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Latin Americans of Japanese origin (Nikkeijin) working in Japan : a survey


  • Goto, Junichi


Since the revision of the Japanese immigration law in 1990, there has been a dramatic influx of Latin Americans, mostly Brazilians, of Japanese origin (Nikkeijin) working in Japan. This is because the revision has basically allowed Nikkeijin to enter Japan legally even as unskilled workers, while the Japanese law, in principle, prohibits foreigners from taking unskilled jobs in the country. In response, the number of these Latin American migrants has increased from practically zero to more than 250,000. The migration of Nikkeijin is likely to have a significant impact on both the Brazilian and the Japanese economies, given the substantial amount of remittances they send to Brazil. The impact is likely to be felt especially in the Nikkeijin community in Brazil. In spite of their importance, the detailed characteristics of Nikkei migrants and the prospect for future migration and remittancesare under-researched. The purpose of this paper is therefore to provide a more comprehensive account of the migration of Nikkeijin workers to Japan. The paper contains a brief review of the history of Japanese emigration to Latin America (mostly Brazil), a study of the characteristics of Nikkeijin workers in Japan and their current living conditions, and a discussion on trends and issues regarding immigration in Japan and migration policy. The final part of the paper briefly notes the limitation of existing studies and describes the Brazil Nikkei Household Survey, which is being conducted by the World Bank's Development Research Group at the time of writing this paper. The availability of the survey data will contribute to a better understanding of the Japan-Brazil migration and remittance corridor.

Suggested Citation

  • Goto, Junichi, 2007. "Latin Americans of Japanese origin (Nikkeijin) working in Japan : a survey," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4203, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4203

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. David J. McKenzie & Johan Mistiaen, 2009. "Surveying migrant households: a comparison of census-based, snowball and intercept point surveys," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 172(2), pages 339-360.
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    Population Policies; Labor Markets; Human Migrations&Resettlements; Voluntary and Involuntary Resettlement; Skills Development and Labor Force Training;

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