Immigration Strategies of Burmese Refugee Diasporas: Between Burma and Japan

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 11:00
Location: Hörsaal 07 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Yasuhiro HITOMI, Nagoya Gakuin University, Japan
Burmese refugees living in Japan have fled from their home country for fear of persecution. In 2011, however, their homeland were said to be shifted to civilian rule. How did the regime transition change the immigration strategies of Burmese refugee diasporas? How did Burmese diasporas contribute to their homeland? How did the policies of homeland and settlement country make their strategies? This presentation aims to explore the immigration strategies of Burmese refugee diasporas between Burma and Japan.
This presentation is based on the field work data carried out in Tokyo, Japan and Yangon, Burma. The data consists of interviews with Burmese refugees, refugee advocacy NGOs, Government agency, and other related personnel.
I will discuss the following points. Burmese refugees found the renewed opportunities. Since Burmese government started the diaspora policies toward overseas Burmese, the return strategies, temporally and permanently, were found in the Burmese diasporas. On the other hand, since another refugees made their livelihood in the country of asylum, they tried to get more stable legal status and higher jobs. Other Burmese refugees engaged in the transnational activities. Since the country of homeland developed so rapidly, Burmese refugees started some transnational businesses including trading and traveling between two nations. After the regime transition, Burmese refugee diasporas have developed the new immigration strategies between Burma and Japan.