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Japan and Singapore

Stephen Castles defines national identity as “the process of exclusion; feeling of belonging depends on being able to say who does not belong. ” Having said this statement, Castles is implying that migration or the influx of foreigners into a country is considered as a threat to the exclusivity of a nation or state. It can be observed that Castles’ statement is somewhat discriminating. Castles further explains that the goal of citizenship is to “blend all the diverse people into the political community protected with equality”.

His definition of citizenship makes it sound like he treats citizenship as an equalizing force among people of diverse political backgrounds. Japan and Singapore are two of Asia’s most successful economies. The next sections are a peek into the two nations’ similarities and differences in terms of citizenship policies. Clearly, Japan and Singapore are not threatened by the possibility of their own local residents being driven to the point of “exclusion” by the increase of immigrants choosing to work and live in their country.

This shows that their high regard for their traditions have made them confident enough of their nationality to allow foreigners to enjoy what they have in terms of culture, at the same time reaping the fruits of competitiveness by allowing foreign talents to help their economy. Immigration policies The primary goal of Japan’s immigration policies is to have fair immigration control services without sacrificing the quality of civil services.

(Immigration Bureau, 2007) Japan has implemented a fundamental policy that provides for the open acceptance of foreign nationals in professional and technical fields. Japan believes in harnessing professional and technical talents to help the country’s economic growth and keep Japan’s international competitiveness in the field of technological advancement at par with the best in the world. (The Ministry of Justice , 2006) Similar to Japan, Singapore has an open immigration policy.

Singapore also believes that human resource is the key factor that will boost a country’s economic growth. The government of Singapore encourages foreign talents to “work, live and play in Singapore”. In the recent years, the Philippines has seen thousands of its Information Technology Professionals flock to Singapore for greener pastures. (Expat Singapore, 2007) It is a known fact that the arrival of foreigners who offer most cost-effective services threatens to displace local residents who are equally talented but demand higher pay.

All countries are aware of the effects that the influx of foreign residents have on their economics and in their everyday lives. Immigration policies are designed to uphold certain standards with regards to accepting foreign residents and at the same time to protect the rights of a country’s natural born citizens. It is important that immigration policies are properly created into order to accomplish the right balance in keeping the country competitive while still looking after the best interest of its countrymen. Population composition

The Japanese population is approximately at 127. 4 million. The Japanese people are largely composed of mixed races such as Japanese Chinese, Japanese Filipinos, Japanese Brazilians and other groups. The Japanese hold age-old traditions and rituals in very high regard. They will not easily accept other cultures as a higher form than their own. (Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, 2007) The population of Singapore is only 4. 68 million as of September 2007. It’s fertility rate is one of the lowest in the world with only a ration of 1. 26 children per couple for 2006.

To compensate for its low fertility rate, Singapore encourages foreign talents to live and work in the country. Singapore’s racial makeup consists of quite a variety. There is an indigenous Malay population with a third generation Chinese majority, as well as Indian and Arab immigrants. Singapore is more open to accepting and assimilating new cultures compared to Japan. (Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, 2007) The diversity of races in both Japan’s and Singapore’s population can be attributed to their open immigration policy with regards to accepting technologically adept individuals.

Economics From an economic standpoint, Japan is a giant. Second to that of the United States, Japan’s nominal GDP (gross development product) is at US $4. 5 trillion. (Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, 2007) Singapore’s economy relies heavily in the manufacturing industry. Singapore’s manufacturing industry is comprised of a variety of investments namely electronics, petroleum refining, and mechanical engineering to name a few. (Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, 2007) Japan is easily more traditional than Singapore.

The Japanese deeply value their traditions but at the same time are open to embracing modern policies and technologies that will lead their nations to greater heights. Singapore on the other hand is more lenient and is more open to assimilation. In spite of their differences, the diligent and careful analysis of immigration policies and economic factors have allowed both Japan and Singapore to make the best decisions that have made them two of the greatest economies in Asia and the world today.

References

Expat Singapore. (2007). Immigration, Job-hunting and Visas. Retrieved October 2, 2007, from Expat Singapore: http://www. expatsingapore. com/content/view/1136 Immigration Bureau. (2007). Immigration control policies. Retrieved October 2, 2007, from Immigration Bureau: http://www. immi-moj. go. jp/english/seisaku/index. html The Ministry of Justice . (2006). Major Issues and Guidelines on Immigration Control Administration Services. Retrieved October 2, 2007, from http://www. moj. go. jp/ENGLISH/information/bpic3rd-03. html#3

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