Labour Market Flexibilisation and the Disadvantages of Immigrant Employment: Japanese-Brazilian Immigrants in Japan

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This study investigates the manner in which labour market flexibilisation is linked to the incorporation of Brazilian immigrants and their prospects for upward mobility in Japan. Although earlier studies have documented these relationships in North America and Europe, little is known about the socio-economic circumstances and recent changes in institutional settings in several Asian countries that currently accept a large number of immigrants. The results of this study indicate that the human and social capital of Brazilian immigrants has played a minor role in helping them to obtain standard employment. The highly regulated labour market in Japan has hindered the efforts of Brazilian immigrants to gain access to 'good' jobs with stable employment prospects, regardless of the degree of human and social capital that is possessed by individual immigrants. In addition, the recent increase in labour market flexibility has rendered it exponentially more difficult for Brazilian immigrants to enter the core employment sector. These institutional conditions for Brazilian immigrants have shaped the mechanisms of their integration and thereby prevented them from achieving upward mobility in Japanese society. These findings also reflect a lack of public debate and institutional support for the integration of immigrants into the wider Japanese society.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1177-1195
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Jul 4
Externally publishedYes



  • Brazilian Immigrants
  • Japan
  • Labour Market Flexibilisation
  • Non-Standard Work Arrangements
  • Social Capital

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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