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Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien

Registration Info

The workshop will be conducted in English. Everybody is welcome to attend, but please register by June 28 with Verena Blechinger at the DIJ.

Foreign Residents in Japan: Immigration, Integration, and Social Change

June 29, 2001 / 2-6 p.m.

Speakers:  Terry MACDOUGALL (Stanford Japan Center, Kyoto)
Deborah MILLY (Virginia Tech)
Discussant: Keizo YAMAWAKI (Meiji University)
Chair: John CAMPBELL (University of Michigan)
Organizer: Verena BLECHINGER (DIJ)

How do nations try to resolve the often conflicting claims of national sovereignty, labor force needs, human rights, and traditional conceptions of citizenship (including nationality, ethnicity, identity etc.) in an age of economic globalization, labor migration, and momentous demographic changes? How do discourses on and actions for human rights in Japan and the West mesh with the strong immigration control mentality prevalent in our politics and evidence of racism and xenophobia among segments of the public? What are the social realities for foreign residents in Japan as compared to the policy systems in place? What are the street-level policy realities for foreign residents in Japan? How does the system (of incorporating foreigners) evolve in Japan compared with that in other OECD countries?

In the emerging interdisciplinary field of “immigration and migration studies” and an often-related field of “social exclusion and integration”, diverse theoretical, methodological, and policy perspectives have spawned a myriad of questions and approaches for considering these topics comparatively and globally.

We intend this workshop to be an informal forum for researchers working on these topics in Japan to come together to exchange perspectives and explore practical and academic possibilities.

To initiate discussion, two speakers with research in progress will make brief presentations:

Terry MacDougall (Consulting Professor, Stanford University, and Director of the educational programs at the Stanford Japan Center in Kyoto) is looking broadly at
Japanese policy challenges, thinking and options regarding social integration of foreign residents. Terry’s presentation will focus on the social, civil and political integration of zainichi Koreans as a test case and shaping force in broader Japanese thinking about these issues.

Deborah Milly (Associate Professor, Political Science, Virginia Tech) will focus on the impact of activism by the courts, nongovernmental organizations, and local governments in spurring change. She is intrigued by the implications of many simultaneous changes in implementation and practice across a range of policy areas for the overall direction of Japan’s immigration and integration policy system.

Keizo Yamawaki (Professor, Economics, Meiji University), author of work on historical trends in immigration to Japan and on resident foreigners in Japan, historically and contemporary, will serve as a discussant.

Related Research Projects

Japan in Asia