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Fumio Ota

【#555】Consider National Defense in Accepting Foreign Workers

Fumio Ota / 2018.11.14 (Wed)

November 12, 2018

     One of the most controversial issues at the current session of Japan’s parliament is how to expand the acceptance of foreign workers. Parliamentary discussions focus on the status of and social security for foreign workers while failing to cover the viewpoint of national defense. Resolutions adopted by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s Judicial Affairs Division and Health, Labor and Welfare Division in late October lacks this viewpoint. Lawmakers who participated in the meetings of these divisions said while some participants raised national defense concerns, division leaders only explained that the concerns would be discussed at some other opportunity. It is likely that a law for the expansion would be put into effect next April without any opportunity given to discuss about national security concerns.
Concern regarding China’s Mobilization Law
     A matter of concern regarding national defense is the National Defense Mobilization Law enacted in 2010 in China. Chinese nationals account for 730,000 or the largest share of 28.5% of foreigners staying in Japan, according to Justice Ministry data at the end of last year. Under the law that requires Chinese nationals even living abroad to abide by decisions on national emergency mobilization, Chinese nationals in Japan could be assigned to a disturbance mission in the rear to sabotage the Japanese Self-Defense Forces and U.S. forces in Japan if Japan and China come in conflict.
     Even before the National Defense Mobilization Law was enacted, some 4,000 Chinese citizens in Japan were mobilized in Nagano to block anti-China protests by Tibetans and others on the occasion of the 2008 Beijing Olympic torch relay. Nevertheless, the meetings of the LDP divisions on a bill for expanding the acceptance of foreign workers failed to have any opportunity for officials from Defense Ministry or National Police Agency to give opinions.
     The bill calls for creating an immigration control agency as an affiliate of the Justice Ministry to effectively control foreigners’ entry into and departure from Japan, government officials say. However, the Chinese Communist Party could control massive Chinese citizens after their entry into Japan to exert influence on Japan.
Using humans as weapon
     A You Tube video file titled “How China Uses Tourism as a Weapon” (https://youtu.be/o9nPTv5EjdY)became available on the Internet earlier this month. The video shows that the Chinese Communist Party pressed travel agencies to suspend group tours to some countries in a bid to harass them. They include Palau that maintains diplomatic relationship with Taiwan, the Philippines that is in territorial dispute with China over the Scarborough Shoal, Taiwan with which China’s relationship soured on the emergence of the Tsai Ing-wen government and South Korea with which China’s ties have deteriorated over the deployment of the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense missile system.
     The You Tube video reveals that the Chinese Communist Party exploits even tourists for national interest purposes. By taking advantage of Chinese nationals who stay longer in Japan and are closely related to Japan’s productivity and industrial structure, the Chinese Communist Party could exert greater influence on Japan than exploiting tourists who only spend money during their short stay.

Fumio Ota is a senior fellow and a Planning Committee member at the Japan Institute for National Fundamentals. He is a retired Vice Admiral of Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force.