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Dekasegi is a term used in Latin American cultures to refer to ethnic Japanese people who have migrated to Japan, having taken advantage of Japanese citizenship or nisei visa and immigration laws to escape economic instability in South America. The vast majority are Brazilians, but there is also a large population of Peruvians, as well as far smaller populations of other Latin Americans.

The original Japanese word dekasegi (出稼ぎ?) roughly translates as "working away from home". This can cause annoyance to those of Japanese descent who were born abroad, but have come to regard Japan as their permanent home, and therefore object to being regarded by Japanese (in Japan) as gaijin or foreigners.

There are approximately 275,000 such people in Japan from Brazil alone. Some are bilingual in Japanese and Portuguese, but many are monolingual in Portuguese alone when they first come to Japan and face additional challenges due to this language barrier.

Due to the Financial crisis of 2007–2010, many people of Brazilian and other Latin American citizenship lost their jobs in factories, multi-national corporations and the services industry.[1] The Japanese government is offering ¥300,000 or roughly US$ 3,000 to each Latin American migrant to return to the country of origin. This includes an additional US$ 2,000 for each additional family member. They may not return with a nisei visa even after the Japanese economy recovers.[2] This caused anger amongst the immigrants, some of whom have been living in Japan for many years.[3]

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