Números da imigração estrangeira no Japão
Proposta maior rigidez na renovação de vistos de permanência para estrangeiros com ascendência japonesa
Envelhecimento demográfico e necessidade de imigrantes no Japão
Migração interna na China provoca separação de famílias
Exílio de tibetanos e migrações de chineses Han para o Tibete
Since 1990, ethnic Japanese have been allowed to move to Japan and
work. About 20 percent of Japan 's two million foreigners are Nikkei,
second- or third-generation descendants of Japanese who emigrated to
Brazil and Peru early in the 20th century. Another 600,000 foreigners
in Japan are Koreans.
Japan is aging, but Tara Kono, Japan 's vice justice minister, said in
June 2006 that foreigners should remain less than three percent of
the population (they are now about 1.6 percent of Japanese
Japan in 2006 began to recover from 15 years of economic stagnation
amidst rising inequality. In Osaka , almost 30 percent of school
children qualify for small education aid payments, in part because
their parents' incomes have not risen in the past decade. Parents
with money put their children into private junior high schools that
offer guaranteed access to prestigious private high schools and thus
raise the chances of getting into a top university.
Japan was a highly stratified society before World War II, but after
the war became an egalitarian society in which large companies
offered lifetime employment and promoted employees according to
seniority. Today, Japanese in their 20s and 30s are divided between
those who are full-time employees and permanent temporary workers.
Japan Times, 19/07/06:
Stricter visa rules eyed for foreigners of Japanese descent
The ruling Liberal Democratic Party's special committee on foreign workers proposed Tuesday that the government set stricter regulations for foreign nationals of Japanese descent when they renew their visas.
Holders of the Japanese ancestry visa can renew the three-year permits almost unconditionally. But under the new proposals, foreigners with Japanese blood would have to have regular jobs, speak Japanese and prove they are paying into social
The committee also urged the government to provide more chances for the children of foreigners to learn Japanese in public schools.
"Our proposals are aimed at addressing problems regarding foreign workers that have surfaced," including the education of foreign children, said Yoshio Kimura, the Lower House lawmaker heading the panel. "It's
important to take measures to better integrate foreigners into society."
There are about 230,000 foreigners of Japanese descent in Japan , but many of them do not have social insurance and their children sometimes drop out of school because of the language barrier.
Language ability, school attendance and
proof of social security should all be checked when Japanese ancestry visas are renewed, the panel said.
To increase foreign participation in social security, the pension system should be reviewed to ensure all premiums paid into the system are refunded when foreigners return to their home countries. At this time, only part of the premiums are refunded.
Compulsory education for foreign children should also be considered, with their mother tongues taught in public schools so the children will have fewer problems after returning to their countries.
Although elementary and secondary education is mandatory for Japanese children, it is not required for foreigners.
As for foreign job trainees, the panel called for extending their period
of stay from the present three years to five.
According to the proposal, foreign trainees in the government-backed industrial job training program can re-enter Japan after finishing the three-year program and receive training for another two years, if their employers want to keep them on.
To acquire more
skilled workers from various industries, the government should consider creating a new system, the panel said.
Japan grants work visas to foreigners for 27 kinds of specific jobs that require particular qualifications. Only foreign nationals of Japanese descent are permitted to take unskilled jobs.
[notícia enviada por Elisa Sasaki]
Daily Telegraph, 29/06/06:
Japan confronts age of the last samurai
THE Japanese are disappearing. Not overnight, but it is predicted by 2050 the 126.9 million population will dwindle by 20 per cent, or 25 million.
a loss of more people than there are now in Australia .
The shrinking is caused by some of the factors responsible for shrinking Western nations such as Italy . Ageing populations and falling birth rates.
In Japan, however, where the life expectancy for men is nearly 79 and for women is nearly 86, one to three years higher than the average life expectancies of Australian men (about 78) and women (about 83), the next longest-living people on average, the approaching problems are becoming very obvious, very fast.
By 2050, for example, the percentage of the Japanese population aged 65 and older will be in the order of 36 per cent, placing a huge burden on the infrastructure, particularly on health costs.
In something of a paradox, the healthy Japanese lifestyle has ensured there will be more elderly needing aged care than there will be in other nations where people succumb to lifestyle-related illnesses.
It is also somewhat ironic that the even healthier younger generation say they are less interested in sex than their parents were.
There are a number of reasons advanced for this, including sheer exhaustion. Japanese men are noted for their disciplined commitment to work and long hours, plus a tendency to hang with friends from the office and drink before commuting home, which, combined with the tendency to marry and have children later in life, narrows opportunities radically.
And there is a more worrying trend, according to a report in the Japan Times: a rise in the number of couples who do not have sex at all.
The survey of 936 couples aged 16 to 49 by the Japan Family Planning Association and Jichi Medical University in Tochigi Prefecture last year found that 31 per cent did not have any sexual contact over a month, for no particular reason.
An annual international sex survey conducted by a condom maker last October found the average Japanese has sexual intercourse 45 times a year, compared with the global average of 103, placing the Japanese at the bottom of the list behind Singaporeans, with an average of 73.
The university survey found that there was a major communication problem among those people it talked to, with 44 per cent of those not having much sex saying they felt having a relationship with a person of the opposite sex was ``very tiresome'' or ``somewhat tiresome'', 14 per cent higher than those who had sex more
Whether it is the lack of sex, or stress caused by work or a combination of both, Japanese men are also experiencing falling sperm counts.
If the sperm count of a Japanese male is set at 100, a Dane would have count of 104, a
Frenchman would register 110, a Scot 128 and a Finn 147.
Perhaps there is an opportunity for Treasurer Peter Costello to market the efficacy of his ``one for the mum, one for the dad and one for the country'' approach to family planning, and encourage the Japanese Government to introduce a baby-bonus scheme as well.
There are those who see a falling fertility rate (it is now about 1.25) as a good thing, citing such supposed benefits as less crowded trains, easier access to holiday resorts and more spacious homes but they do not seem to take into account the need for train drivers to run the fewer trains, nor the need for more doctors and nurses, let alone the inability of the Japanese state pension program to meet the growing demands.
Immigration is unlikely to be of much assistance.
The diminishing population may lessen Japan's demand for resources -- and
make it easier for it to meet its Kyoto Protocol targets -- but a smaller, older demographic will need more assistance to exist.
There are about two million foreign residents living legally in the country, and a growing number of illegal migrants from China , Korea and other Asian nations, but not enough to plug the gaps at the less skilled end of the workforce.
Certainly Japan 's refugee program will not be of any help, with just nine asylum seekers and refugees accepted into Japan in 2004 -- or slightly less than one per cent of the number accepted by Australia .
Whatever lip service the Japanese may pay to feel-good fads like the disastrous multiculturalism which has eroded Western nations like the
UK , the number of marriages between Japanese and foreigners is miniscule, with only 40,000 reported in 2004.
Nor are the local areas in which mixed couples living making it any easier. A number of education authorities are already complaining about the additional expense involved in teaching the children from mixed marriages Japanese.
Given that Japan has a history of discrimination against its minority groups, the Ainu of Hokkaido, Okinawans and Burakumin, it will be some time before the Japanese accept immigrants as comparatively readily as nations like Australia and the US have done historically.
Though the black armband brigade endeavours to portray Anglophone nations like Australia, the UK and America as racist and neo-colonialist, they ignore the experiences and contributions of first and second-generation Australians such as General Sir John Monash, the most outstanding general of his generation, and even the makeup of the Australian World Cup soccer team which has thrilled the nation over the
The Japanese are only now thinking of the lesson of migration.
Their national experience over the past century has taught them that they cannot close their doors to the new or rely on dynastic leadership if their country is to survive.
And no one in Japan wants to be the last samurai.
* Piers Akerman
is taking part in an Australia-Japan exchange as a guest of the Japanese Foreign Affairs Ministry
Los Angeles Times, 05/07/06:
Orphans of the Chinese Economy
Millions of children are separated from parents who have left their villages to make a living.
The social effects may be tragic and
By Ching-Ching Ni, Times Staff Writer
QINGSHEN, China The "left-behind children" in China 's countryside know their parents' cellphone or factory dorm numbers by heart. But when they call them, the phones are usually turned off or ring on and on.
"My parents had to work overtime in the factory so they didn't make it home for New Year's," said Yang Weibo, 16, who spent the Chinese holiday with his grandmother. "My mom called to say she was heartbroken. I miss her."
Lu Siqin can't help but cry whenever someone mentions her parents. The 13-year-old doesn't remember the last time she saw her father. He left home to work on a construction site when she was 5. Her mother is deaf and mentally disabled. Siqin grew up in a world with few sounds of life. The only person she can talk to a little is her frail 73-year-old grandmother, who is nearly blind.
In the two teens'
classrooms, about half the children raise their hands when asked how many are in a similar situation. Their parents are spread all over the world's most populous country, working on construction sites and factory floors, and in restaurants and timber mills.
As capitalism transforms this nominally communist nation, it has quietly reshaped the lives of China 's rural young, creating a new underclass called liu shou er tong, or the "left-behind children." An entire generation is growing up without parents in deserted villages populated mostly by the very young and elderly.
Here in Sichuan province, in this cluster of villages that make up Qingshen town, cornstalks and bamboo groves shadow abandoned country roads and barnyard animals haunt empty farmhouses.
At Siqin's house, neighborhood dogs roll around in
the courtyard waiting for scraps from her grandmother. An old man in a faded Mao suit takes slow drags from a bamboo pipe. A little boy stares at the smoke.
According to official figures, an estimated 120 million Chinese farmers have left their birthplaces in search of work in the cities. But some say the number could be as high as 150 million and is expected to rise to 300 million by 2020.
As this vast army of cheap labor moves freely, an estimated 20 million children are left behind, some to fend for themselves. Many don't see their parents for years.
People the world over are familiar with the heartache of having to leave loved ones behind as they seek economic opportunities elsewhere. This is particularly true for Latin Americans working in the United States , whose children may be raised by grandparents back home. What's different about
China is the scale of the phenomenon and the number of temporary orphans it has created.
Also, the Chinese are making this sacrifice within their own borders instead of moving to another country, throwing into sharp relief the enormous gap between China 's rich cities and poor countryside.
"The scale of this current human migration and its impact on the Chinese family is unprecedented," said Cao Jingqing , a rural affairs expert at the Huadong University of Science and Technology in Shanghai . "This problem is likely to continue for a long time to come."
The separation is particularly jarring in a culture that historically values the tight-knit family. Unlike many
Western cultures, the Chinese, particularly those in rural areas, traditionally have lived with extended families under one roof and died where they were born. The restrictive residency policies of the communist era further tied people to the land, making mobility a privilege for the elite.
"When I was young, people rarely left home. No matter how poor, the family stayed together," said Zhong Dajun, an independent research analyst based in Beijing who specializes in rural issues. "Now separation is the norm. The traditional sense of kinship and family ties is definitely fading fast."
In contrast to the spoiled "little emperors" of China 's cities, the left-behind children have become orphans of a transitional economy, abandoned by parents making the difficult decision to break up the family in order to better
provide for it.
"My father and I are like strangers," said Chen Yongqiang, 14. He was only a few months old when his father left to work on a construction site in the far western border province of Xinjiang .
His mother also periodically leaves home in search of work and returns mostly around the Chinese New Year. "I envy children whose parents are home. I want my father to come back and work around here. He just says he can make more money far away."
Teachers at Nancheng Middle School in the heart of Sichuan , China 's most populous province, say the plight of these lonesome children affects their grades and psychological health.
of these students tend to become antisocial and introverted," said Liang Chenggang, assistant principal of the school. "But in times of conflict, they tend to explode and react in violent extremes." To help them cope, the school has set up counseling programs and outreach efforts to make parents more aware of the problem.
"These children are so sad," said Yan Zhen, a school counselor. "They have to learn early to fend for themselves. There's one family where the grandparents are taking care of four children from three of their sons. All of them are away at work. At best they can make sure the kids are clothed and fed. But they can't fill the emotional emptiness."
Nationwide, officials are increasingly concerned about the prospects of the children, many of them disillusioned, and their potential threat to social stability.
Already, they have started to show up in rising crime statistics. Last year, state media reported that a 13-year-old "left-behind
girl" kidnapped and killed a 5-year-old girl, allegedly in revenge for being molested by the victim's father.
In another case, a 12-year-old boy broke into a neighbor's house at night and tried to kill the occupants. He reportedly told authorities that he missed his father and thought committing a serious crime could get his attention and bring him home.
The vast majority suffer in solitude.
Yu Qing, 14, lived alone for a year after her father took off for a job in construction on the southern island of Hainan and her mother left to work in a restaurant on the east coast.
"At night when I hear thunder, I just cover my head but I don't cry," Qing said. "Because I'm used to it. Most of the time I fall asleep with the TV on. So I don't get so scared."
But after a year she gave up and moved in with her aunt and uncle,
beekeepers who are frequently not at home.
"My parents are away making money so I can live a better life," she said. "But I don't care about living a better life. I just want them to be home by my side."
King County Journal, 22/07/06:
What's to become of Tibet ? Hope of return to China fades for exiles as Dalai Lama ages
By Gavin Rabinowitz
DHARAMSALA, India Time, Tibetan exiles fear, is running out.
As the Dalai Lama ages, their dreams of returning to a free Tibet are slowly being crushed by a realization that they
face a long, bleak period without an international icon to plead their case before the world and keep them united.
Since fleeing into exile in India in 1959 after a failed uprising against Chinese rule, the Tibetan spiritual leader has personified his Himalayan nation's struggle for self-determination.
He turned 71 on July 6, and while generally considered to be in good health, the globe-trotting holy man was grounded by his doctors a day before his birthday because of exhaustion and canceled all his engagements for a month.
A second fear also haunts the exiles. If they do achieve their goal, will the Tibet they knew still be there for them to return to?
This month, China realized its decades-old ambition of linking
Tibet to Beijing by train, heightening Tibetan concerns that Beijing is trying to crush Tibetan culture by swamping it with Han, the majority Chinese ethnic group.
Another worry is that the Dalai Lama's nonviolent philosophy, which won him the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize, may die with him, possibly triggering a return to arms that most agree would be doomed to fail.
For now, the Dalai Lama's influence is paramount, among the exiles as well as deep inside Tibet , even though his teachings and even his portrait are banned there.
Nearly every day, Tibetans arrive in India after crossing the Himalayas to join the exiles in Dharamsala, where the Dalai
Lama's government-in-exile is based.
Tenzin, 21, recently journeyed with two friends for 41 days over Himalayan peaks, passing through Nepal to reach Dharamsala and be near the Dalai Lama.
"I miss my family and the lands of Tibet , but His Holiness is in India ," explained Tenzin, who wouldn't give his full name, fearing his relatives would be persecuted.
Even with such devotion, many Tibetans are tentative about the Dalai Lama's " Middle Way " of working peacefully with China and settling for autonomy rather than independence.
"Every (Tibetan) is divided within themselves, split
between their loyalty to His Holiness and a desire for freedom and dignity," said Lhasang Tsering, a one-time member of the Tibetan government in exile who broke with the leadership when it gave up on independence.
Only the spiritual leader's moral authority has convinced Tibetans to go along with the plan, many here say, and the exile leadership is well aware of this.
"If His Holiness is not on the scene and one day the Chinese wake up and give their consent (to the autonomy plan), this will not be binding on the Tibetan people," said Thubten Samphal, spokesman for the exile leadership.
"We have been telling the Chinese that it is wrong to play a waiting game," Samphal said in his Dharamsala office.
But that's what many believe the Chinese are doing.
"The Chinese just don't want to deal with the Dalai Lama. They feel they have an unassailable position," said John Power, a Tibet expert at
the Australian National University in Canberra .
"They can just wait until he dies and set their own terms," he said, adding that recent talks may simply be a way to assuage international opinion.
This month, Tibet 's Chinese-appointed leader, Champa Phuntsok, described the Dalai Lama as a threat to China 's security and unity. While the Tibetan leadership described its envoys' talks with Beijing as "fruitful," Phuntsok said they made "no substantial progress."
Once the Dalai Lama is gone, the succession will be dictated by the rites and timetables of Tibetan
His successor will be a boy born after his death, someone chosen by Buddhist monks who believe him to be the Dalai Lama's reincarnation. That means decades may pass before the new Dalai Lama is ready to assume the leadership.
And normal measures to ensure the community has strong leadership in the intervening years are also beset by problems.
In 1995 the Dalai Lama chose a 6-year-old boy as the new Panchen Lama, the No. 2 figure in Tibetan Buddhism, who traditionally guides whoever becomes the next Dalai Lama. China promptly put the boy under house arrest and he has not been seen since.
Six months later, it appointed its own Panchen Lama, then 5, and pressured Buddhists to accept him. To prevent China from anointing a successor after his death, the Dalai Lama has said he
will be reincarnated in exile.
Born Lhamo Dhondrub, the future spiritual leader was recognized at age 2 as the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama and enthroned before he turned 4. He assumed full powers at age 15, in the year that troops of Mao Zedong's newly founded communist republic entered Tibet and crushed its small army.
It was only at the Dalai Lama's insistence that Tibetans gave up their armed struggle in 1973, and some fear that after he dies, a small radical element could return to violence, though a large-scale uprising is highly unlikely and almost certainly unwinnable. "There are more Chinese soldiers than there are Tibetans," said Power.
"Some committed suicide rather than surrender to the Chinese, but we could not disobey the Dalai Lama," said Tsering, who fought in the insurgency
and who now runs a small bookshop in the shadow of the snowcapped Himalayan foothills.
The idea of fighting back appeals to many young Tibetans.
"I would have joined the fighters," said Tenzin Tsundue, 31, a leading Tibet activist who spent three months in a Chinese jail in 1997 after sneaking into Tibet from India .
But even he acknowledged the Tibetans will be more successful in the court of public opinion than on the battleground.
Tibet 's history is steeped in dispute. Beijing says it has been Chinese territory for centuries, but
Tibet was effectively independent for centuries. That ended in 1950 when communist troops arrived.
Thousands of Tibetan monasteries, temples and religious texts were destroyed during the violent Cultural Revolution of 1966-76.
And, Tibet supporters charge, Beijing continues to encourage Han migration with economic incentives.
China denies this, saying ethnic Tibetans still make up more than 90 percent of the population, and that projects such as the railroad to Lhasa , the 12,000-foot-high capital of Tibet , are meant to spread the benefits of China 's booming economy. Tibetans say the
proportion of Han is much bigger.
"Time is running out," said Tsering, tears filling his eyes. "Every day more and more Chinese are moving in and soon it will all be over."