In relation to the beginning of Japan's total population decline, the problem of regional disparity has been attracting a great deal of attention in the country. Have the destination choices of foreign residents in recent years contributed to reducing such disparity? The purpose of this study is to analyse the destination choices of new immigrants and foreign residents moving within Japan in the period 2005–2010, using microdata from the 2010 Population Census. The results are compared with those obtained from the period 1995–2000. Three major findings are obtained: First, the empirical validities of three theoretical perspectives (effect of labour market conditions, attraction to co-ethnic communities, and spatial distribution of marital opportunities) are confirmed to a similar extent in this study as in the previous period. Second, the pull effect of the service industry is much larger than that of the manufacturing industry, for both new immigration and internal migration. Finally, although there is an obvious distance–decay tendency in internal migration, foreign residents (particularly Chinese residents) have shown the tendency of dispersal, including suburbanization. However, if the destination choices of foreign residents observed in 2005–2010 as a whole continue into the future, they would eventually worsen rather than alleviate the disparity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development