The Migration Industry in Contemporary Japan

Monday, 11 July 2016
Location: Hörsaal 07 (Main Building)
Distributed Paper
Satomi YAMAMOTO, National Fisheries University, Japan
Managing migration, both international and internal, has become one of the important political agenda in contemporary Japan. As for international migration, Japan has faced the continuous inflows of short-term, mid-term, and long-term migrants from overseas. On the one hand, Chinese, Taiwanese, Korean, Nikkei Brazilian and Peruvian permanent residents fought for to establish their own economic, social, and cultural infrastructures in Japanese society. On the other hand, as tourists from China, Korea, Taiwan, and Southeast Asian countries continue to surge, their money spending habits have changed the traditional customer service system of Japanese retailers, forcing the retailers to adapt to foreign customs. As for internal migration, since the mid-1950s, the metropolitan areas in Japan have been attracting the rural youth, who have sought better educational and economic opportunities than those available in their hometown. Currently, the Japan central and local governments attempt to decrease the number of urban residents by encouraging the youth and the elderly to relocate themselves to the rural areas. To effectively control population flows, the  Japan central and local governments have established the international and internal migration systems, both of which appear to interact with one another. Nonetheless, little research has bee done to examine this linkage. Thus, the paper aims to answer the following research questions: (1) what are the similarities and dissimilarities between the international and internal migration industry systems?; (2)is the international migration industry interlinked with the internal migration industry? If so, how? If not, how does each maintain its area of activity or influence? (3) how does the Japan migration regime impact on the arrangement of international and internal migration industry? The examples are drawn from the cases in Japan. Through the case analysis, the paper argues the importance of incorporating the internal component to further unravel the mechanism of the migration industry.