Refugee Families, Education and the Regime Transition of Homeland: The Case Study of Burmese Refugee Community in Japan

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 18:15
Oral Presentation
Yasuhiro HITOMI, Nagoya Gakuin University, Japan
Burma was said to be sifted to the civilian rule since 2011. Burmese refugees who had fled their home country because of the fear of persecution returned to their homeland after this regime transition. How did this regime transition change their immigration strategies of Burmese refugees? This presentation focus on Burmese families and their education strategies and explore the factors which made their strategies between Burma and Japan.

This research is based on the field work data carried out in Tokyo, Japan since 2004 and Yangon, Burma since 2016. The data consists of interviews with Burmese refugees, refugee families, refugee advocacy NGOs, Government agency, and other related personnel.

I will discuss the following points. Firstly, their education strategies were diversified by the Legal statuses in Burma and Japan: Although Burmese refugees who received legal status in Japan and reacquired their Burmese passport could go back and forth between two nations, others could not. Burmese were limited the country where they raised their children depended on the legal statuses which they received. Secondly, life course factors. Some Burmese families returned to their homeland with their young children on the one hand, others raised their children in Japan. The life course factors including the child’s age and education stages influenced their educational strategies. Thirdly, institutional factors. Since the education system between Burma and Japan disconnected each other, Burmese families hesitated to move between two nations with their children. On the other hand, Burmese refugee community and NGOs provide several resources for their children to get educational supports. Although they faced several barriers between Burma and Japan, Burmese refugees developed their new education strategies.