Slowly Shifting Toward Inclusion: Local Immigrant Integration in Japan

28 Pages Posted: 24 Sep 2018

See all articles by David Green

David Green

Meijo University, Faculty of Law

Date Written: September 5, 2018


In spite of a growing foreign population spurred in part by rapid social aging, relatively few studies have looked to immigrant integration issues in Japan, particularly at the municipal level. This article considers national and local integration efforts, focusing on the case of Nagoya city. I outline immigrant integration policy and actions at the national and city levels, then offer an assessment of immigrant integration in Nagoya and Japan across three dimensions: socio-economic integration, cultural integration and legal-political integration. This article finds that while Nagoya, and by extension Japan’s larger cities, make some efforts in each dimension of integration, such efforts remain largely at the basic and superficial levels. However, municipal activities, limited as they are, do represent a conscious attempt toward at least minimal immigrant integration. Based on city efforts, this article goes on to suggest that previously strong notions of citizenship and exclusion in Japan may be slowly opening as the country’s demographics change.

Keywords: Immigration, Immigrant Integration, Assimilation, Local Governments, Migration Policy, Japanese Immigration, Migration, Japan

Suggested Citation

Green, David, Slowly Shifting Toward Inclusion: Local Immigrant Integration in Japan (September 5, 2018). Available at SSRN: or

David Green (Contact Author)

Meijo University, Faculty of Law ( email )


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