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Old 2012-12-09, 04:59   Link #2621
flying ^
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
I think one thing the Koreans should be well known for in the entertainment industry is their historical drama

I remember wasting away my summer vacation in the late '90s watching their epic dramas on this OTA channel

http://www.la18.tv/
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Old 2012-12-09, 14:19   Link #2622
Tom Bombadil
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One example of Korean "Historical" film:The Divine Weapon

Quote:
The film has been criticized by Chinese audiences for alleged historical inaccuracies.[6] For example, it is pointed out that Ming China and Choson Korea never fought and were in fact allies in resisting Japanese invasion in later times, that the tribute of virgins occurred under the Mongols, and asserted that the weapons depicted in the film were predated by similar weapons developed in China.[7][8]
Any way, the Korean drama is quite popular in China (indeed, it is popular all over east Asia, I guess). However, I wouldn't take the word "historical" too literally in the so called historical drama.
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Old 2012-12-09, 14:43   Link #2623
Sumeragi
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Stop mixing up movies and television drama.
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Old 2012-12-10, 23:31   Link #2624
ChainLegacy
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I always found the blanket-table thing that they show in anime an interesting little tidbit of Japanese culture. Anyone know what I'm attempting to refer to? They sometimes portray characters finding it relieving in cold settings.

As for me, I like sleeping in cold temperatures (window open during winter) with one-two very warm blankets.
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Old 2012-12-10, 23:32   Link #2625
Sumeragi
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Kotatsu. Nice and toasty.
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Old 2012-12-10, 23:47   Link #2626
ChainLegacy
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I have been making regular visits to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. The whole place is history nerd heaven and I get excited just thinking of going through there. Last time I spent a good long while going through the Japanese section (as opposed to my usual Roman, Greek and Egyptian haunts).

There was a really funny and charming painting from the feudal period portraying the 'eternal war between cats and mice,' with each donning samurai armor with their battles portrayed in an almost comic style series of panels.

I also found the Buddhist statues from the Japanese section particularly impressive. While the Chinese ones were better represented, the attention to detail paired with the mores of simplicity gave the Japanese ones a certain aura of peace and tranquility.

There was also a spectacular statue made of wood and bronze from the feudal period representing a traditional god with an extremely expressive oni-like face. I am having trouble remembering the name of the deity (I will find out my next visit), but I was in awe when viewing it. I need to really give the Asian section another, in depth look next time. I always spend hours inspecting Roman works and neglect other parts of the world. I don't understand how some people zip through each room, I become captivated and entranced until I run out of time, lol. Needless to say, anyone in Boston should give the MFA a visit if they are fond of history.
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Old 2012-12-15, 20:14   Link #2627
SeijiSensei
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Reflections on Japan's Baby Shortage

She recommends three policy changes, none of which strike me as politically feasible:

1) Expand the number of publicly-subsidized daycare centers. The estimated cost of raising a child in Japan is over $70,000 for just the first five years, 2.5 times the figure in the US. This is perhaps the only suggestion that I could see having some political leverage, but can it be sold to an increasingly aging population if it means taxing them to pay for young parents' needs?

2) Replace promotion by seniority with promotion based on skills. This seems especially implausible given the nature of Japanese society and its industrial culture.

3) Expand incentives for women to return to the labor force after childbirth. This seems like a non-starter to me as well.

Of course, there is always the fourth option of expanding immigration, but the odds of that happening seem even less than any of the other alternatives. If the LDP requires the support of guys like Ishihara to forge a majority coalition in the Diet after this election, I see no chance for a more open immigration policy.
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Old 2012-12-15, 20:34   Link #2628
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
Reflections on Japan's Baby Shortage

She recommends three policy changes, none of which strike me as politically feasible:

1) Expand the number of publicly-subsidized daycare centers. The estimated cost of raising a child in Japan is over $70,000 for just the first five years, 2.5 times the figure in the US. This is perhaps the only suggestion that I could see having some political leverage, but can it be sold to an increasingly aging population if it means taxing them to pay for young parents' needs?

2) Replace promotion by seniority with promotion based on skills. This seems especially implausible given the nature of Japanese society and its industrial culture.

3) Expand incentives for women to return to the labor force after childbirth. This seems like a non-starter to me as well.

Of course, there is always the fourth option of expanding immigration, but the odds of that happening seem even less than any of the other alternatives. If the LDP requires the support of guys like Ishihara to forge a majority coalition in the Diet after this election, I see no chance for a more open immigration policy.
Is the LDP the only option for Japanese? I think it is a bad idea for Japanese to return to the LDP. Don't really see how the old policy will help Japan at all. At some they will need to adopt stronger immigration policy.
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Old 2012-12-16, 10:37   Link #2629
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terrestrial Dream View Post
Is the LDP the only option for Japanese? I think it is a bad idea for Japanese to return to the LDP. Don't really see how the old policy will help Japan at all. At some they will need to adopt stronger immigration policy.
Unfortunately, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) appears to be the "only" option. Japan gave the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) its chance, and it screwed its chance. Exit polls project a landslide victory for LDP.

I strongly doubt Japan will adopt a stronger immigration policy. The reason is tied to same factor that contributed to the LDP's return to power.

Politicians ignore youth vote in ageing nation
Quote:
Tokyo (Dec 14, Fri): Japan's young people, alienated and outnumbered by a greying population, will barely bother to vote in Sunday’s election after a campaign that excluded social media and made little effort to engage them.

Opinion polls published today show that the establishment Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) — which draws its support largely from Japan's ageing countryside— well on its way to victory in Sunday's poll.

Commentators say that in a nation with one of the world’s oldest populations, mainstream parties like the LDP have little incentive to cater to the young. "Young people don't really read newspapers. I don't either, it's a fact," said 20-year-old Shiori Kasukawa. "I think it would be good if politicians communicated with social networking sites."

Unlike in the United States, where President Barack Obama harnessed the power of social media to leapfrog traditional media and speak directly to the young, candidates for office in Japan are barred from campaigning on the platforms.

Under ballot rules, politicians who have ventured across the digital divide had to freeze their Twitter accounts when the official campaign period began, 13 days before Sunday's vote. Electoral laws treat anything appearing on a screen as akin to a leaflet, and there are limits on how many fliers any candidate can produce.

Calculations based on government figures show that the average age of people casting ballots at the last general election was 54.2. And less than half of eligible voters in their 20s went to polling stations in 2009, compared with nearly 85 per cent of electors aged in their 60s.

The 'silver democracy'
The ageing voter profile weighs heavily on policy-making, said think-tank researcher Manabu Shimasawa. "Elderly people have greater impact on election results, so politicians just push for policies preferred by elderly people," he told the Japan Times.

This plays out in social-security payments, for example, where households of those in their 60s now will be net receivers over the course of their lives, while those not yet in their 20s will be net contributors.

"Many systems in Japan are no longer sustainable and are virtually collapsing, but they are not changing," said Mr Ryohei Takahashi, 36, a member of Wakamono (Youth) Manifesto, a lobby group. "What sits behind this is the 'silver democracy', where the voices of the elderly are mostly represented in politics."

Before Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda — a sprightly 54 — dissolved the lower chamber last month, about a third of its 480 members were over 60. Government figures show this is generous representation for a population where around 23 per cent are over 65, a number expected to rise to 40 per cent over the next four decades.

Wakamono Manifesto argues that money spent on keeping the elderly happy — such as tax breaks on retirement cash — should be switched to support workers of child-rearing age. It also urges the government to reform the electoral system to reduce the age of majority to 16 from the present 20, which he hopes would boost participation.

In Tokyo's fashionable Shibuya district, 21-year-old student Michiyo said politicians were unintelligible to people of her generation. "One main reason we don't vote is that we don't have any information. We don't know what they say at their meetings," she said.

"And when they do tell us, we don't really grasp the meaning of what they say."

AFP
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Old 2012-12-16, 12:16   Link #2630
SeijiSensei
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The Times article talked about the depopulation of the countryside. I recall reading at some point how the Japanese electoral system is gerrymandered in favor of rural constituencies. I'd be curious to see how many voters it takes to elect a Diet member from a rural area versus one from Kyoto or Tokyo.
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Old 2012-12-16, 12:46   Link #2631
TinyRedLeaf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
The Times article talked about the depopulation of the countryside. I recall reading at some point how the Japanese electoral system is gerrymandered in favor of rural constituencies. I'd be curious to see how many voters it takes to elect a Diet member from a rural area versus one from Kyoto or Tokyo.
From what I understand, Japan suffers from the problem of "rotten boroughs" common in 19th-century Britain. Wikipedia has a partial breakdown of the number of votes it takes to elect a Diet member from various constituencies. I can't vouch for the data's accuracy, nor am I a familiar enough with Japan's electoral system to comment on the issue. I do recall, however, that the "construction complex" (Japan's version of the United State's military-industrial complex) is heavily linked to the distortions inherent in Japan's rural/local politics.
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Old 2012-12-16, 14:29   Link #2632
SeijiSensei
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A Landslide without a Mandate

Estimates from exit polling suggest an LDP majority of 270-300 of the 480 seats in the Diet.

Quote:
In interviews, voters said they ended up voting for the Liberal Democrats because they felt it was the only choice. Many analysts warned that meant public opinion could just as easily swing again against the Liberal Democrats if they pursued unpopular steps, such as trying to rewrite the nation’s antiwar constitution to allow a full-fledged military, something Mr. Abe has vowed to do.

“This is a landslide without a mandate,” said Satoshi Machidori, a political scientist at Kyoto University. “Mr. Abe shouldn’t view this as a carte blanche to do as he pleases.”

Recent polls have shown only limited support for Mr. Abe. In interviews, some voters said their biggest worry was not his hawkish stance but whether he would quit right away, as he did the last time he was prime minister, in 2007, complaining of an intestinal ailment soon after his party was defeated in upper house elections.

Analysts said another reason for the Liberal Democrats’ victory was their still potent vote-gathering machine in rural areas, which have a disproportionately larger number of parliamentary seats than urban areas like Tokyo due to inequalities in how Japan draws its electoral districts. To win those votes, the party vowed to restore spending on public works, which it has traditionally used to buy rural districts by showering them with construction jobs.
As someone who views elections as referenda rather than mandates, these results come as no surprise. The LDP will try to read these results as a mandate, as the Republicans did here after the 2010 off-year election, but all we can really say is that people were unhappy with the incumbent governments in both cases.

I would have thought the DPJ might have made some effort to reform the electoral system since it clearly favors their opponents. As for the lack of appeals to younger voters, this comment was telling:

Quote:
The best performing new party was Japan Restoration, which was started in September by Osaka’s brash, 43-year-old mayor, Toru Hashimoto, with high hopes of winning younger voters with its promises of decisive leadership and creating American-style states with more autonomy from Tokyo. But his party seemed to lose some of its momentum after joining forces with the aging, ultranationalistic governor of Tokyo, Shintaro Ishihara, whom many young voters view as a reactionary.
I find it hard to imagine Japan with a federal system of government. It's been a long time since the Sengoku period.
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Old 2012-12-16, 17:20   Link #2633
KiraYamatoFan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
Reflections on Japan's Baby Shortage

She recommends three policy changes, none of which strike me as politically feasible:

1) Expand the number of publicly-subsidized daycare centers. The estimated cost of raising a child in Japan is over $70,000 for just the first five years, 2.5 times the figure in the US. This is perhaps the only suggestion that I could see having some political leverage, but can it be sold to an increasingly aging population if it means taxing them to pay for young parents' needs?

2) Replace promotion by seniority with promotion based on skills. This seems especially implausible given the nature of Japanese society and its industrial culture.

3) Expand incentives for women to return to the labor force after childbirth. This seems like a non-starter to me as well.

Of course, there is always the fourth option of expanding immigration, but the odds of that happening seem even less than any of the other alternatives. If the LDP requires the support of guys like Ishihara to forge a majority coalition in the Diet after this election, I see no chance for a more open immigration policy.
Point number 1: I don't think we'll have a choice there. Something radical has to be made and the system has to be changed in order to support new parents. Daycares near or within working places is not something new and it's usually something very welcome for all workers within a company. If we push social policies further: the Swedes managed to create a system in the 1970s in which parental leave can be extended to a maximum of 16 months, paid to 80% of the salary lost in that time and it favours both men and women to take their share of responsibilities as parents. I keep on saying that family policies should be inspired by what is done in Scandinavia where they were confronted with ageing populations once.

Point number 2: that would be quite the most difficult part considering the mentality. However, it only requires a group of people with enough charisma to lead the charge and force the clash of generations that is due once in a while.

Point number 3: dunno why it would not be feasible. If you change your paradigm into something based on a 2-parent model for parental leave, women would see advantages in coming back to work. I think this kind of policy change has to be combined with what is proposed in 1).

About today's election, the prospect is really not optimistic at all. I wish there could be someone, male or female, who'd be able to find a way to "shake up the supporting columns/pillars of the temple" in order to change the picture of politics in Japan.

P.S. IMHO, Toru Hashimoto committed a fatal mistake by allying himself with that twat ishihara. Shame on him forever!
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Old 2012-12-16, 20:55   Link #2634
sneaker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KiraYamatoFan View Post
Point number 1: I don't think we'll have a choice there. Something radical has to be made and the system has to be changed in order to support new parents. Daycares near or within working places is not something new and it's usually something very welcome for all workers within a company. If we push social policies further: the Swedes managed to create a system in the 1970s in which parental leave can be extended to a maximum of 16 months, paid to 80% of the salary lost in that time and it favours both men and women to take their share of responsibilities as parents. I keep on saying that family policies should be inspired by what is done in Scandinavia where they were confronted with ageing populations once.
Sweden does not even have enough of a birth rate to sustain their population if it wasn't for massive immigration. Germany has all kind of benefits for parents, mothers can take three years off per child and get their jobs back by law and still its birth rate is as low as that of Japan.
And getting massive influx of immigrants that are good for society is not easy to pull off, especially if the country's language does not happen to be the world language. You could of course open the borders for Turkey, Africa and the Middle-East like Europe does(in practice, not theoretically), but that does create more problems than it solves.

Last edited by sneaker; 2012-12-16 at 22:28.
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Old 2012-12-16, 21:37   Link #2635
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
I find it hard to imagine Japan with a federal system of government. It's been a long time since the Sengoku period.
I was under the impression that some limited form of federalism exists in Japan.

Oh wait, maybe I've been drinking too much of Library Wars' Kool-Aid.
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Old 2012-12-17, 05:51   Link #2636
SaintessHeart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
I find it hard to imagine Japan with a federal system of government. It's been a long time since the Sengoku period.
Ok ojisan. A young one needs you to explain what exactly you mean by "Japanese Federalism" and how much difference it has from "Japanese Feudalism".
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Old 2012-12-17, 08:55   Link #2637
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Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
Ok ojisan. A young one needs you to explain what exactly you mean by "Japanese Federalism" and how much difference it has from "Japanese Feudalism".
He is referring to Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto's plans for electoral and administrative reforms, which, to be sure, are long on promise but short on results.

Hashimoto aims to change Japan through political reform
Quote:
Osaka (Sept 9, 2012): Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto says he aims to change Japan through political reform by turning his Osaka Ishin no Kai local group into a political party and fielding 300 members in the next lower house election.

Mr Hashimoto said his key policy pledges include:

1) enabling the public to directly elect the prime minister

2) scrapping the upper house

3) halving the number of seats in the lower house from 480 to 240

4) changing the consumption tax into a regional tax

5) reorganising prefectures into larger regional blocs

JAPAN TODAY
Point (1) aims to create a directly elected chief executive in the mould of the United States President, one who would be hopefully free from backroom wheeling and dealing.

The significance of points (2) and (3) is harder to explain.
- As I understand it, the bicameral Japanese Diet is peculiar in that it's the lower house, the 480-member House of Representatives, that actually has more power to pass the country's laws, not the 242-member House of Councillors. That being the case, scrapping the upper house would remove one potential threat of filibuster, and would help break political deadlock at the national level.

- As for halving the size of the lower house, I believe it is an attempt to solve Japan's problem of "rotten boroughs". The lower house members are elected through a combination of first-past-the-post (300) and proportional representation (180). The problem is that many of those directly elected via the FPTP system represent small, rural communities that have disproportionate representation in the Diet over the more densely populated and larger cities. Getting rid of these constituencies would restore the balance of representation, and effectively arrest Japan's ruinous decline into a "construction state".

Points (4) and (5) are closely linked, and are even harder to explain. They will however be the basis of Hashimoto's ambition to form "American-style" federal states — assuming he ever gets that far.

- Since he was elected Mayor of Osaka in November last year, Hashimoto has strived to merge Osaka Prefecture and the two government ordinance cities of Osaka and Sakai into a larger Osaka Metropolis entity, which would then be divided into 10 autonomous districts.

- The goal is to destroy the wasteful bureaucratic deadlock between the prefectural and municipal Osaka governments. Then, by dividing the greater Metropolis into smaller autonomous entities, Hashimoto aims to devolve and distribute power to lower, local levels, thereby eliminating bureaucratic waste and hopefully improve local economies.

- The form may be different, but the intent is similar to that of the American federal system of government, that is, the decentralisation of government to the smallest possible units, hence potentially allowing civic society to do a better job of taking care of its own backyard.

- There is of course the practical problem of funding such autonomous local governments. Hence the need for tax reform.
Quote:
The concept includes enacting new legislation permitting the newly to be elevated metropolises to establish "special districts" as Tokyo does now. To make administrative devolution viable, it must be accompanied by revenue sources, which means changes to Japan's national and local tax systems.

As for SeijiSensei's reference to the Sengokujidai, that's just him observing that the turbulent period was effectively the last time that Japan truly had independent states under the nominal command of a central ruler (the Ashikaga Shoguns, who, ironically, ruled in the Emperor's name).

Feudal federalism, as it were.
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Old 2012-12-17, 10:22   Link #2638
willx
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Japanese Nationalism Swells in Tokyo’s Geek District




Quote:
On the eve of an election, a politician stood before a crowd. The speech was fiery. And flags fluttered. If this were anywhere else, nobody would think twice. But this wasn't anywhere. It was Tokyo.

Akihabara to be exact. Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe lead his conservative Liberal Democratic Party to a huge victory yesterday, bring him back to power.

On December 15, Abe made a last minute speech in Akihabara, Japan's geek district. He spoke from a van in front of the Gundam Cafe. Next door, the neon lights for idol group AKB48's restaurant burned. A crowd of one to two thousand gathered to listen to Abe speak. It's not uncommon for large crowds to gather and listen to politicians in Japan.

What is uncommon is widespread flag waving, even at campaign speeches. At events like this, rallying around the flag brings up memories of World War II—not just for people outside Japan, but people in the country. This is compounded by Abe's desire to change Japan's Constitution, which says that Japan can have a self-defense force, so it could have a more assertive military. (Other things he wants to do is jump-start the economy, keep nuclear power, address the bullying problem in schools, and end the country's crippling deflation.)
http://kotaku.com/5968981/japanese-n...-geek-district

Interesting that seeing flags waving about is causing consternation among some of the populous. Coming from a western nation, a certain degree of national pride is expected, but it seems like there are mixed feelings about it due to people blaming nationalism and fascism for the militarism of the nation / suffering post-war. I'm personally not against the proposed constitutional amendments, but I wonder if it'll ever come to pass.

Reply hazy, ask again later
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Old 2012-12-17, 12:15   Link #2639
DonQuigleone
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Regarding promoting procreation:

I find it odd that the Japanese can't swing pro-children legislation past it's senior citizen voter base. Seniors tend to skew conservative, and pro-family legislation tends to be a conservative cause. Furthermore, don't Japanese seniors want to have more grandchildren?

Usually it's the youth vote (<25s) that don't lobby for pro-family legislation, as they still haven't planned to have children yet. I don't see how increasing the political involvement of Japan's youth will create the conditions to pass the legislation to arrest Japan's population decline.

Perhaps Japan needs to look at the pro-family legislation passed in countries like France. France is an interesting case as it managed to reverse a declining birth rate and now maintains a birth rate of 2.01. Not only that, but most of those children (72%) are not being born to immigrants, while a quarter of France's population is of immigrant origin(so the French population has similar fertility rates to the immigrant population).
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Old 2012-12-17, 12:46   Link #2640
ArchmageXin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sneaker View Post
Sweden does not even have enough of a birth rate to sustain their population if it wasn't for massive immigration. Germany has all kind of benefits for parents, mothers can take three years off per child and get their jobs back by law and still its birth rate is as low as that of Japan.
And getting massive influx of immigrants that are good for society is not easy to pull off, especially if the country's language does not happen to be the world language. You could of course open the borders for Turkey, Africa and the Middle-East like Europe does(in practice, not theoretically), but that does create more problems than it solves.
They need to stop treating current "Non Japanese" like crap.

I believe two years ago they had a policy of asking Brazilian Immigrants, some second generation, offer them money to visit Brazil with the caveat of not coming back. That is kind of mean, especially since Brazil is consider to be highly "friendly" as opposed to say, Chinese or Koreans living in Japan (which presumably has an even worse deal) =/
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