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Asian Migration and Global Cities

Anne Cong-Huyen, Jonathan Young Banfill, Katherine Herrera, Samantha Ching, Natalie Yip, Thania Lucero, Randy Mai, Candice Lau, Authors
Candice Lau: About Me, page 1 of 16
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Asian Migrants in Tokyo

Although Tokyo is composed of mostly Japanese, there is a small population of minorities such as Koreans, Chinese, Brazilians, Americans, Peruvians, Filipinos and British1.
Chinese (120,331)
Korean (103,191)
Filipino (31,505)
American (18, 043)
British (7,585)2

Koreans and Chinese make up a large amount of the migrant population. This can be due to the history Japan had with China and Korea. Japan had colonized Korea for 35 years. Whenever there is colonization, there are often migrant workers working in the colonizer's country (similar to the United States and Philippines). The Brazilian population is associated with the fact that there are many people in Brazil of Japanese descent. 

The labor market and attitudes in Japan have evolved due to the number of foreign workers. Japan and China have had issues with each other for many years. But within the last couple of years, Japan has opened up to Chinese immigrants. Especially in the service sector, Japan is beginning to rely on Chinese immigrant workers to take jobs that were originally for the local Japanese. Most of the Chinese immigrants come to Tokyo as exchange students or through training programs. They go to Japan because it is closer to China and is known to be safer than other countries. Many of the students hold jobs. Some work multiple jobs and long hours. Some convenience stores in Tokyo are owned by Chinese and have many Chinese workers. They often save the money they make in Japan (like in Tokyo) and eventually go home. Rather than going to rural areas, Chinese (and other foreigners) are working in big cities like Tokyo. 58% of the Chinese in Japan are women. Some work there and hope to marry a Japanese and gain a Japanese passport.
Japanese corporations hire more foreigners hoping to become more international. They hope to hire employees who understand both the Japanese and Chinese markets. Hiring foreigners is beneficial, especially for automobile and electronic corporations as well as stores and restaurants, because the labor is cheaper3. Cutting down costs is important for corporations in cities like Tokyo where everything is expensive. is a great website for foreigners who want to work and live in Tokyo and Yokohama.
In addition to Expats Guide, is another great website for expats to use. There are different networks for the foreigners/expats in Tokyo. These networks connect expats together and provide help and resources to each other. Networking is important when working in a foreign country especially when finding jobs and making friends. Networks help people feel less homesick by being able to talk to others who are having similar experiences.
Both of these websites are helpful for foreigners (expats) who want to work in Tokyo. It provides them with information about living and working in Tokyo.
According to InterNations, Tokyo is the "powerhouse" of Japan and working there is beneficial for expats. There are great opportunities in Tokyo in the Medical technology and healthcare industry. Also according to InterNations, because Tokyo is a large city with a booming tourism industry, foreign workers can find jobs in tourism and transportation. Foreign workers have an advantage since they are bilingual and can communicate to other foreigners, many who are Asian.

Since the earthquake in Japan, many English teachers have left. So now there is a demand for English teachers in Tokyo for expats. Many of these expats take on these positions as English teachers in addition to holding other jobs4. Teaching English seems to be a popular thing among foreigners who speak English. It shows that Tokyo's interest in English speaking nations and helps with international businesses.

Where exactly do expats reside?
According to The Expats Guide, migrants live in these neighborhoods that are great for foreigners. These neighborhoods have international schools and restaurants and other businesses with a staff that is bilingual. For example, Roppongi is a trendy, cosmopolitan town located in Tokyo. There are great shopping malls, restaurants, and international businesses. There are also medical professionals who speak English and other languages to help foreign residents. Residents usually live in apartments, flats, or houses. Flats tend to be the cheapest and of course, houses are the most expensive. Those who live in a house have the ability to own a pet and enjoy hobbies (such as gardening). These neighborhoods help accommodate foreigners by providing businesses that have bilingual workers and a safe and fun area to live in while away from home.   

The number of foreigners/expats in Tokyo has grown which shows how open they have become towards foreigners. This goes back to Martin Prosperity Institute's ranking of global cities and the "C" grade Tokyo received in Tolerance. The growing population of foreigners can help raise that grade. Tokyo needs to become more diverse and accepting of different cultures, religions, and customs. The need for English teachers show that Japan wants their citizens to be educated and have the ability to communicate with those in the western hemisphere. Through this, the Japanese can learn about the western culture and open up more corporations to the west.

1. World Population Statistics. "Tokyo Population: 2013." Web. 10 March 2014

2. Go Japan Go. "Tokyo Population." Web. 10 March 2014

3. Harney, Alexandra. "The New Japanese Worker is Chinese." Latitude: New York Times. Web. 10 March 2014

4. Tokyo Tourism and Living. "Reasons Why Expats Prefer Tokyo Lifestyle." Web. 10 March 2014
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