The government plans to start next fiscal year a survey on fourth-generation and later Japanese descendants living in Central and South America, with the aim of finding talented young Japanese descendants who are interested in Japan and encouraging them to study or work in this country.
Many such descendants living in Central and South America have ancestors who emigrated from Japan in groups during the Meiji era (1868-1912). It has been confirmed that there were about 2.13 million of these descendants in Central and South America as of 2015.
However, some of them apparently live apart from Japanese communities due to intermarriage and other reasons. Therefore, their ties to Japan are becoming weaker by the year.
Japan is expected to face a serious labor shortage in the near future due to the declining birth rate and an aging population. Therefore, the government is considering introducing this fiscal year a residential status that makes it possible for fourth-generation Japanese descendants to work in the country.
The government plans to learn about the lives and ideas of young Japanese descendants and find people who want to study or work here.