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51% of Japanese support immigration, double from 2010 survey

Monday, 20 April 2015

The majority of Japanese support a more open immigration policy with the number of those willing to accept foreigners who want to permanently settle doubling over the last five years, an Asahi Shimbun survey shows.

In the new poll, 51 percent of Japanese respondents said they support Japan accepting foreigners who want to settle, while 34 percent were opposed to expanding immigration.

The positive result was almost twice that of a previous survey in May 2010.

In the earlier poll, respondents were asked whether or not they supported accepting a large number of immigrants if Japan was unable to maintain the scale of its economy because of a greying society and depopulation due to a low birthrate.

Only 26 percent gave their support, while 65 percent were opposed.

In the latest survey, questionnaires were mailed to 3,000 Japanese adults on March 11. Valid responses were received from 2,016 by April 10.

Fifty-one percent also said they think accepting immigrants will solve the anticipated labor shortage in Japan, while 48 percent said otherwise.

Asked if immigrants can deprive Japanese of job opportunities, 7 percent said they strongly think so, while 36 percent said they somewhat think so.

Twenty-two percent said they strongly believe accepting more immigrants will worsen the security situation in Japan while 54 percent said they somewhat believe it will.

The Asahi Shimbun also commissioned a polling company in Germany to conduct a telephone survey to ask Germans if they supported the country’s policy of accepting a large number of immigrants since the mid-1950s.

It received valid responses from 1,000 Germans age 18 and older between March 11 and 24, with 82 percent saying it was good the country had accepted a large number of immigrants and 16 percent saying otherwise.

However, 53 percent of respondents said they believe accepting immigrants has led to a deterioration in the security situation in Germany, including 15 percent who said they strongly believe so.

Source: THE ASAHI SHIMBUN

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