2020 Volume 70 Issue 8 Pages 78-87
NHK conducted a public opinion survey (nationwide telephone survey) in March 2020, based on which this paper presents the public attitude on increasing international residents in Japan and on issues concerning the creation of a multiculturally convivial society with foreign residents. April 2020 marked the first anniversary of the enforcement of the revised Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act that had expanded the acceptance of foreign workers. The survey shows the majority, 70%, of the people are in favor of the increase in foreign workers in Japan. However, those in favor of having more foreign residents in their own communities stay at 57%. Even among the supporters of growing international residents, one in five are against the growth in foreign population in their own communities. In terms of anxieties concerning the increase in foreign residents in their own communities, “differences in languages and cultures will cause troubles” and “the public order will deteriorate” are cited by many people. As to what they expect national and local governments to address, the most–cited option is “teaching the rules in daily lives.” Meanwhile, in regards to positive impacts they expect from the increase in international residents, “new ideas and cultures will be introduced” is most cited, and even of those against the increase in foreign residents in their communities, approx. 60% agree to certain positive impacts from the growth in foreign population. As to foreign workers' “accompanying family members,” to live in Japan, only 33% agree that this provision “should be applied for a wider range of people by relaxing conditions,” but as many as 79% think national and local governments should provide children of foreign residents with sufficient learning opportunities of the Japanese language, even if financial burdens on the governments will increase.