Changing immigration stance in focus at 2019 Japan Update

Japan’s rethink on immigration in the face of an impending labour force crisis will be in the spotlight at The Australian National University’s annual Japan Update this Wednesday

In the keynote address to this year’s conference, Japanese MP Yoko Kamikawa will outline how the East Asian country, long resistant to immigration, is now opening its doors to foreign workers.

Ms Kamikawa was the Japanese politician charged with overseeing the policy.

ANU Japan expert Dr Lauren Richardson said this year’s conference will examine Japan’s increasing leadership role on the global stage, as well as challenges back home.

“Japan is taking a front seat role in the world’s economic and political order,” Dr Richardson said.

“This has been driven by a range of factors, including the election of Donald Trump as US President and the rise of China. Japan hosted the G20 earlier this year and will welcome the world for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

“But at the same time, Japan’s relationship with neighbour South Korea is in freefall and it lives in the shadow of a nuclear-armed North Korea.

“Back home, Japan boasts the world’s third largest economy and a stable government, with Shinzo Abe about to become Japan’s longest serving prime minister.

“However, the country is dealing with a shrinking and ageing population, a weak opposition and huge government debt.

“How Japan and its leaders can navigate these complex challenges is of major interest and concern for Australia and the world.”  


WHO: Japanese MP Yoko Kamikawa and other experts     

WHAT:  2019 Japan Update – Leadership in a time of uncertainty

WHERE: Molonglo Theatre, JG Crawford Building, Lennox Crossing, ANU

WHEN: Wednesday 4 September, 9am-5.10pm

For media assistance, contact the ANU Media Team on +61 2 6125 7979 or at

About The Australian National University

ANU is a world-leading university in Australia’s capital city, Canberra. Our location points to our unique history, ties to the Australian Government and special standing as a resource for the Australian people.

Our focus on research as an asset, and an approach to education, ensures our graduates are in demand the world-over for their abilities to understand, and apply vision and creativity to addressing complex contemporary challenges.

The Australian National University
East Road, Acton
2601 Canberra