AFRASO Lecture Invitation
Dr. Shigehiro Sasaki (Graduate School of Letters, Nagoya University):
"They are uninvited visitors": African migrants in Japan
In Japan, the number of residents from African countries is rather few, compared with other foreign residents. The Japanese government does not assume that foreigners are acceptable as unskilled workers except for Koreans, Taiwanese, and Chinese (in relation to forced migration during Imperial Japan) and their descendants, ethnic Japanese or persons of Japanese ancestry. Officially, African migrants are perceived as “uninvited visitors” and consequently their job chances in Japan are very limited. However, the number of African migrants in Japan is increasing, although they account for only 0.5 percent of all registered foreign residents.
Most of the African migrants in Japan come from Nigeria; the second largest group are Ghanaians. They are predominantly men, who are interested in “business”. They come into the country if an opportunity arises, and then try to stay longer or get married to Japanese partners so that they can get residence status and start a business such as exporting secondhand electronic items or car parts to their home countries.