Beyond the Cross-Cultural Border: Returned Migrants’ Lives from Japan to Bangladesh

Prof. Tetsuo Mizukami1

1College Of Sociology, Rikkyo University, , Japan

The objective of this paper is to clarify the characteristics of the Bangladeshi returnees from Japan. Since the arrival of ‘newcomers’ from foreign lands to Japan since the mid-1980s, the study of urban ethnicity has flourished, but the Bangladesh community was not a group of particular interest in Japan’s migration studies. However, they have steadily established their own community, though many returned from Japan. This paper is based on data gathered from interviews with Bangladeshis who had lived in Japan for long periods, and have returned to their homeland. The research findings confirm that migration from Bangladesh to Japan has significantly developed the character of personal relationships between Bangladeshis and Japanese, and some returnees have still kept their personal ties. Although the current debate about migration policies in Japan has tended to centre upon some serious domestic problems such as shortages in the labour force, and the ongoing trend for a greater proportion of elderly people, these returnee experiences suggest that there is more to human settlement than merely migration labour issues.


Tetsuo Mizukami is Professor of Sociology at Rikkyo University, Japan.


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