The Effects of the Ethnic Business Enterprise on a Local Shopping Mall in the Central Tokyo

Saturday, July 19, 2014: 11:00 AM
Room: 311+312
Oral Presentation
Tetsuo MIZUKAMI , College of Sociology, Rikkyo University, Tokyo, Japan
Yuezhong DUAN , Rikkyo Institute for Peace and Community Studies, Rikkyo Institute for Peace and Community Studies, Tokyo, Japan
This paper is concerned with the way the development of global migration has made its impact upon Japan’s urban communities.  Nowadays in Japanese metropolises it is common for individuals from various backgrounds to be found living together and in recent years the rate of such interaction has been growing constantly.  The major focus in this paper will be upon the Ikebukuro district, one of the major transportation terminals in the central Tokyo.  Previously, the district surrounding the City centre was descending into urban decay as this community confronted a serious shortage of appropriate local labour combined with its ageing population.  Since the late-1980s, this district has attracted newcomers, among workers in the 20 to 30 age-group, from foreign countries owing to its business development, offering many jobs especially in service industries.  Subsequently, and particularly since the 2004-2005, the district has become the subject of media investigation of plans to establish a new ‘Chinatown’.  But this is a new kind of ‘Chinatown’.  Here we do not see the traditional Chinatown gates that can be seen elsewhere in Japan's other major Chinatowns, such as Yokohama.  Nor do we see the concentration of Chinese shops, though there has been some Chinese business development that is evident in selling Chinese cuisine and groceries.  Rather, the unique character of this area is ascribed to the numbers of Chinese commuters who travel to and from the precinct, as well as to the various free Chinese papers which inform Chinese residents of applications for visas or accommodations and so on, apart from various advertisements of fashion or cuisine.  This area is the place for publishing the many Chinese community papers with considerable circulation, and hence this district has become the location of an ethnic town for commuting compatriots.