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  1. #1
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Post Japanese citizens living abroad

    I had a look at the statistics of Japanese Living Abroad by Country. It is interesting to compare the figures with the Registered Foreigners in Japan by Nationality.

    Western countries

    In 2002 there were 60,000 Americans (USA) and Canadians, 49,000 Europeans (+6,000 Russians), and 14,000 Australian and New Zealanders living in Japan. However there were :

    - 359,000 Japanese living in North America (including 127,000 permanent residents, i.e. 35% of the total)
    - 154,000 Japanese living in Europe (including 32,000 permanent residents, i.e. 25%) +1,600 in Russia
    - 57,000 Japanese living in Australia and New Zealand (incl. 24,000 permanent residents, i.e. 42%).

    We can see a disproportionately high number of Japanese living in Western countries, compared to Westerners living in Japan. This is all the more strange as Japan's population is about 40% that of North America, 25% that of Europe, and well 6x bigger than Australia and N-Z.

    In other words, that means that there are 6x more Japanese living in the USA and Canada, than Canadians and US citizens living in Japan; 3x more Japanese living in Europe than Europeans in Japan; 4x more Japanese living in Australia or New Zealand than the reverse.

    Of course, the tendency is reversed for non-Western countries.

    Non-Western countries

    In 2002, there were 1,371,000 Asians living in Japan, but only 193,000 Japanese living in Asia. It's even more dramatic when we look at direct neighbours. For 625,000 Koreans living in Japan, there were only 18,000 Japanese living in Korea (35x less !). The most shocking thing is that only 24 Japanese were permanent residents in Korea ! Then, for the 424,000 Chinese living in Japan, there were only 64,000 Japanese in China, less than 1000 of whom were permanent residents.

    The relation with Africa is more balanced, but almost inexistent. Only 9,000 Africans live in Japan, and only 6,000 Japanese live in Africa.

    What can we learn from these numbers ?

    My interpretation is that most of the Japanese living in Asia are there for business, as at least 90% of them are not permanent residents (0.1% in South Korea, 1.5% in China, 3.9% in Taiwan, 5% in Singapore, 6% in Malaysia, 9% in India, 10% in Indonesia).

    It is clear that the vast majority of people from developping countries living in Japan are there for economic reasons - even the Nikkei (people of Japanese descent) from South America.

    The exception might be the Koreans, most of whom were actually born and raised in Japan, and whose parents or grandparents were brought to Japan during WWII. The number of Koreans in Japan was actually higher in 1980 than now. In comparison, there are now 10x more Chinese or 20x more Filipinos in Japan now that in 1980. In 1980, 90% of the Asians (including Middle East and India) living in Japan were Korean. Nowadays they only make up 40% of the total.

    The most interesting and maybe surprising thing in this data is the disproportionate number of Japanese people living in Western countries.

    This is ironic as I have heard so often Japanese people that had the "impression" that Western countries were "so dangerous" compared to Japan. Strange that they should say that as I have never heard of more hideous and vicious crimes in all my life than what I could see in a few months in the news in Japan. Lots of stories of children killing other children or their parents, or other over-emotional murders committed neighbours or family members ("husband cut in piece by wife found in house fridge after months"; "housewife intentionally poisoising dozens of people at a curry party", etc.). These are much scarier and nastier crimes than anything I have heard in Europe (but the US as quite a few of them too).

    So what pushes over 600,000 Japanese to live in Western countries, a third of them permanently ? Usually such a migration happens for economic reasons, but it's hard to believe for Japan. Could it be cultural or societal then ? I often heard my wife say that life in Japan is so stressful because of social conventions and "narrow-minded" people.

    What do you think ?

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  2. #2
    Angel of Life Kara_Nari's Avatar
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    Well in my experience with P.R Japanese in New Zealand, alot of them did it for their childrens education, or for the fresh air and not so much hustle and bustle.
    They wanted a more relaxed lifestyle, and for the same price as the smallest apartment they could actually get a house and some land, in a rather desirable area.
    By no means do I think that anybody would move to New Zealand for purely economic purposes... it just would be a step in the wrong direction.
    However if you have the means to survive that factor, it is actually a nice place to live.
    I cant speak for Japanese living in other western countries though... but im thinking that it could be along the same basis?
    I was interested to see that there are only 29 P.R Japanese in Korea... I know that the figures for Japanese tourists in Korea are of a much higher percentage... and possibly students too, but is there any major reason for such a low number of P.R?
    Well I dont really have an opinion on this particular matter as I dont know much about it... so I will leave it at that!

    Kara-Nari Smarty-Pants Wiz-Girl of the Southern Pacific Queen of Communication and International Arbitration and Diplomatic Solutions to Hairy Territorial Issues Her Majesty the Empress コクネ・ you quite rightly deserve the title for your individuality !

  3. #3
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    I'll answer that for you.. most of those having PR in Korea are most probably married to Koreans..othan than that, mostly all to do with business...

  4. #4
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    the ones (that i know) moved here to get away from the pressures of japanese life (their words)
    that or the women
    or they met their husbands in japan (ex-military)
    ttp://www.tcvb.or.jp/

  5. #5
    Regular Member misa.j's Avatar
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    Well, I think most of the Japanese living abroad had been somewhat interested in other cultures when they decided to buy their flight tickets, so I think what motivated them was rather a curiosity than an escape. I had been always wanting to come to the states and study English.

    Many of my friends whom I met in the US are now back in Japan even though they really enjoyed their life in America, and one of them kept saying that she couldn't pick the coutry she liked better.

    I wonder what kind of visa those permanent residents had when they left Japan. It is kind of a lot of work to become one, and I don't know if I could go through, hadn't I been married to my husband. He wasn't in the military, though, we met in school.

  6. #6
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by misa.j
    I wonder what kind of visa those permanent residents had when they left Japan. It is kind of a lot of work to become one, and I don't know if I could go through, hadn't I been married to my husband. He wasn't in the military, though, we met in school.
    That's why it's so interesting you compare the number of permanent residents around the world. I think it isn't easy to get a permanent visa anywhere, especially without being married. That shows some kind of determination of the person to stay in the country they chose. The number of permanent residents also doesn't take into account diplomats (who only get a diplomatic visa for the length of their mission), students or business people that only stay for a few months or years. Permanent residents are people whose new home is really the country where they live, usually because they like it better than their birth country. That makes the statistics all the more interesting.

    Btw, I've just got my PV for Japan last month.

    Out of 874,000 Japanese living abroad, 286,000 are permanent expatriates.

    South America is a bit special, as I suppose that the 95,000 Japanese living there are mostly elderly people who went there after WWII for economic reasons. It's easy to guess that from the stats. First of all, 95% of them are permanent residents. But more importantly, their number has been steadily decreasing since 1975, when they were 184,000.

    There are only 490 (probably very unusual) permanent Japanese residents in Africa. Too small a number to even consider...

    So we are left with 195,000 permanent residents in North America, Europe, Asia and Oceania. This is where it gets interesting, because only 8,660 of them have chosen to live in Asia, not just the world's largest and most populous continent, but also the one Japan belongs to. The highest number of permanent expats among that is to be found in the Philippines (1,576 people), probably some retired Japanese, or some men having married into a Filipino family.

    Almost all the other permanent expats live in Western countries, apart from about 5,000 people in Mexico, Central America & Caribbean, and tiny paradise islands of Oceania.

    181,000 Japanese people residing permanently the US, Canada, Europe, Australia and NZ; that's 93% of the permanent Japanese residents in the whole world if we ommit the elderly economic migrants of South America that still hold the Japanese nationality.

  7. #7
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    To make your stressful J life stories more interesting, following figures should be taken into account.
    Cheers!
    ‰ß‹Ž‚T”NŠÔ‚̍‘Đ—Ł’EŽŇ”‚̐„ˆÚ
    –@–ąČ–ŻŽ–‹Ç
    i’PˆĘFlj
    •˝Ź16”N
    211
    ‰ß‹Ž‚T”NŠÔ‚̍‘Đ‘rŽ¸ŽŇ”‚̐„ˆÚ
    –@–ąČ–ŻŽ–‹Ç
    i’PˆĘFlj
    •˝Ź16”N
    515
    http://www.moj.go.jp/TOUKEI/t_minj03.../t_minj03.html

  8. #8
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pipokun
    To make your stressful J life stories more interesting, following figures should be taken into account.
    Cheers!

    http://www.moj.go.jp/TOUKEI/t_minj03.../t_minj03.html
    Thanks for the data, pipokun. I was justly looking for that. I'll translate for the others :

    -----------------------------------------------------
    ‰ß‹Ž‚T”NŠÔ‚̍‘Đ—Ł’EŽŇ”‚̐„ˆÚ
    –@–ąČ–ŻŽ–‹Ç
    i’PˆĘFlj
    •˝Ź16”N
    211

    Renunciation of (Japanese) nationality in the last 5 years : 211
    (Data from the Civil Bureau or the Ministry of Interior)

    ‰ß‹Ž‚T”NŠÔ‚̍‘Đ‘rŽ¸ŽŇ”‚̐„ˆÚ : 515

    Loss of (Japanese) nationality in the last 5 years : 515
    --------------------------------------------------------

    I am not sure what's the difference. I suppose that the first one is voluntary, and the 2nd forced (by taking another nationality, as Japan does not allow dual nationality).

    The figures are not so high, though.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    Thanks for the data, pipokun. I was justly looking for that. I'll translate for the others :

    -----------------------------------------------------
    過去5年間の国籍離脱者数の推移
    法務省民事局
    (単位:人)
    平成16年
    211

    Renunciation of (Japanese) nationality in the last 5 years : 211
    (Data from the Civil Bureau or the Ministry of Interior)

    過去5年間の国籍喪失者数の推移 : 515

    Loss of (Japanese) nationality in the last 5 years : 515
    --------------------------------------------------------

    I am not sure what's the difference. I suppose that the first one is voluntary, and the 2nd forced (by taking another nationality, as Japan does not allow dual nationality).

    The figures are not so high, though.
    the first part are those that have renounced their right to the citizenship, and the second part are those that have been disqualified
    from the citizenship. The second part, in most cases, might be those of the young children who have turned 18, at which time they have to make a choice of whether to retain their japanese citizenship by right of parents, or take the citizenship of the country of where they were born... but there is a grace period for japanese who have renounced their citizenship with a petition that their
    initial choice was a mistake..but then it is imperative that the family register is not destroyed, a japanese citizen will always have the
    right to re-claim the citizenship even after renounciation..in effect, dual citizenship is not allowed, but this might be the loophole for many ex japanese.. but not sure about the offsprings..

  10. #10
    Regular Member bossel's Avatar
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    I don't know if my experience is really representative, but in Germany it seems most Japanese live here for business reasons. There are also a few students, but mainly it's business people with their family.

  11. #11
    Regular Member misa.j's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    Btw, I've just got my PV for Japan last month.
    Congratulations, Maciamo!
    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    The figures are not so high, though.
    Not being able to obtain dual citizenship might be one of the reasons why the figures are not as high as you would think. Some of the PRs might like having an option to go back to Japan as a citizen. I'm not sure if a Japanese immigrant who has been naturalized in a foreign country can become a Japanese citizen again. Do you know, Maciamo?

    PR status can be as convenient as being naturalized except you would want to have the passport issued in the country you reside if you travel frequently to avoid trouble.

  12. #12
    __________ budd's Avatar
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    okay, all of that is interesting. thanks for posting

  13. #13
    Back in town JerseyBoy's Avatar
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    Is there an updated figure on the stats narrated by OP? I am interested in seeing how many Japanese are fleeing Japan to other countries. I would be one of them in a few months after the visa is approved by US embassy. After years of living in USA, I came back to Japan about less than 1.5 years ago (in the hindsight, I felt I made an error by coming back)

  14. #14
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    There was a tax war, the Japanese translator of Potter books v. Japan tax authority.

    The tax office claimed:
    that she failed to declare over 3 billion yen;
    that her main business operation was in Japan; and
    that her residence record clearly showed that she stayed more in Japan than in Switzerland.
    On the other hands, she claimed she was a legalized citizen of Switzerland and she did pay the tax to the Swiss authority. The difference of tax rate between the two nations is about 10% (income and local tax).

    As far as I know, the tax office won the case.

    Not like the strict US authority, you don't always have to pay the income/local tax in Japan as long as you stay outside Japan for 6 month and 1 day.
    I don't know the tax system in the wizarding world, but personally I wish she had moved to England or other city in the UK.

    Anyways, I am not interested in counting money of others.

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    why so?

    Quote Originally Posted by JerseyBoy View Post
    Is there an updated figure on the stats narrated by OP? I am interested in seeing how many Japanese are fleeing Japan to other countries. I would be one of them in a few months after the visa is approved by US embassy. After years of living in USA, I came back to Japan about less than 1.5 years ago (in the hindsight, I felt I made an error by coming back)
    i dont know if this post will reach the OP, but i would like to know why he thinks he made a big mistake by coming back to japan? i myself am actually planning on studying in japan in the coming 4 years at japanese university. even though i love japan, i am very well aware of its flaws, especially in regards to foreigners. but im just wondering if all those stories and the stuff you hear really is that bad. ive previously lived in japan for a year, and my experience was overall positive.

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    I've been in Japan for 2 years and it was a tough time may be it's just my personal experience so I dont recommend it for all around who have been in Japan or want to go in future; well there wre a few things I just hated about the country and the most frustrated one was the squat style Japanese toilets in the community where I reside. Plus when you go to parks or malls they stare at you as if you're a non human being or even a disgusting thing. I just hate Japanese sense of racism and their sense of supiriority.

  17. #17
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    the squat style Japanese toilets in the community
    you mean the toilet in the park?

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    oh really

    Quote Originally Posted by simrnz View Post
    I've been in Japan for 2 years and it was a tough time may be it's just my personal experience so I dont recommend it for all around who have been in Japan or want to go in future; well there wre a few things I just hated about the country and the most frustrated one was the squat style Japanese toilets in the community where I reside. Plus when you go to parks or malls they stare at you as if you're a non human being or even a disgusting thing. I just hate Japanese sense of racism and their sense of supiriority.
    hi thanks for replying. the most frustrating thing was the squat toilet you say? i honestly don't see that as a problem at all. if anything, it should be the least of my worries.
    so you said you got stared at while in japan, well, so did i, but i never had the feeling that i was being looked at as if i was something out of this world. perhaps i was naive, or perhaps i didn't know enough about japanese people's views on foreigners back then, but when i got stared at, i thought it was more out of curiosity. and hey, look at it this way, if they stare at you, it means that they're indirectly awknowledging your prescence. isn't that much better than being ignored? besides, i like it when cute girls stare at me, that's awesome. makes me want to go over to them say hi and just start a conversation.

    also, the japanese people i was with in japan never made me feel like i was inferior to them. i've met quite a few japanese people over there, and sure, i may not have been japanese myself, but i felt like i was being treated correctly at least. i did also meet the occasional person that just completely ignored me, but that was on rare occasions. otherwise i felt that japanese people were quite helpful and friendly as soon as they saw i could communicate with them in japanese.

    i think the question that needs to be asked is, how would foreigners, or a minority, be treated in other countries in the world? would there be much of a difference? as far as staring goes, i would say it's way better than getting beaten or the like, wouldn't you?

    i would say the biggest problem that i have with japan is that i've heard that you get frowned upon for being a foreigner because foreigners usually never respect the rules in japan, don't make efforts to learn japanese properly etc. etc., but even those people that DO make those efforts are frowned upon because all of a sudden they've become too japanese, and thus pose a 'threat' for the japanese people (which is absolute BS in my humble opinion).

    i haven't heard any real stories of people who can back this up, just general rumors. i would love to believe that if i go to japan, study at their university and work for their companies, that i would be a respected foreigner. but unfortunately my gut feeling tells me that that probably won't happen. so in the end, i sometimes wonder 'why bother trying?'

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by simrnz View Post
    I've been in Japan for 2 years and it was a tough time may be it's just my personal experience so I dont recommend it for all around who have been in Japan or want to go in future; well there wre a few things I just hated about the country and the most frustrated one was the squat style Japanese toilets in the community where I reside. Plus when you go to parks or malls they stare at you as if you're a non human being or even a disgusting thing. I just hate Japanese sense of racism and their sense of supiriority.
    Either you found yourself in the boondocks, I can understand, but thats all a matter to get used to. nowadays, most public toilets have a choice of either european or japanese squat types; and in most cities, private homes have more sophisticated western toilets than what you find in nz...but if you're in the boondocks,you might have to wear it out and get used to. Also if people starre at you,
    then smile back at them..the best way to show them you see them, and most will turn away from embarassment...

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