Why do similar modern democracies like the United States and Japan have strikingly different immigration policies? Despite both countries having post-industrial economies in need of qualified, skilled labor, their policies in regard to this crucial issue remain on complete opposite ends of the spectrum. While one would think that countries as developmentally analogous as the United States and Japan would share similar policies and goals in regard to immigration, this is hardly the case. The United States takes a very liberal approach to immigration and accepts it as a regular and necessary utility of society; Japan, on the other hand, implements a much more restrictive policy and views immigration more as a last resort than anything close to a necessity. In total, the United States accepts between seven and eight times more immigrants than Japan (Hollander). These distinct differences in policy come from two main sources; dissimilarities in both culture and governmental structure play a large role in the variance of immigration policies in these two, otherwise comparable, countries.
The first, and perhaps most significant, factor in the differences in immigration policy between the United States and Japan is the cultural factor relating to the histories of these two countries. Both countries’ immigration policies are primarily built upon how immigration was viewed in the past. For example, the United States has a strong history of immigration; as the first settlers of the nation were immigrants themselves, it seemed only natural for the early established governments to accept and encourage legal immigration. In fact, until 1875 the United States had no national restrictions limiting immigration in any way; this lack of policy coupled with the fact that many policymakers saw immigration as a vital part of economic growth led to widespread immigration throughout the 1800’s and early 1900’s (Adolino 110). This... [continues]
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(2008, 12). Reasons for Immigration Policy Differences in Japan and the United States. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 12, 2008, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Reasons-Immigration-Policy-Differences-Japan-United-186030.html
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