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Xenophobic Nation? The Politics Behind Japan’s Notoriously Strict Refugee Policy
Nicholas A. R. Fraser
John A. Sproul Research Fellow
University of California, Berkeley

For decades, Japan has produced consistently asylum low recognition rates—among the lowest in the developed world. Thus far, Japan-focused scholarship has attributed Japan’s restrictive immigration and refugee policy legacies to widely held xenophobic beliefs that Japan should not accept permanent immigration because doing so would erode that country’s traditional monocultural identity. However, to date, no studies have closely examined Japan’s process through which refugee claims are decided (referred to as refugee status determination or RSD procedures), nor have they carefully examined Japanese attitudes toward asylum-seekers and resettlement refugees. Drawing on his doctoral research and a recently published article John A. Sproul Research Fellow Nicholas A. R. Fraser explores this topic. His research shows that Japan’s strict asylum policy is the product of bureaucratic politics, and that the Japanese public is more supportive of hosting refugees than politicians, pundits, and previous scholarship would have us believe.

Oct 26, 2021 02:00 PM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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