Is Immigration a Chance to Rethink Social Citizenship?

One obvious response to the challenges of an ageing population and a lower birth-rate is immigration. Japan now seems to have chosen that path as it is preparing grounds to welcome a wider, economically active foreign population in the near future. In the last couple of years, the government has made some last adjustments to its social security legislation to guarantee benefits at the same level as citizens to all foreigners legally residing in Japan for three months or longer (meaning anyone who is clearly not a tourist). However there remains one notable exception, the right to livelihood protection (seikatsu-hogo). This type of non-contributory social benefit has been widely discussed in the EU in the context of Union citizenship, following ECJ cases such as Dano (2014) /Alimanovic (2015). This paper analyses how promoting immigration influences the concept of social citizenship.