And this is a problem with our form of capitalism which requires cheap labor and growing markets. A shrinking working age population means higher wages and shrinking markets. Our economic system, I sometimes think, sows the seeds of its own destruction. Pensions, 401(K)s, social security, medicare, and other such programs depend directly or indirectly on growing work-age populations and companies that can increase their profits. Immigration can counter this trend, but as the world grows more and more prosperous there will come a day . . . Glad I won't be around to see it.
There are huge numbers of mainland Asians who would leap at the chance to immigrate to Japan and work there. The major obstacle in play is the Japanese culture itself and their xenophobic emphasis on a "pure" Japan.If the economic pressures and need for more labor ever grow large enough, the culture will inevitably change. Some people will of course resist that change, just as people resisted Westernization during the Meiji period. But if the economics neccesitate allowing immigrants, it will almost certainly happen whether people like it or not.
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