Latin Americans of Japanese Origin (Nikkeijin) Working in Japan: A Survey

51 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016

Date Written: April 1, 2007

Abstract

Since the revision of the Japanese immigration law in 1990, there has been a dramatic influx of Latin Americans, mostly Brazilians, of Japanese origin (Nikkeijin) working in Japan. This is because the revision has basically allowed Nikkeijin to enter Japan legally even as unskilled workers, while the Japanese law, in principle, prohibits foreigners from taking unskilled jobs in the country. In response, the number of these Latin American migrants has increased from practically zero to more than 250,000. The migration of Nikkeijin is likely to have a significant impact on both the Brazilian and the Japanese economies, given the substantial amount of remittances they send to Brazil. The impact is likely to be felt especially in the Nikkeijin community in Brazil. In spite of their importance, the detailed characteristics of Nikkei migrants and the prospect for future migration and remittances are under-researched. The purpose of this paper is therefore to provide a more comprehensive account of the migration of Nikkeijin workers to Japan. The paper contains a brief review of the history of Japanese emigration to Latin America (mostly Brazil), a study of the characteristics of Nikkeijin workers in Japan and their current living conditions, and a discussion on trends and issues regarding immigration in Japan and migration policy. The final part of the paper briefly notes the limitation of existing studies and describes the Brazil Nikkei Household Survey, which is being conducted by the World Bank's Development Research Group at the time of writing this paper. The availability of the survey data will contribute to a better understanding of the Japan-Brazil migration and remittance corridor.

Keywords: Population Policies, Labor Markets, Human Migrations & Resettlements, Voluntary and Involuntary Resettlement, Skills Development and Labor Force Training

Suggested Citation

Goto, Junichi, Latin Americans of Japanese Origin (Nikkeijin) Working in Japan: A Survey (April 1, 2007). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 4203. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=980821

Junichi Goto (Contact Author)

Kobe University ( email )

2-1, Rokkodai-cho, Nada-ku
Kobe, 657-8501, 657-8501
Japan
81-78-803-0398 (Phone)
81-78-861-6434 (Fax)

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