Japanese Migration to Düsseldorf – History and Politics

Japanese migrants come to Europe, expecially to Düsseldorf as company transferees, students and young professional workers. Many of the new immigrants discussed are, in fact staying permanently. Treating immigration and emigration as an interrelated process raises questions about correlating concepts: who is an immigrant and an emigrant? There might exist doubts whether it is a meaningful distinction, particularly in this age of transnationalism. Who controls migration and defines therefore Japanese boundaries? Often regarded as short time migrants, political actors developed bilateral treaties and sets of rights that apply to them until today and shape their life plans in general, but new implications of Japanese migration as old age pensions or problems in geriatric and health care, are experienced recently in Germany. Expatriate communities of Japanese have also direct influence on the perception of Japaneseness overseas. After a brief historical outline specific data will follow on the case of Düsseldorf’s Japanese overseas community. In this connection then more national and regional problems of immigration policy can be discussed.

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