Tuesday, February 09, 2010

International Population Movements

`Intensive seminar` sessions are seldom appealing -- especially if they are held for six consecutive sessions across two weekends!

This topic seemed interesting though, so I had planned to sit through a couple of sessions and then quit. But one intriguing topic led to another and I ended participating in the whole program. Some new perspectives -

Why do people migrate?

1. `Push-Pull Theories (aka neoclassical economic equilibrium perspective) - Formulated by Ravenstein (1885), this general theory is about the tendency of people to move from densely to sparsely populated areas; from low- to high-income areas.
However, it is not the poorest who usually decide to migrate, and it ignores the role of th state. So an alternate explanation was the -
2.  Historical-Structural Approach - stresses unequal distribution of economic and political power in the world economy, and says that migration was just a way of mobilizing cheap labor for capital. Here too there is an over-emphasis on the interests of capital, so the third explanation is a combination of the the first two -
3. Migration Systems Theory - this approach examines both sides of the flow and studies all the linkages between the places concerned - international relations, political economy, collective action and institutional factors. It sees migration is interdisciplinary phenomena, involving - sociology, political science, history, economics, geography, demography, psychology & law.

Tatemae and Honne

Inviting Japanese-American Migrants
Tatemae - `we want our people back`
Honne - `we`re facing serious labor shortages in the manufacturing sector`

Technical Trainees
Tatemae - `we want to contribute to international development by training Asians`
Honne - `we need cheap labor, so lets call them trainees and use them as regular factory hands`

Historical Time-line of Migrations in East Asia

  • 4c - 3c B.C: Introduction of rice production; use of bronze and iron tools (yayoi culture)
  • 1c - 3c A.D: Wa Japan sends missions to Korean peninsula
  • 5c: In Korean peninsula, Kogryo`s oppression on Baekje; Large-scale migration of the Baejke to the Japanese archipelago
  • 7c: Fall of Baekje and Kogryo; both royal families seek refuge in Japan
  • 9c: Japanese missions to China discontinues with the decline of the Tang dynasty
  • 10c: Trade with the Sung dynasty, China
  • 15c: Trade with the Ming dynasty
  • 1543: A Chinese ship with Portuguese on board arrives Tanegashima island (south of Kyushu). Trade with Portuguese begins, and also with Spain (50 years later from Hirado)
  • 1600: Trade with Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch and English at the beginning of the Tokugawa Shogunate
  • 1613: Ban on Christianity
  • 1635: `Closed Door` policy starts (`Sakoku` - chained country)

Inter WW Period

  • 1868: Immigrants to Japan from Europe, USA (introduced new technology, like the Koreans did in 7c) and China (workers)
  • 1876 - early 1900s: Emigration from Japan to Asia and the Americas
  • 1910: Annexation of Korea; immigration from Korea begins
  • 1924: USA bans immigrants from Japan (`foreigners taking US jobs`)
  • 1932: Emigration to Manchuria begins - rises to 2m
  • 1945: More than 2m Koreans `registered` in Japan
  • 1945-1955: Repatriation of Japanese civilians (3.5m); military personnel (3m) -- total population of Japan at the time - 72m; 1.4m Koreans return

Cold-War Years
  • 1945: International isolation
  • 1950s: Emigration resumes (discontinued in 1960s)
  • 1960s-70s: High economic growth in Japan - large scale movement of rural population (8-10m) to urban centers on the East coast; Primary sector workforce - 48% in 1948, down to 10% in 1980.
  • Late 1970s: Migrant women from the Philippines
  • Late 1980s: Number of male migrant workers increases; With the revision of Immigration Control Act in 1989, Japanese Brazilians begin to arrive
  • Late 1990s: Aging population and declining birth-rate starts hitting the economy.

Links / References

Castles, Stephen and Miller Mark J (1998), The Age of Migration - International Population Movements in the Modern World (Macmillian Press, London)

No comments: