The immigration of people of Japanese descent back to Japan – so-called Nikkeijin – is a fairly recent phenomenon in Japan’s immigration history. Nikkeijin became an important source of labor supply within the Japanese manufacturing industries throughout the 1990s. The biggest number of immigrants originates from South American countries. However, as the global economic crisis hit Japan in 2008, it became apparent that Nikkeijin are barely rooted within Japan’s society and institutions.
In his study of the enabling labor market structures, Alexander Winkscha strives to find the answer to the question of why easily achievable labor market participation is not matched with increasing degrees of social and political incorporation into Japanese society. Despite Nikkeijin having relatively easy access to the Japanese labor market and residency titles, there is a lack in occupational stability and a gap in status and social mobility between Nikkeijin and Japanese nationals.