Toward coexistence of immigrants and local people in Japan: Implications from spatial assimilation theory

Koji Murayama, Jun Nagayasu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We investigate the validity of spatial assimilation theory (SAT), which predicts geographical dispersion of immigrants from ethnically concentrated areas to non-concentrated areas as time elapses. This can be tested by analyzing the concentration tendency among immigrants who arrive in Japan from overseas and relocate within the country. Using spatial models, we find that immigrants from overseas tend to move to ethnically concentrated regions in Japan, which is in line with SAT. By contrast, this trend substantially weakens with their subsequent domestic relocation, and it differs by national group. The results reveal slow assimilation among nationals from countries characterized as being low-income or culturally dissimilar from Japan. Based on these findings, we discuss potential deficiencies in a new immigration policy (2018), which has been designed to increase the number of immigrants and compensate for a labor shortage in Japan.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3849
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Volume13
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Apr 1

Keywords

  • Japan
  • Migration
  • Social integration
  • Spatial assimilation
  • Spatial interaction model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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