Date of Award

Spring 6-12-2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

MA Asian Studies


Language/Literature /Culture


Xue-Ming Bao, Ed.D

Committee Member

Zheng Wang, Ph.D


immigration, migrant workers, national policy, education, discrimination


This thesis attempts to provide an analysis of Japan’s immigration policy on migrant workers and their families. I am interested in exploring the interactions between the Japanese government and foreigners during 1960-2014. I have three research questions: (1) What is the Japanese government policy for migrant workers? (2) What is the education status for the children of migrant workers to assimilate into Japanese society? (3) How are migrant workers and families treated by the Japanese government in terms of the human rights and their national rights? I have selected four books as the primary sources for my thesis, and analyzed quotes from the different authors to seek answers to my questions.

I have learned that Japan is avidly attempting to diversify its country, and to break away from the homogenous stereotype but it is a slow process. During Japan’s economic rise in the 1980s as well as the first series of the lost decade in the 1990s, Japan’s interests shifted to welcoming more foreign migrants and immigrants. However, many Japanese officials and citizens still show slight hostilities when such a radical change has the potential to impede on their “Japanese-ness” (Japanese Identity).

There is a growth of migrant workers and immigrants from 2003-2014 in terms of accepting anyone with a working proficiency in Japanese, based on The Immigration Refugee Acts in 1995-2004. In 2014, The United Nations worked with the Japanese government on ending inequality in Japan for immigrants and migrant workers.