Japan has been struggling with 'immigration'-the 'I' word-for three decades (Roberts, this issue). Instead of calling it immigration, bringing in foreigners is packaged as absorbing global talents, as ethnic return, and as international aids.1 These disguises reflect Japan's deep ambivalence toward immigration. The country is aware that in order to maintain economic power and material affluence, it is necessary to bring in 'foreign people', but it is unwilling to imagine changes to the cherished Japanese ways of life. Immigration is seen as a threat to national identity. However, despite political ambivalence and cultural resistance, immigration has in fact taken place in Japan. By 2016, over two million foreign nationals have lived and worked in Japan, and this does not include the 400,000 people who have naturalized since 1980 (Du 2015).
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