Home World News Japan Slams Biden’s ‘Xenophobia’ Remark, Formal Protest Lodged

Japan Slams Biden’s ‘Xenophobia’ Remark, Formal Protest Lodged

Japan expressed disappointment over the U.S. President Joe Biden’s remarks that “xenophobia” is hindering the Asian nation’s economic progress, the Japanese government’s chief spokesperson confirmed on Tuesday. Last week, Biden said that “xenophobia” in countries like China, Japan, and India was negatively impacting their economic growth while highlighting the benefits of immigration for the U.S. economy at a fundraising event in Washington.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi shared that Japan had formally objected to the United States, emphasising that Biden’s comments did not reflect a proper understanding of Japan’s policies. “We lodged representations to the United States that the comment was not based on the correct understanding of Japan’s policy and regrettable,” Hayashi stated at a press conference, without going into further detail.

Despite this, Hayashi underscored the robust relationship between Japan and the U.S., saying, “Japan’s ties with its security ally, the United States, are more solid than ever, and Tokyo will strive to make them even stronger.”

At the campaign event for his 2024 re-election bid, Biden said, “One of the reasons why our economy is growing is because of you and many others. Why? Because we welcome immigrants.” He further explained, “Why is China stalling so badly economically, why is Japan having trouble, why is Russia, why is India? Because they’re xenophobic. They don’t want immigrants. Immigrants are what makes us strong.”

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Japan, which prides itself on cultural homogeneity, has historically been hesitant about immigration. However, the country faces significant labour shortages due to falling birth rates and an ageing population.

In a recent interview with Newsweek, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida acknowledged that Japan must consider attracting skilled workers to help tackle its demographic challenges but dismissed the idea of a comprehensive immigration program. “For highly capable and motivated workers to be invited into Japan to provide support to Japanese society is what we would like to enable,” he noted. “There are still some in Japanese society who are resistant to the idea of continuous, indefinite immigration of labour from overseas.”

With Inputs From Reuters