Section 3. The International Community and Japan


1.  In Harmony with the International Community


1-1. Internationalization of the Japanese Society


As Japan's international stature increases, it is called on to participate more positively in the international efforts to maintain global peace and stability. Domestically as well, various efforts are being made to further promote its internationalization, as the Japanese people become more and more aware of the necessity of internationalization.

Open and tolerant attitudes toward other cultures, traditions and values different from those of Japan with due regard to its own tradition and culture, is necessary to prevent the way of thinking of the Japanese people from becoming exclusive or self-righteous. It is also important for the Japanese public to further deepen their interest and understanding of global issues, such as the environment, poverty, drugs and human rights and to address these issues as their own. In this regard, it is no exaggeration to say that today's international community is closely watching the way Japanese individuals think and act. In particular, it is essential to enlighten the youth who bear principal responsibility to create a future society, and to further promote cooperation with people at grass-roots level who are engaged in international exchange activities. These activities are envisaged to further develop in the future.

Moreover, it is essential to make the Japanese society more open to the international community in maintaining Japan's peace and prosperity. Toward this goal, there is a need to make its domestic economic and social systems and practices harmonious with the international community. In particular, from the standpoint of individual Japanese seeking better living standards and lifestyle, it is important to make their practices and systems which are considered closed or lacking transparency more open and universal in the international community. This must be done not under external pressure, but on Japan's own initiative.

In this sense, it is encouraging to see undertakings for its internationalization becoming more active at the regional and grass-roots levels. For example, the number of local International Exchange Associations in prefectures and designated cities which play active roles in various areas increased from 18 at the end of 1988 to 54 as of July 1992. Private international exchange organizations by volunteers are also active in wide-ranging fields. In an effort to encourage these activities, the Government is providing information on foreign policy and international affairs through the media. Also, it is offering counseling services on international exchanges at the local and grass-roots levels, and further promoting internalization of local governments and bodies by establishing the "Consultation Center for Internalization" in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


1-2. Public Opinion and Foreign Policy


In recent years, public attention is increasingly paid to international issues in Japan. In particular, through a series of national debates triggered by the Gulf Crisis in 1990 and 1991, it is increasingly recognized and widely shared among the Japanese public that Japan should make contributions to the international community in diverse fields. In October 1992, the public opinion survey on Japan's foreign relations was conducted by the Prime Minister's Office. Responding to a multiple-response question as to what role Japan should play in the international community, 49.7 percent cited the contribution to the solution of global issues, 31.4 percent the contribution to maintaining international peace, 28.9 percent the contribution to the sound growth of world economy, 27.5 percent the assistance for the growth of the developing countries, and 22.9 percent the cooperation with global efforts to protect universal values, respectively.

As Japan assumes a greater role in the international community commensurate with its increased strength, public understanding of the international affairs and its foreign policy should be deepened. The public understanding and support for its international contributions are indispensable. The Government provides necessary and accurate information on international issues and Japan's international contributions to the public in an easy-to-understand, expeditious fashion. It also holds enlightening events on foreign affairs such as the "One-day Foreign Ministry," "Mini-Foreign Ministry," "International Forum," "Globalization Advisory Caravan," and "Globalization Promoting Symposiums" throughout Japan. It is also engaged in publications, including "The Gaiko Forum," a monthly opinion journal on foreign affairs, "World Developments," various pamphlets on diplomatic issues and international affairs, and producing animated films and videotapes to facilitate understanding on international affairs at the primary and junior high school levels. Furthermore, the Ministry provides information through TV and radio programs and organizes about 800 lectures a year throughout the country.


Japan's Role in the International Community (Multiple responses) (Note)


1-3. Overseas Understanding of Japan and Domestic Public Opinion


With its increased stature in the international community, Japan affects the issues related to the building of a new international framework of partnership. Expectations are growing in the international community that Japan should play a role commensurate with its status, while statements and commentaries critical of Japan are on the increase. Many nations pay attention to Japan's views and objectives, as Japan has achieved such remarkable postwar economic developments. In Japan, to keep one's opinion to oneself may be a virtue. However, in the international arena, silence is of little value. Japan is called for to clearly present its vision and objectives to pursue on the international front, and to contribute toward international peace and prosperity, thereby keeping unnecessary accusation or misgivings in check. In this sense, the transmission of information from Japan to the world would be considered as its first step toward contributing to the world.

Therefore, the Government of Japan is striving to strengthen its information-transmitting functions on its policies with the view to deepening the understanding of other nations on the contents of its policies and the considerations underlying such policies. It is making every effort to improve its organizational functions to convey the information about its policies in a swift and sufficient fashion. As part of these efforts, Japan is engaging in swift dissemination of its policy-related information to foreign governments and the media organizations through on-line and other systems in its overseas offices.

In today's world, with highly developed communication networks as well as the worldwide diffusion of democratization occurring since the end of the Cold War, information can now be transmitted across borders freely, so that the trend of public opinion in Japan can be conveyed instantly to the rest of the world. Thus, other nations' views of Japan are being formulated through not only the official information provided by the Government of Japan but also the Japanese public opinion. For these reasons, in promoting better understanding of Japan in other nations, the Japanese public opinion is becoming more important. Thus, it is more and more necessary to put both domestic and overseas public relations activities in perspective.


2. Promoting International Cultural Exchange and Cooperation


2-1. Basic Thinking


Japan has come to occupy an important position in the international community where interdependence among countries is growing. Overseas interest in Japan is being heightened. It is in Japan's national interest in the medium- and long-term to strengthen efforts to further deepen understanding of foreign countries toward Japan through broad cultural exchanges. Yet, much remains to be achieved in promoting overseas understanding of Japan and the Japanese people. Also as the Japanese people are increasingly exposed to other countries and their people, it is necessary for each and every Japanese to learn to appreciate and to deepen his or her understanding of different cultures to make Japanese society more open to the world. In that sense, the international cultural exchange plays an increasingly significant role in promoting mutual understanding and trust.

Moreover, to correct the rather distorted image of Japan mainly focused on its economic aspects, it is essential to further expand Japan's international contribution in the field of cultural cooperation. To this end, Japan actively provides assistance to the developing countries, in an effort to promote their own cultures, to preserve their cultural heritages invaluable to all mankind and to develop cultures and education in these countries. In order to assist the reform efforts by the socialist countries in Asia and Central and Eastern European countries, Japan provides assistance for study programs on contemporary Japan, as well as inviting the students and youths to Japan.

Thus, the promotion of international cultural exchanges is one of the main pillars of Japan's foreign policy. Its specific guidelines are based on the "Action Program for International Cultural Ex-change" which was drawn up in September 1989, in response to the final report of the Advisory Group on International Cultural Exchange (headed by Chairman Gaishi Hiraiwa ) in May 1989.


2-2. Promoting International Mutual Understanding


(1) Cooperation in Overseas Japanese Language Education and Japanese Studies

Overseas interest in Japan has grown remarkably as is evident from a sharp rise in the number of foreigners learning Japanese and increased activities in Japanese studies. According to a survey by the Japan Foundation, about 1 million people are studying the Japanese language abroad. Against this background, it is indispensable to actively assist this increasing interest in the Japanese language and studies as it lays the basis for enhancing the understanding of Japan.

Such assistance by the Japanese Government includes pro-grams for sending abroad specialists in Japanese language education, for training foreign Japanese teachers in Japan, and for donating teaching materials. The "Japanese Language Exchange Program (JALEX)" was launched in FY 1991 for the United States where the number of people learning Japanese at intermediate levels is sharply increasing. The program sends Japanese youths to assist local Japanese language teachers and invites U.S. high school students of Japanese language to visit Japan. In FY 1991, a Japanese language center was established in Los Angeles, the fourth of this kind following Bangkok, Jakarta and Sydney.

As for Japanese studies overseas, there is an increasing diversity in themes as well as objectives, as economics and other social sciences are being studied in addition to the traditional fields in humanities. The Government is extending a variety of assistance, by sending visiting professors and lecturers, mainly through the Japan Foundation, subsidizing researches and conferences as well as donating publications. The number of designated institutions in FY 1992 serving as centers of Japan studies overseas under the special program of the Japan Foundation called "Support Program for Core Organization in Japan Studies" increased to 12 throughout the world.


(2) Introduction of Japanese Culture Overseas

The Government of Japan organizes its own cultural events as well as giving active support to a variety of events introducing Japanese culture throughout the world. In particular, the Japan Festival 1991 was held in various cities in the United Kingdom for four months from September 1991, whose Committee of Honor was headed by their Royal and Imperial Highnesses, the Crown Princes of both countries. With the cooperation of government and private sectors of both countries, the festival organized a wide range of events from highly traditional to contemporary, offering displays of cultural assets, stage performances, sports and music. Thus, it contributed significantly to strengthening ties not only between the United Kingdom and Japan, but also between Europe and Japan. Japan also celebrated the 20th anniversary of normalization of relations with China and the 40th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations with India by organizing or assisting a variety of cultural events such as book fairs, film festivals, photo exhibitions and theatrical performances in light of mature bilateral diplomatic relations. Moreover, medium-scale events, such as Japanese Cultural Weeks or Festivals, were organized in Poland, Bulgaria, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates in FY 1991 and for the first time in Far East Russia (Vladivostok, Yuzhuno-Sakhalinsk) and in Israel in FY 1992. Other diverse cultural activities were also organized abroad by overseas Japanese missions and by the Japan Foundation.


(3) Introduction of Foreign Cultures

In the belief that cultural exchanges should be two-way, the Government of Japan has made efforts to introduce various foreign cultures to Japan. In FY 1992, the "Southeast Asian Festival '92" was organized mainly by the Japan Foundation ASEAN Culture Center, established in Tokyo in January 1990, the Metropolitan Government of Tokyo, and the Prefectural and Cities of Osaka and Hiroshima as well as the City of Fukuoka. Art exhibitions, stage performances and film festivals were held in various parts of Japan as part of the Festival to introduce the cultures of South East Asian nations, with the persons concerned invited from ASEAN countries and Vietnam.


(4) Exchange of Persons

Exchange of persons is one of the most effective methods for promoting mutual understanding between countries. The Government pursues to promote exchange of persons, and proceed with various plans for exchanges, taking into consideration the extent of understanding toward Japan at the various levels of different countries.

Specific schemes today include a youth invitation program, JET program (Note), exchange of students, opinion leaders and the press, and the Japan Foundation's various programs for personnel exchanges.

The youth invitation program involves foreign nationals under 35 who are expected to become future leaders. Its objective is to promote friendship and goodwill as well as to further their understanding of Japan by providing opportunities to visit political, industrial and cultural institutions, meet with Japanese youths, visit provincial areas, and stay with local families. Approximately 600 young people were invited in FY 1991 for about two weeks' stay.

The JET program invites foreign youths to help strengthen foreign language studies in Japanese junior and senior high schools, and to enhance internationalization of local municipalities as well as to promote mutual understanding between Japan and foreign countries. In FY 1992, a total of 3,325 youths were invited from six English-speaking countries plus France, Germany and newly added China, totaling nine countries. This operation, in its sixth year, is one of the largest in scope in the world, and the number of participants exceeds 12,000. These people are expected to help contribute to goodwill and friendship with Japan after returning home. Therefore, it is an important task of the Government to continue to support their alumni activities.

The number of registered foreign students in Japanese higher education institutions totaled 45,066 (as of May 1991), nearly a seven-fold growth in the past 10 years. Yet, there is a need to further improve the domestic environment for foreign students including greater understanding of the Japanese public toward foreign students. In addition, it is important to meet the need of overseas students who hope to study in Japan. From this point of view, the Government is endeavoring to improve their access to information at Japanese missions abroad. Furthermore, as foreign students who have studied in Japan can be expected to play an important role in bridging "gaps" between their home countries and Japan, Japan considers it important to support them after their return home. In countries with large numbers of people who have studied in Japan, alumni associations have been formed. The Government of Japan, by assisting such efforts, intends to promote these exchanges with foreign students.

The Japan Foundation implements diverse invitation programs. Among others, the "Short-term Visitors Program" invites prestigious foreign academics and artists who play a leading role in their home countries to Japan. This enables them to visit relevant places and to discuss matters of mutual interest with their Japanese counterparts, thereby promoting their understanding of Japan. In addition, through "Secondary Educators Study Tours," about 240 middle-school level teachers and educational administrators are invited annually throughout the world in four groups. This program aims at promoting understanding of Japan by the pupils at school by giving opportunities to those directly involved with education to see Japan for themselves.


(5) Intellectual and Grassroots Exchanges

The Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership (CGP) established in April 1991 has launched intellectual exchanges and regional and grassroots exchanges between the United States and Japan. They are aimed at laying foundations for the two nations to tackle global issues in collaborative partnerships.

The important role of the CGP was pointed out in January 1992 by the Action Program outlined in the "Tokyo Declaration on the U.S.-Japan Global Partnership" announced during U.S. President George Bush's visit to Japan.

In FY 1991, a grant program for these exchanges began. The number of applications in the United States was three times higher than that in Japan, indicating a keen American interest. Furthermore, Abe Fellowship for researchers in the humanities and social sciences, the Summer Institute program inviting American graduate students in natural sciences in summer, and the support programs for Japan-related facilities, such as Morikami Museum in Florida, Japan Cultural Center in Hawaii and the New Orleans Museum were initiated.

The aforementioned JALEX involving Japanese-language training assistants, Science Fellowship, and a program in collaboration with the U.S. Library of Congress were added in 1992.


(6) Sports Exchanges

Exchanges through sports deepen friendship with countries of different political systems, religions and cultures, and play an effective role in nurturing the ground for mutual understanding. From this point of view, the Government of Japan is actively supporting various sports fixtures organized by private entities. It also assists promotion and preservation of traditional sports in many countries. For this cause, Japan decided to hold the International Conference on the Traditional Sports in March 1993 to examine the problems facing traditional sports as well as ways to promote and preserve them. Its preparatory meeting was held in October 1991.

The Government also played an active role in bringing the 1998 Winter Olympic Games to Nagano and is now extending cooperation as a member of the preparatory committee set up by the Cabinet decision of February 1992.


2-3. Promotion of International Cultural Cooperation


(1) Cooperation to Promote the Preservation of Physical and Non-physical Cultural Heritage

Cultural monuments and cultural properties in various parts of the world are precious treasures to all mankind. However, today, many of them are in imminent danger of being lost without adequate preservation or restoration work. There are also various forms of art, artisanship, sports and other forms of traditional culture unique to regions and ethnic groups. Some of them are becoming difficult to be handed down to the next generation due to economic development and rapid social changes. It is imperative to protect these physical and non-physical traditional cultural assets and pass them on to the next generation as they cannot be retrieved once lost. The Government of Japan extends the following forms of cooperation in its efforts to contribute actively to the world community in cultural field taking into account its own experiences.


(a) Cooperation for the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Monuments

The Government of Japan, which has long been cooperating in the international campaigns by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to safeguard the world's cultural monuments, established in FY 1989 the "Japanese Trust Fund for the Preservation of the World Cultural Heritage" within UNESCO. Japan donated $11 million to this Fund by the end of FY 1992, which was used to finance the projects for the preservation and restoration of Angkor monuments in Cambodia, the Ruins of Ancient City of Jiaohe, Turpan (China) and Gandhara monuments (Pakistan) in FY 1991 and 1992.

The Government of Japan also initiated the dispatch and invitation of experts on the preservation of cultural heritage in FY 1990 under the programs of the Japan Foundation in an effort to extend cooperation in preserving the world's cultural heritage by making use of Japan's human resources. In FY 1991, 16 experts were dispatched to Indonesia, Italy, the Netherlands, the then Soviet Union, Poland and New Zealand. And a total of 11 young experts were invited to Japan for training from the Asian countries, Western Europe, Central and Eastern European countries and the Middle East. In FY 1992, the Government sent a total of 10 experts to Brunei, Ireland, United Kingdom, Hungary, Romania, Zimbabwe and Nigeria by the end of December 1992. Some of them were sent to give advice on restoration and preservation of Japanese artwork. Furthermore, under the Cultural Properties Specialists Fellowship Pro-gram, the Government invited 10 experts from the Asian countries, Western Europe, the Central and Eastern European countries and Central and South America to Japan.


(b) Cooperation to Promote the Preservation of Non-physical Cultural Properties

The Government of Japan dispatched survey teams in FY 1991 to Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand and Myanmar to examine the present state of non-physical cultural properties, such as traditional arts and crafts in Asia, and to cooperate in their preservation. The Government will implement specific cooperation after results of the mission have been assessed. Japan will send another survey team on non-physical cultural properties to Southwest Asia in FY 1992.


(2) Cultural Grant Aid

The Government of Japan has also been extending cultural grant aid to assist the developing countries in promoting their cultural activities and education since FY 1975. In FY 1991, such grant was extended to 71 projects, such as the supply of display equipment to the China Art Gallery. As part of its support of democratization in Central and Eastern Europe, Japan began to extend cultural grant aid to then Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Poland and Romania in FY 1991.


(3) Cooperation in Developing Human Resources in the Cultural Field

In FY 1990, the Government of Japan initiated a cultural cooperation program under the Japan Foundation to help developing countries train their own people for cultural activities, such as managing facilities and planning events. In FY 1991, it dispatched eight experts to guide and educate local experts in Asian countries, Central and South America and Africa, while inviting four experts from South Korea, Vietnam, Thailand and Brazil.


(4) Support for Reform and Openness Policies

The former Soviet Union, Central and Eastern Europe as well as the Socialist countries in Asia have increased expectations and interests toward Japan in recent years, as they converted national policies in pursuit of economic reform and democracy. Japan is cooperating in fostering human resources in those countries by placing priority on providing promising students and youth of these countries with education and training in Japan, thereby contributing to their reform and openness policies.


2-4. Strengthening of Institutions for Promoting Cultural Exchange


Japan has cultural agreements with 25 countries and cultural arrangements with seven countries to promote cultural exchanges. Based on these agreements or arrangements, Japan held consultations or meetings of mixed commissions on cultural exchange with six countries, India, China, Egypt, United Kingdom, Hungary and the Netherlands between August 1991 and December 1992.

The Government of Japan established the Japan Foundation in 1972 as the central organization to carry out international cultural exchange activities. Through the Foundation, the Government has been promoting wide-ranging international cultural exchange and cooperation as mentioned above. Since the scale of the Foundation is much smaller than that of similar organizations in other major countries, efforts should be made to expand its budget, enhance its activities and develop human resources, in compliance with the "Action Program for International Cultural Exchange."


Comparison of Japan Foundation and Cultural Exchange Organizations of the United Kingdom and Germany


In recent years, interest in international cultural exchanges is remarkably increasing among the private sector in Japan. In response to such heightened interest, the Government has introduced tax incentives (the so-called "tax deduction for international exchange activities") for non-profit organizations, to further promote international cultural exchange in the private sector. These tax incentives are available for non-profit organizations whose primary objectives are international exchange and which fulfill certain conditions.



3. Japanese Abroad


3-1. Rapid Increase in the Numbers of Japanese Tourists and Overseas Residents


In recent years, there has been a sharply rising trend in the number of Japanese tourists abroad. In 1991, there was a decline in the growth of the number of Japanese overseas tourists, compared with that of the previous year due to the Gulf War. In 1992, particularly in the latter half, there was a sluggish increase due to the recessionary economic environment, but the number of Japanese overseas tourists nonetheless remained over 10 million. There bas also been a rise in the number of Japanese overseas residents for more than three months (excluding permanent overseas residents). These residents had grown by about 10,000 each year until five to six years ago. The increase over the past three to four years has been about 30,000 annually. By October 1991, the total number exceeded 400,000.

With the increase in the number of Japanese tourists and residents abroad, there is an increasing expectation for enhanced administrative services provided for them. In response, the Government has been making its best efforts to ensure that overseas travels and activities proceed as smoothly as possible.

It is no exaggeration to say that more simplified and speedy overseas travel procedures are indeed called for in this age, considering the fact that one out of every six Japanese has a valid passport and that overseas tourists exceed 10 million in number.

Under these circumstances, since November 1992, the Government has started an issuance of small-sized passports called MRP (Machine-Readable Passports). The MRP is a universally standardized passport with machine-readable data elements (names, etc.), therefore, ensuring efficient and speedy immigration procedures.

In addition, the passport law was amended in an effort to further simplify the procedures, such as an exemption of submission of some of the documents required in applications for the renewal of passports.


3-2. Problems Arising from Overseas Travel


(1) Problems Concerning the Security of Japanese Abroad

With the rising number of overseas tourists, Japanese are now seen in nearly all parts of the world. They are increasingly exposed to various dangers such as accidents and emergencies including regional conflicts, civil wars or coups d'etat. The expanded presence of Japanese companies has also resulted in an increase of heinous crimes such as homicides and kidnappings targeting the Japanese.

Ensuring the safety of Japanese abroad is one of the important tasks of the Government of Japan. In order to further strengthen measures for securing safety and protection of its citizens abroad, the Government has taken the following new measures both at home and abroad.

In Asia, Central and South America, the Middle East and Africa, consultative groups on safety have been established to further facilitate an exchange of information and to serve as liaisons between Japanese embassies and consular offices and the local Japanese community. In Japan, the consultative group on safety of Japanese abroad was launched as a permanent forum in an effort to promote cooperation between the public sector and the private sector mostly consisting of Japanese corporations which have expanded overseas.

The Government is tackling these problems by placing priority on further improving the system to protect Japanese in the field where the Government shall play a central role, such as establishing better communications and a transport system during emergencies, on structuring a cooperating system between the public and private sector as mentioned above, and on raising public awareness about the problems of the safety of Japanese abroad.


(2) Creating Harmony with Local Communities Abroad

Along with the increasing numbers of Japanese companies and residents abroad, Japanese students in overseas schools have also risen in number, exceeding 50,000 in 1991. As the Japanese presence has increased in many parts of the world, it has become all the more important to make efforts to prevent unnecessary frictions with local communities and to solve these problems. To this end, it is becoming increasingly important for Japanese to strive to be accepted as good corporate citizens and good neighbors in the local communities. As part of these efforts, overseas Japanese schools have been promoting exchanges with the local communities, such as inviting teachers of local communities, from which school facilities are rented, to visit Japan, and offering Japanese language classes to the communities.


4. Foreigners in Japan


There exists a sharp economic gap between Japan and the developing countries. In addition, as many of these developing countries face high birth rates, sluggish economies and political instabilities, there is likely to be an increased pressure for outflow of migration from these countries. In Japan, on the other hand, there is a serious labor shortage in certain industries. The issue of foreign workers that we are now facing stems from these structural problems.

Japan intends to expand the entry of foreigners with special technical expertise or knowledge to work in the country. Yet, since there is little consensus among the general public on this issue and because its social and administrative systems are insufficient to cope with the issue, the Japanese Government continues to give it a careful consideration, not permitting entry of foreign unskilled workers at this point in time.

Nevertheless, there has been a surge in the number of overstaying foreigners in violation of the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Law (the Immigration Law). As of May 1, 1992, that number is estimated to be about 280,000, most of whom are suspected to be unskilled workers. These illegal workers tend to be exploited by unscrupulous job brokers and forced to work under poor conditions. Moreover, human rights issues arise in cases where these illegal residents are not able to enjoy the protection of social security or proper medical treatment, even when they need emergency care. If such inhumane situations continue, frustrations against Japan in the home countries of these workers would grow, and could lead to its international reprehension. In such cases, when these foreigners return to their home countries, they might harbor strong anti-Japan sentiments. In addition, there is even a danger that Japanese might adopt an unjustifiable superiority complex against these foreigners. Such a situation is of great concern, as it adversely affects Japan's internationalization and promotion or maintenance of friendly relationships with these countries.

Therefore, aside from the illegality question of these workers, there is a need to expeditiously secure specific measures (i.e., ensuring protection under the social security system, etc.) in protection of human rights of these foreigners residing in Japan.

Furthermore, since transferring technology and fostering human resources in developing countries are among the major pillars of Japan's international aid contributions, there is a need to improve and expand the existing training system of the workers of these countries. To this end, the Government is seriously giving consideration to the establishment of the expanded training system which aims to promote effective transfer of practical skills and techniques to developing countries.

The number of foreign residents residing in Japan for a long period of time has also been increasing. As of the end of 1991, the total registered foreigners numbered 1,218,891 (up 13.4 percent from the previous year). The total number of foreign visitors in 1991 also rose by 10.6 percent from the previous year to 3,230,000. These foreign residents in Japan are facing various problems, such as education, medical care and housing, stemming from the fact that they are not Japanese citizens. Improvement of various domestic systems should be pursued as an important part of Japan's internationalization so that Japanese and foreigners can live in harmony.

With the amendment of the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Law, effective in June 1990, it was decided that a special visa would be issued to foreign residents of Japanese ancestry. Since this visa does not impose restriction to activities during the stay in Japan, it brought about a surge in the number of workers of Japanese descent from Latin American countries since June 1990. Their number is currently estimated to be over 150,000. There has been a corresponding rise in job-related problems, including those of exploitation by unscrupulous job brokers (although these incidents are still comparatively few), and in problems concerning education of children and social welfare. The Government of Japan is now giving consideration to an establishment of a system to remedy their working situation. As part of its efforts, the information center for foreign laborers was set up for Brazilians of Japanese-origin by various organizations in Sao Paulo in October 1992. In Tokyo, the employment service center which provides job information to foreigners of Japanese-origin was established as well as the advisory center furnishing general living information. As a result, the conditions of foreign workers of Japanese ancestry are being improved.


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Note : Acronym for Japan Exchange and Teaching Program