For a country that is in great need of immigrants to boost its aging society and depleting workforce, Japan has continued with their low acceptance rate for refugees of only a measly 1% last year.
In 2015, the country reportedly rejected 99% of applicants, only accepting 27 refugees out of the record 7,586 applications it had at the time, according to Al Jazeera.
The government’s attitude toward refugees is well encapsulated in the statement Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivered at the UN General Assembly in New York in 2015. The prime minister stated that Japan must tackle its problems first before helping out those from other countries.
To determine if ordinary Japanese citizens on the street has the same opinion on the issue, YouTuber “That Japanese Man Yuta” went out and conducted interviews, asking people what they thought about their country’s stance towards refugees.
As the subject is quite broad, Yuta’s interviewees touched on a variety of discussion points and concerns.
One of the most common concerns is how the influx of refugees would put a strain on Japan’s resources.
Another point of view touched on ensuring the Japanese people comes first, echoing Abe’s earlier statements.
Others also brought up the importance of preserving culture, implying that a large number of refugees might result in an erosion of the Japanese culture in some way.
RocketNews24 pointed out that these types of responses may have sprung out from the country’s policy known as Sakoku, which closed itself to the outside world for 200 years, preserving the country to maintain a 98.6% ethnic Japanese population.
Check out the full responses below: