Organized Panel Session
As Japan faces a rapid increase in its elderly population and a decrease in the number of youth, its government has been engaged in creating policies to incorporate non-Japanese citizens into its work force. However, shaping Japanese immigration policy requires government actors to mediate their demographic challenges with public perceptions of what must constitute membership of the Japanese culture and nation.
Drawing on observational research with a Parliamentary Association of policy makers, the presentation illustrates some of the dilemmas and possibilities that are faced in the inner workings of policy making. An example is the association’s “Basic Act for Japanese Language Education” which provides a framework for integration using language education as a kind of proxy for inclusion within borders of cultural belonging.
Bringing methods of the applied anthropological research entity, The Organization for Identity and Cultural Development (OICD), the second half of this presentation focuses on techniques that might have potential to reduce xenophobic attitudes amongst the Japanese citizenry as a means to allow policy makers a greater range of options through which to address key demographic challenges and reduce negative discrimination in Japan.
Reporting on a pilot application of the OICD method, the presentation analyzes the reasons for xenophobic attitudes, suggests ways to reduce such reasons, and reports on how strategies were developed, operationalized and evaluated.