22. Jul 2022 / 26 min

Japanese Immigration and the Korean Minority

A conversation with Sara Park. Hosted by Duncan McCargo.


Why does Japanese immigration policy have such a bad name? What are the historical origins of tight immigration policies? Where have these policies left immigrants of Korean descent, many of whom lost their Japanese nationality in the wake of the Pacific War? Are Koreans in Japan still torn between competing loyalties to North and South Korea? And what prospects are there for immigration reform in Japan, especially given the country’s aging population and urgent need for more labour?

Sara Park is a lecturer in Japanese culture at the University of Helsinki, who has written widely on questions of gender, the family, immigration, ethnicity and minorities in Japan. Her latest book in Japanese is ヘルシンキ 生活の練習 (Practice of Life in Helsinki, Tokyo: Chikuma Shobo, 2021), about living through the Finnish Covid-19 lockdown.

Duncan McCargo is director of the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies. He has previously published three editions of Contemporary Japan, a widely-assigned introductory text.

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