The Modernization of the Japanese State: How to Regulate Foreign Visitors

The standard narrative of modern Japan is the success story of rapid state building, which makes its history interesting and a model case for others to emulate. Nevertheless, because Japan successfully obstructed the development of foreign settlements as autonomous administration, Japanese modern administration from the very beginning had to deal with almost all the spheres of foreigners' lives in its territory and was thus kept under severe monitoring and intervention by the treaty powers. This paper aims to trace the efforts made by the Japanese government to regulate foreign residents through the examination of its conduct on various minor administrative issues, from which this paper extracts distinctive patterns of Japanese tactics. The question is whether and what kind of metamorphosis took place in the core functions of state in Japan, and ultimately to reexamine the modern myth of development that was mentioned at the front of this abstract.

Regulations for Ports and Harbours in Japan's Open Ports in the 1860s

Port and harbour was the first place where a person encounters someone else who has a different background. In the middle of the nineteenth century, the Japanese government abolished its so-called closed-door policy and started trading with foreign countries. One of the biggest issues in the negotiations between Japan and western powers was who and how governed the brand-new opened port towns. In contrast to the cases of Chinese open ports, the self-governing body of the foreign settlements in Japan did not last. Therefore, regulations which were issued by both Japanese governments and foreign representatives were the bases of administrations in these towns. This paper aims to examine what kind of regulations were needed and how they went through changes in Japan's open ports, particularly in the earliest stages.

The Japanese Immigration Policy and its Legal Fundaments

The post war Japanese immigration policy can be divided into four periods. The first period is during 1952 to 1981, which is characterized by strict immigration regulation. After the legislation of Immigration Control Act (ICA) in 1952 Koreans and Taiwanese lost their Japanese nationality. It was a part of the post war cleanup process. The second period is during 1982 to 1989. After ratifying the ICESCR in 1979 and the Refugee Convention in 1981 the rights of non-nationals were improved. The third period is during 1990 to 2008. The revision of ICA in 1990 opened door for unskilled foreign labor force. The fourth period is from 2009 up to the present. Since the revision of Immigration Control Act in 2009 Japan heads toward strategic recruitment of foreign workers. This paper examines the legal fundaments of the post war Japanese immigration policy especially from the view point of restricted sovereignty.

The Mutual Implications of Social Security and Immigration Laws: the Case of Japan

Immigration is one of the latest responses of the Japanese administration in tackling both with globalization and the ageing of its population. As most of countries of the world, Japan has been faced in the last decades, with the pressing issue of an ageing population at the same time that it has been pressured (both internally by its economic actors and externally by Trade and Human Rights organizations) to open its borders to more immigrants, both workers and refugees.
Today we can state that over these years, Japan’s administration has been prudently preparing itself to respond to those pressures. It has developed various and sophisticated immigration control mechanisms, educated the population, amended legislations including social security laws. My presentation will focus on this last aspect, combining responses both to an ageing population, growing immigration, and their mutual implications in these fields of law, changes that were made, and those to be foreseen in the future.

Refugee Status Determination: State v. UNHCR

The protection of refugees is unquestionably a global issue that should be addressed by the international community as a whole. However, refugee status determination (RSD) is procedurally decentralized to municipal authorities. As a matter of fact, each state party to the Refugee Convention is enabled to judge whether or not an asylum seeker who reaches its territory fulfills the refugee criteria. UNHCR, on the other hand, has also a power of RSD to complement the possible lack and inadequacy of states' RSD system and discharge its own mandate under the UNHCR Statute. The question this paper addresses is what if a person who has previously been determined as a refugee by UNHCR newly applies for asylum to a state. Although the previous RSD by UNHCR is not legally binding on the state authority because of the difference of sources (Statute/Convention), I will explore if it has any weight that the government has to take into consideration and what this weight can be.