Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Basic Plan on Immigration Control (1st Edition), 1994

Guys, am just sharing here below some salient features of the 1st edition of the Basic Plan on Immigration Control of 1994.  For some reason, this translation of the 1st edition is not available in the Bureau of Immigration website (http://www.immi-moj.go.jp/english/seisaku/index.html#sec_01) which lists only the 2nd to the 5th editions.  I got my printed copy of this 1st edition from a high-ranking official of the immigration bureau.

The items below are quoted verbatim with their corresponding page number references.  Some notes of mine begin with the symbol "(e)" and are highlighted in red.  I am happy to share the actual pages of the book itself with anyone who needs them.  Please email me at eljoma@irregularmigration.info for further inquiries/clarifications.

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Immigration Bureau, Japan, Basic Plan on Immigration Control (1st Edition), Ministry of Justice (Translated by Japan Immigration Association), 1994

    p1-2

    INTRODUCTION:

    1.  BASIS OF CONTROL

    - the entry into, residence in, and departure from Japan of foreign nationals are controlled on the basis of the status of residence system.
    status or position of person + authorized activities =status of residence system.

    - to achieve the "equitable control over the entry into and departure from Japan." which is the purpose of the Imigration Act.

    2. RATIONALE

    - with the rise of Japan's international position has led to an increase in the number of people entering Japan for various reasons.

    - there are increasing demands for employment of foreign nationals from various industries.

    > (e) while this may be an admission of the need for foreign workers by Japan it doesn't necessarily mean that MOJ admits to a labor shortage.

    - increase of foreigners disguised to be tourists to be admitted into Japan and be illegally employed.

    3.  IMPORTANCE AND IMPACT

    - this increased entry of foreign nationals: effect on Japan:
    >influencing national economy and life of the Japanese
    >how Japan deals with its foreign population influences its own international relations because of Japan's greater role in the world.

    p6-16

    (e) INTERESTING. the way discussion on the status of residence is organized shows that the primary objective of the classification was the control of employment, or labor protectionism.  It divides the 27 statuses into the following categories:

    A.  Status of Residence with which Employment is Authorized
    1. Investor/Business Manager
    2. Legal/Accounting Services
    3. Medical Services
    4. Researcher
    5. Instructor
    6. Engineer
    7. Specialists in Humanities/International Services
    8. Intracompany Transferee
    9. Entertainer
    - this category is missing from the printed document
    10. Skilled Labor
    - Mostly Chinese nationals to be working as Cooks.

    2. Status of Residence Prohibiting Employment [(e) that is, a permit is needed in order to legally do work subject to the restrictions in hours).
    11. Temporary Visitor
    12. College Student
    13. Pre-College Student
    - mentions that many enter in this category with the hidden intention to work.
    14. Trainee
    15. Dependent

    3. Status of Residence on the Basis of Civil Status and Position
    16. Permanent Resident
    - refers to the Koreans and Taiwanese
    - refers to those other than the above who are awarded permanent residence due to tenure or merit
    17. Spouse or Child of a Japanese National
    18. Spouse or Child of a Permanent Resident
    19.  Long-Term Resident
    - refers to the Nikkei.  Spouses and children with Japanese descent.

    4. Indo-Chinese and Other Refugees
    > Indo-Chinese Refugees for Long-Term Residence
    >Boat People

    p16-24
    SITUATION IN VIOLATION OF IMMIGRATION ACT AND OTHERS

    1. DENIAL OF LANDING
    - reasons for denial:
    >false statements made by foreign nationals about their purpose of enty (by pretending to be a temporary visitor with a hidden intention to work illegally in Japan) - 83% of total denied
    >non possession of a valid passport (because passports or visas held were discovered to be counterfieted or forged).

    2. ISSUANCE OF DEPORTATION ORDERS
    a. General View
    - reasons for deportation:
    >illegal extention of stay (INTERESTING:  first time I heared of this.  Early name of OVERSTAYER).
    >illegal entry
    >unauthorized activities (meaning legal migrants but discovered to be working when they are not authorized to be working).- among total deported of 32,647, 29,884 or 82.4% were illegally working.

    - 54 employers arrested in 1990; 306 in 1991.

    b. Illegal Work/Employment
    - from 58 countries (39 in 1989)
    - In order of number:
    >Bangladesh, 5,925
    >South Korea, 5,534
    >Malaysia, 4,465
    >Philippines, 4,402
    >Pakistan, 3,886
    >Thailand: 1,450 (see table 10 attached)

    - types of jobs:
    see table 12:
    > construction workers
    >Factory Worker
    >Host, Hostess
    >Other Worker
    >Dishwasher/Cook
    >Waitress/Bartender
    >Prostitute
    >Other Service
    >Transport worker
    >Other

    3. Reasons for Illegal Work/Employment
    INTERESTING:  THERE IS A FULL DISCUSSION ON THIS.

    Four reasons are given:  (but is unclear what the source of these stated reasons are).

    a. Difference in Economic Conditions
    -cited comparative per capita GNP figures
    -cited comparative nominal wages

    b. Employment Situation in Foreign Countries
    - cited comparative unemployment figures
    - cited laborers returning from Middle east after oil crisis of 1973

    c. Domestic Employment Situation
    -cited ratio of seekers to job offers - showing employees market - being 1:2 in june 1988 and 1.14 in dec 1988, 1.27 in 1989, 1.33 in 1989 and 1.41 in june 1991.
    - cited labor shortage as being caused by:
    >restructuring of operations of businesses after two oil shocks, especially among small and medium sized businesses.
    >change in way of thinking of employers - desire to hire foreign workers.

    d. Intermediation from Brokers or Agents
    - acknowledged a "foothold" of foreign workers... that they cannot enter without any connection or link in the country whether this be relatives [network theory], or an agent or broker who helped them with the arrangements.
    - acknowledge that it is also the illegal workers themselves who refer relatives or other friends to the companies they are already working for, and then brokers step in to facilitate the travel of these recommended relatives [(e) through the available means: tourist then overstay].

    4. Overstay
    -8 out of 10 overstayers previously held the temporary visitor visa.

    BASIC POLICY FOR IMMIGRATION CONTROL

    p26-28
    1. General View
    -recent increase in international mobility
    -greater role that Japan must play given her behavior is always followed by the international community.
    -ROLE OF IMMIGRATION SERVICES:  to contribute to facilitating international cooperation and international exchange AT THE SAME TIME securing the system for peroperly admitting foreign nationals for the sound development of Japanese society.
    -GOAL OF IMMIGRATION SERVICES: to eliminate or prevent the entry of criminals - SUCH AS NARCOTIC DRUG DEALERS AND ILLEGAL WORKERS, so as to maintain order in the society.
    - FOUR TASKS that will achieve this:
    a. Rationalize and expedite immigration and residence examination.
    b. Have precise data about residence of foreign nationals
    c. Study means of further improving effectiveness of training, including establishment of new system.
    d. Dealing with illegal workers who hinder the sound development of Japanese society, to prevent settlement with appication of strict guidance and procedures with due respect to human rights.

    p28
    2. Encouragement of Smooth Personnel Exchange

    p29
    3. Policy on the Issue of Foreign Workers
    - Skilled workers, AS LONG AS THEY CANNOT BE SUBSTITUTED BY JAPANESE, wouldn't likely cause adverse effect on the domestic labor market and other social problems, but is expected to promote and develop Japanese economy.  Will admit as many skilled foreigners as possible

    - "But will further carry out careful studies from various points of view in regard to unskilled  workers who are to be engaged in so-called unskilled labor."

    -"The Immigration Control Act was revised in 1989 by Law No. 79 in accordance with such policy (stated above) to reorganize and expand the status of residence so as to accept more foreign nationals having expert technology, skills or knowledge and wishing to work in Japan."

    -"acceptance of foreign workers who enter and reside in Japan to be engaged in unskilled work (hereinafter, referred to as "Unskilled Worker", is likely to greatley influence the Japanese society and economy bearing in mind similar situation epxerience in other countries, it is necessary to continue to carry out careful studies.

    p30
    3.1 Entry of Foreign Nationals for the Purpose of Employment under the Present Categories of Status of Residence

    3.2 Question of Foreign "Unskilled" Workers

    3.2.1 Aspects of the Problem

    3.2.1.1. Viewpoints on which Opinions in Favor of Acceptance are Based

    >1.  Viewpoint of countering labor shortage
    >2. Viewpoint of International Contribution and Cooperation
    >3. Viewpoint of so-called "Domestic" Internationalization

    3.2.1.2  Issues Pointed out as Negative Aspects
    >1. Risk of identifying such kinds of jobs in which Japanese are reluctant to be employed and consequent division of labor market.
    >2. Risk of unemployment problem of foreign workers at the time of economic recession, and probable deterioration of the entire employment situation of Japan.
    >3. Risk of preventing the improvement of working conditions including wage level of Japanese workers.
    >4. Adverse effect on modernization and rationalization of Japanese industries, as well as improvement of the industrial structure.
    >5. Expansion of domestic production, which contradicts efforts being made to reduce surplus, so as to correct the imbalance of trade between Japan and foreign countries and consequent increase of exports.
    >6. Improbability of expecting contribution to economic development of their home countries with remittance by foreign workers, which, instead, is apt to result in non-productive consumption.
    >7. Burden of social costs incurred in widely ranging fields such as education, housing, health, and sanitation as a result of long-stay and settlement of foreign workers.
    >8. Social friction in communities because of difference in languages, ways of living and customs, etc.
    >9. Possible increase of misbehavior and crimes of foreign nationals.

    further point stressed:  "In addition to the above-mentioned aspects, the following question is also raised.  Once Japan decides to admit so-called unskilled workers, there would be a big inflow of foreign workers into Jaan, which may lead to change of policy exactly because of obvious and serious problems caused in conjuction with their lodgement and settlement.  Then, it would not be easy to invalidate their residence and the residence of their families who have already been settled in Japanese society and to ask them to leave Japan for their home countries..  It is therefore pointed out that  the question whether or not to accept unskilled foreign workers needs careful consideration with the perspective bearing in mind where the national consensus especially lies.

    p.34
    3.2.1.3 Problems with regard to Immigration Control (if unskilled workers are accepted).

    Decision making process to accept "Unskilled workers":
    economic reasons + employment situation of individual industries + modality of acceptance

    >1. Problems of Immigration control.
    - if unskilled are accepted, status of residence system has to be reorganized to now create categories for the unskilled "taking into account circumstance of the industries and national life of Japan"
    - if a quota system for each industry needing unskilled workers is put in place (or skill-based quota system), it is not easy to judge precisely the desirable number of foreign individuals for every branch of domestic industry to be admitted and set limits to the number of such workers.

    (e) the issue seems to be, first, a lack of best practices and experience in models of acceptance or if they had models, they were only based on what they perceived to be failed models of germany.  second, because a top-down approach seems to be the assumption, the problem is a heavy one.  but if a bottom-up approach is taken, the problem would be more equitably shared, adn the solution more widely owned.

    >2. problems of residence control and departure from Japan.
    - depdnding on the balance of supply and demand, "unskilled workers" would be subject to regulation after their acceptance if there is a recession, as is seen in the experience of European countries (Germany, France, and who else?). During economic recession, it is highly probable that the home countries of "unskilled" foreign workers are also liable to similar situation (meaning if Japan will be in an economic recession, then so will the economies of hte home countries of the unskilled workers in Japan.) Therefore if Japan will send the unemployed unskilled workers back to their home countries, "will constitute an export of unemployment, causing deterioration of not only the employment condition of their countries, but also the relations between accepting countries and home countries."

    If this is so then Japan cannot send them back, and it is inevitable that most of them will remain unemployed in Japan, and thus will "constitute one of thei factors of their long stay and settlement."

    "Rotation system" - system where duration, number, job area, etc are controlled in detail
    -text states that employers tend to take negative attitude toward sending home workers who are already accustomed to the job requirements and environment and language and replacing them with new ones.  even the workers will be unwilling to return home.

    - such situation would result in the prolonged stay in Japan.  at which point humanitarian conditions would now have to be considered - such as accepting their families.  they would then become a permanent part of the community despite the original intention being that they remain a temporary labor force.

    - thus rotation system will not be considered.

    p37
    3.2.2 Future policy with regard to Foreign "Unskilled" workers
    POLICY STATEMENT:  the admittance of "unskilled" foreign workers is not a mere introduction of labor force into Japan but acceptance of human beings having their own cultures and ways of living, and there are many problems resulting therefrom that cannot be judged by economic principles.  It is also closely related to various Japanese administrative fields such as industry, labor, international cooperation, education, welfare, health, sanitation and public security, etc.  and the degree of indluence it would have on the national life in general is considered to be great."

    -"admittance of "unskilled" foreign workers would require safeguarding their economic and social rights and their families, and necessary measures must be taken for that purpose, which would require large scale rearrangement (so is this lazyness?) and review of the official systems, high social costs, a substantial long period of time and a arge amount of effort.  The social costs incurred for the admittance of "unskilled" foreign workers have to be borne by all the people of Japan."

    - "For all these reasons, the study to decide whether or not to admit "unskilled" foreign workers need to take into account magnitude of the problem.  This is an issue of the whole nation and is not limited to one company or one industry. This is also an issue of a future society


    (e) -why is the retraining option like what they did to their own workers in the boom years of wwII never considered?  or if it is considered, why is it never attempted?

   p38.
    4. Ways of Acceptance of Foreign Nationals who intend to earn and Aquire Technical Skills in Japan (this section skipped by me.)

    p40
    5. To cope with the Issue of Illegal Foreign Workers

    IMPACT OF ILLEGAL WORKERS:

    >"the fact that many foreign nationals are illegally employed as "unskilled" workers results likely in preventing the improvement of working conditions of domestic workers"

    >"results in the division of the labor market due to the consolidation of low wage labor .. STOP. SEE BELOW.

    INTERESTING:  WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS IS THAT JAPANESE INTERMEDIARIES - HIRING AGENTS, MANAGEMENT COMPANIES -- WHO ARE HIRED BY EMPLOYERS TO PROVIDE FOREIGN WORKERS ARE THE ONES THAT BENEFIT FROM THE SAVINGS CREATED FROM THE LOW WAGES THEY PAY THEIR ON-CALL UNSKILLED WORKERS AND THE REGULAR FEES THEY CHARGE THE EMPLOYERS.  THE EFFECT THEN IS THAT WAGES ARE NOT PUSHED DOWN, BUT THAT AN INTERMEDIARY LAYER IS RATIONALIZED.  UNSKILLED WORKERS THUS CREATE EMPLOYMENT FOR THE JAPANESE FINANCED BY THEIR LOWER SALARIES.

    - delaying modernization and rationalization of industries.
    - disturbing the improvement of employment structure
    - threatening the aged, who suffer from less employment opportunities, by taking away the opportunities that would otherwise be given to them (well NATURALLY!: an employer will choose the younger, foreign worker to the older local worker. so what's the problem here?).
    - causing other problems influencing the national economy.

    COUNTERMEASURES: AMNESTY OF ILLEGAL FOREIGN WORKERS
    - amnesty is a measure to legalize the stay and empoyment of those illegal foreign workers conforming to certain standards if they apply within a period of time.
    - amnesty will not necessarily lead to reduction of illegal foreign workers because:
    >1. There is a tremendous amount of surplus labor force in neighboring countries.  And thus amnesty only serves as a motivation for more illegal foreign workers to enter, knowing that an amnesty program is available.
    >2. when an unskilled worker is legalized, the employer will be faced with higher costs in maintaining that now-legal unskilled worker: income taxes, social welfare, etc.  and thus it is doubtful that the employer will want to continue employing that legalized worker.

    - thus it cannot be expected that the demand for employing illegal foreign workers will disappear.

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