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February 28, 2009

Foreign residents in Japan may gain more equal benefits to Japanese residents

japa_flag.jpgThe government is considering a proposal for foreigners in Japan who live here for more than three months to be registered using the same system as the one used by Japanese nationals. This would reduce discrimination and make it possible for foreigners to fully benefit from welfare and education services.

The government will abolish the alien registration system in 2012 and has had plans to replace it with a new system where foreigners would have to register with immigration offices around Japan. It is now being argued that integrating foreigners into the system that already exists for registering Japanese nationals would be more efficient and provide local authorities with more accurate information on foreign residents as well as helping reduce discrimination.

There were about 2.15 million foreign residents in Japan at the end of 2007 which is about 50% higher than ten years ago. This increase has put pressure on the government to improve the system.

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