Japan, which Joe Biden accuses of xenophobia, defends its immigration policy

Japan, which Joe Biden accuses of xenophobia, defends its immigration policy

Japan, which US President Joe Biden accuses of xenophobia, rejects these accusations and adheres to its strict stance on immigration. “It is unfortunate that the statement is not based on an accurate understanding of Japanese policy.”Tokyo on Friday, May 3, responded to comments made two days ago by Mr. Biden during a fundraising evening for the November presidential election, attended by representatives of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. “Why is China struggling economically so much, why is Japan struggling, why is Russia struggling, why is India struggling? Because they are xenophobic. They don't want immigrants.”The American president said.

“The president was talking about how immigration makes America stronger.”She tried to rehabilitate White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre. John Kirby, his national security counterpart, also downplayed Joe Biden's comments: He added, “Our allies and partners know firsthand how much the President values ​​them, their friendship, their cooperation, and the capabilities they offer on a range of issues, not just those related to security.” »

Biden's statements came three weeks after Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida received Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at the White House. Then Mr. Biden received A “An unwavering alliance”Especially regarding security issues.

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The nuances offered by the speakers did not placate Japanese commentators. “Immigration is the issue that President Biden finds himself most concerned about in his confrontation with Republican candidate Trump.”quips Seiko Mimaki, a specialist in American politics at Doshisha University.

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Immigration is closely supervised

Immigration is also a sensitive topic in Japan, which faces a steady decline in its population, causing stark labor shortages. The number of births in 2023 in the country decreased, to 758,631, for the eighth year in a row, according to government data. Mr. Kishida described the low birth rate as a “The biggest crisis facing Japan”. In the field of employment, during the month of March, 128 job positions were available for 100 unemployed people. The unemployment rate reached 2.6%.

Immigration, opposed by the powerful conservative faction associated with the idea of ​​an ethnically pure archipelago and public opinion that tends to associate it with insecurity, is progressing, but in a very controlled manner and causing only serious staff shortages. “Not all economists agree on whether immigration is economically positive or not. Confirms Tomohisa Ishikawa, of the Japan Research Institute (JRI). In some countries, migrants are active, but in general, many of them pose problems. Japan should teach the United States that it does not practice exclusion, but controls flows and guarantees the rights of foreigners. »

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