An Intertemporal Comparative Analysis of Japanese Xenophobia Between 2009 and 2013

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 11:06 AM
Room: F203
Oral Presentation
Shunsuke TANABE , Waseda University, Japan
Japan is one of the most ethnic homogeneous countries in the world; however, Japan is also in the midst of rapid globalization with increasing numbers of foreign nationals living in Japan. Therefore the grassroots right-wing movements have spread and radicalized in recent years. But the causes and mechanisms of rapid growth of xenophobia in Japan remain unclarified.

The aim of this presentation is to reveal factors of xenophobic attitudes in Japan, especially the effect of social events. I analyze two survey datasets which were collected in 2009 and 2013 all over Japan. Between 2009 and 2013, Japan has experienced terrible diplomatic problems like Senkaku/Diaoyutai Islands dispute against China and also economic recovery seems to be caused by “Abenomics”.

The hypotheses on relationship between social events and xenophobia are as below. The first one is the influence of “East Asian geopolitics” (Higuchi 2012) on Japanese xenophobia especially toward Chinese and Koreans. Japan has territorial disputes against China and Korea. There are also political debates on the understanding of history in the period of Second World War. This hypothesis assumes that those conflicts have negative effect on Japanese attitudes toward China and Korea. The second hypothesis is the realistic conflict theory (Sherif 1966 etc.). From this perspective, in the time of economic depression, competition between immigrants and native citizens over limited resources are intensified, therefore negative feelings toward foreign residents are also escalated. If this theory is correct, the relations between respondents’ socio-economic status and xenophobia can be weaken from 2009 to 2013. Because in 2009 Japanese economy suffered in economic downturn precipitated by the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy, but “Abenomics” seems to show signs of economic recovery in 2013. I will confirm those hypotheses by using Multi-group Structural Equation Modeling.