Migration and Diasporas
Co-Authors: Philip Streich - Associate Professor, Graduate School of Human Sciences, Osaka University
In April 2018 Japan’s government announced its new plan to attract about 500,000 workers to the sectors with severe labor shortages by 2025. Also, there is an ongoing initiative to bring high-skilled workers to the country by providing them with less restrictive migration conditions. Overall, according to the Ministry of Justice there were 2,232,026 foreign citizens residing in Japan in 2017, representing 195 nationalities, and there are 26 visa categories, including ‘care work’ introduced in 2017. Though there is no official integration policy in Japan, the government has been involved in the implementation of tabunka kyōsei (multicultural living together), which aims to promote intercultural communication and understanding. Considering diversifying migrant groups currently residing in the country and the greater influx of diverse groups in the coming years, we raise questions on challenges and necessary measures for the tabunka kyōsei program in general and public service institutions in particular. This presentation will present general trends in migration to Japan with a focus on basic data such as age, nationality, gender, etc. and issues migrants face during their settlement. We also introduce several case studies, such as intermarriages with Japanese nationals; public school translation services for mix-heritage and foreign pupils; and activities of local associations catering for foreign residents. With these data we aim to provide an outlook on the scale of diversity that Japan currently faces. Moreover, based on the case studies we will also analyze measures that are currently taken and the necessary steps to accommodate migrants from various groups.