Susceptibility to Threatening News and Opposition to Refugee Resettlement: The Case of Japan

47 Pages Posted: 24 Jul 2018 Last revised: 27 Nov 2019

See all articles by Yusaku Horiuchi

Yusaku Horiuchi

Dartmouth College - Department of Government

Yoshikuni Ono

Tohoku University - School of Law

Date Written: November 25, 2019

Abstract

A prominent explanation for opposition to refugee resettlement is that natives who are directly exposed to and feel threatened by the influx of refugees are more likely to oppose refugee resettlement. Despite the increased prevalence of politicians' rhetoric against refugees and news articles implying refugees as potential terrorists, however, natives' susceptibility to threatening information---even in the absence of real threats---has yet to be fully investigated. To address this issue, we conducted a survey experiment in Japan, where real threats imposed by the influx of refugees are virtually non-existent. Our results demonstrate that natives become more strongly opposed to refugee resettlement when they are exposed to frames that depict refugees as threatening, regardless of the proximity to the location of potential threats and refugee resettlement. Further analysis focusing on subgroups, however, shows that conscious and positive interactions with outgroup members could make those natives less susceptible to anti-refugee rhetoric and threatening frames.

Keywords: perceived threat, intergroup relations, framing effect, contact theory, refugees, Japan

JEL Classification: D72, D80, F22, J15, J61

Suggested Citation

Horiuchi, Yusaku and Ono, Yoshikuni, Susceptibility to Threatening News and Opposition to Refugee Resettlement: The Case of Japan (November 25, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3206667 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3206667

Yusaku Horiuchi (Contact Author)

Dartmouth College - Department of Government ( email )

204 Silsby Hall
HB 6108
Hanover, NH 03755
United States

HOME PAGE: http://sites.dartmouth.edu/horiuchi/

Yoshikuni Ono

Tohoku University - School of Law ( email )

HOME PAGE: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~onoy/

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