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Protecting Japan from immigrants? An ethical challenge to security-based justification in immigration policy

This article contributes to the growing interest in both the ethics of immigration and Japanese immigration studies by analysing the ethical justification of Japan’s immigration policy. The main objective of this article is to specify and address security-based justifications as part of an investigation into the ethical dimension of Japan’s immigration policy. Security is systematically drawn upon as one of the most powerful rationales to justify the competence claimed by Japan to control immigration as it deems adequate. The article will first specify the types of justification at stake. Second, it unpacks four understandings of security in immigration matters: as public order, as protection of welfare mechanisms, as cultural stability and as protection of social trust. Each of these justifications is bound with specific ethical challenges. Overall, the article maps the different justification strategies, their shortcomings and their advantages. The article intends to launch a proper ethical debate on Japan’s immigration policy.


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Contemporary Japan


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