This piece in Bloomberg looks at how Japan is dealing with its aging population and shrinking labor force by opening its borders to foreigners in unprecedented fashion.
As we’ve noted previously, Japan passed laws in recent years allowing both an influx of new residents and a path, albeit a slow one, to residency for guest workers. As a result, the number of foreigners in Japan increased 6.6% in 2018 over 2017 figures.
The article notes that because Japan has been such a closed society, the influx of foreigners will require societal adjustments. Nonetheless, Japan’s current government understands that the solution to its demographic challenges lies in welcoming immigrants.
Despite the current rhetoric in the U.S. and recent administration policies to the contrary, the U.S.’s experience with immigrants from around the globe, who work, spend, pay taxes and create new businesses, indicate that by opening its doors to more immigration, Japan is making a smart decision for its economic future.