Immigrants in a non-immigrant society: Recent PHD dissertations on migration in Japan

Gracia Liu-Farrer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Japan has been struggling with 'immigration'-the 'I' word-for three decades (Roberts, this issue). Instead of calling it immigration, bringing in foreigners is packaged as absorbing global talents, as ethnic return, and as international aids.1 These disguises reflect Japan's deep ambivalence toward immigration. The country is aware that in order to maintain economic power and material affluence, it is necessary to bring in 'foreign people', but it is unwilling to imagine changes to the cherished Japanese ways of life. Immigration is seen as a threat to national identity. However, despite political ambivalence and cultural resistance, immigration has in fact taken place in Japan. By 2016, over two million foreign nationals have lived and worked in Japan, and this does not include the 400,000 people who have naturalized since 1980 (Du 2015).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-127
Number of pages11
JournalSocial Science Japan Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jan 19

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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