Analysing Article: Only Immigrants Can Save Japan’ by Michael Hoffman Published in the Japan Times Online on 21st October 2012
Assessing the article’s currency, this article was published a month back, which is relatively recent. The article is making a long term analysis as it referenced the need to welcome 10 million immigrants from now till 2050, hence the issue is valid because such a current and future issue will be monitored and reiterated in the news for the coming decades. Furthermore, there has been no major changes regarding foreign policies in Japan since the publication date and hence proves that timeliness is present.
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Under relevance, the article concerns about Japan’s rapid decline in population and the need for Japan to open its doors for immigrants.
There are pros and cons connected with inviting more foreigners but would it be a wise approach to just welcome immigrants for the sake of putting a brake to the accelerating population decline? And does it give a solution to those problem that Japan is facing such as stagnating economy or shifting away the reliance on nuclear energy? This is also relevant to us locally and many of the developed nations. In Singapore, foreign workforce policies are less tight compared to Japan, a sustainable supply in manpower is needed.
The National Population and Talent Division stated this month that Singapore has little choice but to turn to foreign sources to fill the positions of construction labourers or healthcare sectors as they play a role in supporting Singaporean families. The question remains as to whether society in Japan is ready for it, because even immigrant nations like the US and Singapore is have never been entirely free from cultural friction. In analysing authority, the article is written by a regular contributor of The Japan Times, who is also a media columnist and author of the book ‘Big in Japan’.
Established in 1897, The Japan Times is the only independent English language newspaper. It was only during World War Two that The Japan Times was used as an outlet for Imperial Japanese government as a propaganda tool. Mr Hidenori Sakanaka, major contributor of this article, is a former immigration bureau chief who spent 35 years urging Japan to bring in more immigrants. He wrote ‘immigrations Battle Diary’, a book that details his own experiences and lays out a manifesto for the future of Japanese immigration policy. Overall, the article gives an insight of the issue from relevant authority of the issue.
In evaluating accuracy, Mediacorp’s Today published an article that might help to add reasons to Mr Sakanaka’s assertion. It states the the direct relation to the ageing population and the increase in demand for foreign labour. Please see the attached Today’s article. At the same time, within the article itself quotes declining population data from National Institute of Population and Social Policy Research which is a reliable authority. Additionally, they cited about Japan’s failure in its mass-immigration program that welcomed Japanese-Brazilians in the 1980s, depicting that inviting Japan to multiculturalism would not work.
The article mentions paradigm that conflicts to Sakanaka’s notion. Such information offers a balanced perspective of the issue and therefore strengthens the reliability of the article. The purpose of the article is to examine about the possibilities that arises from welcoming immigrants by incorporating factual information from authorities, statistics and quotes. There are diversity of stakeholders presenting objective data and subjective solutions to the issue. The article offers both perspectives that supports and those against Sakanaka, therefore I feel that I have analysed a reliable article.