Japanese Immigration Update
Some good news for foreigners living in Japan (or soon hope to be living in Japan, Amen): a new Alien Registration System is coming which will make it easier for gaijin residents here. The new system has several new benefits, the most welcome being the elimination of the “reentry stamp” system, a $60 official stamp foreigners had to get in their passports if they wanted to be able to re-enter the country after going abroad, which was both inconvenient and potentially a big problem since it was easy to find yourself with an expired stamp suddenly. Since the problem of Japan’s declining population is only going to get worse — this year the number of “new adults” turning 20 years old was just 1.2 million, exactly half the peak of 2.4 million back in 1970 — I believe the country should take real steps to encourage people to immigrate to Japan permanently. Just to be clear, I’m not knocking the treatment foreigners in Japan receive currently, as I know that gaijin have it better in Japan than foreigners in almost every other country. But making changes that make it easier for foreigners to live easily in Japan, like getting rid of that annoying re-entry stamp system, is a positive step forward in my book.
Other changes to this system our still on the table. One that I am familiar with is the problem of gaijin who would like to fully immigrate and because a Japanese Citizen but because of Japanese law you would have to renounce your current citizenship. Which so few Americans are willing to do. The other is their marriage registration system that foreigners do not show up on. If you marry an Japanese citizen you are not recognized as their spouse by the federal government only by your local government. This causes problems for parents that receive frequent visits from social services due to them thinking they are a single parent.