The Importance of Local Level Actors: A Comparison of Integration Policies for Foreign Migrant Residents in Two Cities in Japan
Oishi, Tyler Keahi Satoshi
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How do Toyota and Yokkaichi, two cities in Japan, respond to the difficulties faced by their Nikkeijin foreign residents and why do these cities respond differently despite sharing numerous characteristics? Are there key factors that influence different migrant incorporation strategies? How do these factors influence the ways that Brazilian-Nikkeijin might be viewed in each city? This thesis explores the ways that local organizations in Toyota and Yokkaichi assist their Brazilian Nikkeijin migrant populations and the factors that influence these strategies. I hypothesize that the domination of the Toyota Motor Corporation in Toyota and Yokkaichi's history of citizen mobilization significantly affect the ways in which these two cities approach migrant incorporation. I also hypothesize that trends in the types of consultation sought by Brazilian Nikkeijin in the two cities will share seasonal patterns. I test these hypotheses through interviews conducted in 2015 with representatives from local organizations in Toyota and Yokkaichi and through the information in the websites of these organizations. My findings support the hypotheses that the dominance of the Toyota Motor Corporation in Toyota and the unique characteristics of Yokkaichi's citizens, grounded in citizen mobilization experiences, influences the different approaches each city takes in responding to Brazilian needs. However, they do not indicate visible seasonal patterns on the types of consultation services sought by Nikkeijin. Previous literature frames the challenges Nikkeijin face in Japanese society and how local governments respond to those challenges in the larger picture of ethnicity and ethnically-based state policies. The thesis contributes to discussions of return migration policies aimed at the integration of foreign residents and the patterns of ethnic negotiation and re-negotiation by co-ethnics when faced with problems as a result of unfulfilled cultural expectations.
- Masters Theses