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  • The columnist referred to the apartheid in South Africa to illustrate her argument.

    The columnist referred to the apartheid in South Africa to illustrate her argument. | Photo: Wikipedia

Published 15 February 2015

An advisor of the country’s prime minister said Japan should separate immigrants from the rest of the population.

Ayako Sono, a journalist and advisor of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wrote a column this week that the country should continue using immigrants to resolve the issues arising from an aging population, but that these people should be separated.

In her article “Labor Shortage and Immigrants: Allow them in while maintaining ‘proper distance” – published in one the country's major daily newspapers – she explained that immigrants could be helpful in as caregivers for seniors, but that this foreign work force should live apart and maintain a “decent distance” with locals.

“It may seem contradictory, but it’s almost an impossible task to understand foreigners if you share living space with them,” said the journalist, adding that after studying the history of South Africa, she concluded that white, black and the Asian people have to live apart.

The column was heavily criticized on social networks, with many deploring racist statements a prominent person without facing at least a verbal condemnation on the part of the government she advises.

The Japanese prime minister has already been criticized in the past – including by the United Nations – approaching groups and appointing ministers that promote “hate speech” against foreign residents.  

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