immigrants).

Research Methods

The questionnaire was sent to prefectures and major cities, and the responses were tabulated.

  • Prefectures: 29 questionnaires collected (61.7%)
  • Major cities: 15 questionnaires collected (75%)
  • Total: 44 questionnaires collected (65.7%)

Notable Results

  1. No one answered, “Immigration increase is not desirable.” Absolutely none of the prefectures or major cities answered that increasing the number of permanent residents is undesirable.
  2. Regarding multicultural support for foreigners in Japan, 80% of the responses were “Progressing “ or “Progressing to a certain extent.”
  3. No one answered, “There are serious issues with permanent residents within the region.” Prefectures and local governments cited the biggest challenge as “Distributing information targeting permanent residents.” (Approximately 76%, 73%) Prefectures cited the second biggest challenge as “budgeting and a lack of supervisors” (55%) while major cities chose “comprehending the situation of permanent residents.” (60%).
  4. Most responders positively view immigration as a way to globalize the prefecture, solve the shortage of caregivers due to the declining birth rate, stabilize development in the prefecture, and achieve a rich and lively society.