Causal Relationship Between the Feeling of Alienation and Anti-Foreignism in Contemporary Japan

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 11:18 AM
Room: F203
Oral Presentation
Kunisuke HAMADA , Tokyo Jogakkan College, Sagamihara, Japan
In the last decade, anti-foreignism has emerged gradually in Japan. Grassroots right-wing organizations such as “Zaitokukai” have held anti-Korean demonstrations repeatedly. Furthermore, we can easily find many postings and articles on the internet which have hostilities toward foreign nationals and left-wings. They claim that the people who have a liberal view on migration and advocate for immigrants are “traitor” to Japan and have intended to damage Japanese national interest. Although only a few people participate in these movements, quite a number of people may share the feeling of intolerance toward vulnerable and minority groups. For example, a national diet member Satsuki Katayama waged a campaign to investigate the recipient of welfare public assistance and expressed the opinion via twitter that welfare public assistance for foreign residents should be cut off. Why has this trend emerged during recent years in Japan? Who support these speeches of anti-foreignism?

Yasuda (2011) pointed out that the people who support “Zaitokukai” have a feeling of alienation from societies and participate in activities to gain the esteem from others. On the other hand, Higuch (2012) claimed that “Zaitokukai” have recruited “ordinary” people who have a patriotic feeling through the internet, because there are only a few organizations which fulfill the demand of conservative people. However, these discussions are based only on the qualitative research of “Zaitokukai” members and it is difficult to generalize about characteristics beyond this particular group.

The aim of this presentation is to clarify the relationship between a feeling of alienation and anti-foreignism in Japanese ordinary people. For this purpose, I analyze the data from nationwide surveys conducted in 2009 and 2013 using the method of causal analysis and structural equation modeling.