Much attention has been given to Japan's need to restructure its economy and its bureaucracy, but little critical analysis has addressed the necessary role of immigration policy in Japan's reform process. Japan does not have a history of substantial immigration, and Japanese attitudes toward foreigners have traditionally been very closed. Even today, immigration to Japan is very low compared to other industrialized countries, primarily because of Japanese policies aimed at restricting immigration. In this monograph, Papademetriou and Hamilton argue that this restrictionist approach is ripe for change. A series of economic, demographic, and political factors are converging to require that Japan adopt a more open policy toward immigration if it is to ensure its place as a global leader.

About the Authors
Demetrios G. Papademetriou was a senior associate and co-director of the International Migration Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment.

Kimberly A. Hamilton is a senior international program officer at Alcoa Foundation.