The purpose of this paper is to ascertain the major characteristics of contemporary migrant workers in Japan. In order to illustrate their actual situations in relation to the socio-economic conditions and government policies, data have been gathered from relevant government sources and several surveys conducted by Japanese researchers.Design/methodology/approach The paper discusses social background, socio-economic factors and the public response to migrant workers in Japan. The focus is placed upon Japanese policy context and recent trend which demonstrates an increase in foreign workers. The main method is statistical analyses of the government macro data. In addition, some data from the relevant research outcomes are systematised.FindingsThe inflow of migrant workers has consistently augmented, and this has fostered the public debate. Some observers indicate that government deceitfully accepts migrant workers through the “backdoor” and the “side doors”. There has been some criticism, relating to the fact that increasing numbers of foreign employees include many workers with no formal qualifications, such as technical internships and international students who take on part-time jobs.Originality/valueThis article provides some factors for certain migration patterns, featuring contemporary Japan's migration issues. In conclusion, some uniqueness of contemporary migrant workers in Japanese community has been depicted, and the implications of these findings can contribute to prospective research, Japan's policy and practice in this field.
Asian Education and Development Studies – Emerald Publishing
Published: Dec 23, 2020
Keywords: Japan; Policy; Foreign students; Side door; Foreign workers; Backdoor