Kenote Speaker

Prof. Rong Zhang

Nishinippon institute of Technology, Japan

Rong Zhang is currently a professor at Faculty of Design, Nishinippon Institute of Technology, Japan. She holds a master degree in education from University of Teacher Education Fukuoka, and a doctor degree in educational engineering from Waseda University, Japan. Rong Zhang has been teaching both English and Chinese for more than twenty years in about ten universities. Her research field includes intercultural communication, foreign language acquisition and e-learning. She has been focusing on the various social issues in Japan and made suggestions from the perspective of globalization and development.

Speech Title: Enhancement of Intercultural Communication Education ---- Determinants of Globalization and Growth Prospects in Japan

Abstract: Due to the rapid decline in the birthrate, Japan has become one of the most aged society in the world. Its economic situation has been significantly affected by this demographic change. In order to sustain economic dynamics and boost domestic growth, Japan has rectified its immigration policy and started to accept more foreign travelers and migrant workers. Japan has eased its visa restrictions for tourists from China, India and other Asian countries in recent years. This visa alleviation allowed more than 31.19 million travelers to enter Japan in 2018 and generated $40 billion revenue for its national economy. Furthermore, Japan revised its Immigration Control Law in April 2019 and started to issue working visas to those who are involved in low-skilled work. Unable to staff positions from the domestic labor force, many companies have turned to the foreign labor market to fill the gap of labor shortage. The government hopes to attract more than 345,000 foreign laborers to nursing, shipbuilding, lodging as well as construction and agricultural industries in the coming 5 years.  

The number of foreigners within its border is experiencing sharp increase. However, since Japan boasts of its own tradition and places high priority on its cultural identity, it remains questionable whether it is well-prepared as a hosting country for this large-scale population flow. Japan has opened its door to foreign tourists and migrant workers, but still shows strong resistance towards foreign cultures. Intercultural communication education should be enhanced to strengthen the residents’ intercultural awareness, and improve their intercultural communication competence as well. More efforts are needed to embrace diversity if Japan wants to find solutions to its social problems by accepting more foreign travelers and migrant workers.