Help (Not) Wanted: Immigration Politics in Japan

Michael Strausz, Texas Christian University
Wednesday, September 25, 2019 -
4:30pm to 6:00pm
202 Jones
Wednesday, September 25, 2019 -
4:30pm to 6:00pm

Shows how Japan’s immigration policy is shaped by the nature of Japan’s economy and elite debates about the country’s national identity.

In Help (Not) Wanted, Michael Strausz offers an original and provocative answer to a question that has long perplexed observers of Japan: Why has Japan’s immigration policy remained so restrictive, especially in light of economic, demographic, and international political forces that are pushing Japan to admit more immigrants? Drawing upon insights developed during nearly two years of intensive field research in Japan, Strausz ultimately argues that Japan’s immigration policy has remained restrictive for two reasons. First, Japan’s labor-intensive businesses have failed to defeat anti-immigration forces within the Japanese state, particularly those in the Ministry of Justice and the Japanese Diet. Second, no influential strain of elite thought in postwar Japan exists to support the idea that significant numbers of foreign nationals have a legitimate claim to residency and citizenship. This book is particularly timely at a moment shaped by Brexit, the election of Trump, and the rise of anti-immigrant political parties and nativist rhetoric across the globe.

Michael Strausz is Associate Professor of Political Science at Texas Christian University.

Sponsored by
Program in East Asian Studies, Migration Lab, PIIRS