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.
- 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