Nigerians in Japan

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Nigerians in Japan
在日ナイジェリア人
Total population
5,018 (May 2011)[1]
Regions with significant populations
Tokyo
Languages
Igbo, Nigerian English, and other languages of Nigeria; Japanese[2]

Nigerians in Japan (在日ナイジェリア人 Zainichi Naijiriajin?) form a small community of around five thousand people. The majority of Nigerians arrived in Japan after the 1980s.

Migration history[edit]

Nigerians and other West African migrants began coming to Japan in the mid-1980s as migrant workers.[3] More recently, a common route into Japan for Nigerian migrants is to first go to Europe as false asylum seekers and establish legal residency permission there. Once this is done it is easier to acquire a tourist visa for Japan, after which the prospective migrant can enter the country and then overstay illegally. Legal migrants often enter via student visas, which allow them to work for a limited number of hours each week.[4]

There are a number of organisations for Nigerian immigrants in Japan. The Nigerian Union in Japan, the oldest one, was founded in 1990, and restarted twice, most recently in 2010. The Imo State Union, founded in 2002, replaced it to become the largest and most active, and has formally applied for non-profit status under Japanese law.[2]

Business and employment[edit]

Some Nigerian migrants during the 1980s found work in factories.[3] Later, after the end of the Japanese asset price bubble reduced opportunities for such work, they shfited into the night-life industry in Tokyo's entertainment districts such as Kabukichō or Roppongi, a line of employment with a high level of public visibility. Many of the bars in these areas were previously owned by Chinese or Koreans, but during a police crackdown in 2002, closed down; Nigerians took advantage of the resulting business vacuum to open their own bars, and hired their fellow countrymen as workers.[5] Typically, Nigerians can be seen on the street as touts and bouncers for bars. Many of the migrants working in this industry are in training for or have completed qualifications for professional positions such as engineering in institutions in their home countries or in Japan, but were unable to find any other kind of work in Japan suited to their level of education.[6]

Interethnic relations[edit]

Nigerians have a very poor public image in Japan, with public reports of their activities often focused on crime and scams in bar districts to the exclusion of other aspects of the community. Some Nigerian bar and club owners have been known to spike alcoholic drinks and rob their customers, but though some reports of such incidents are borne out by investigation, others turn out to have no more factual backing than the customer waking up with a bad hangover.[2] Many claim to be African American in an effort to avoid stereotypes and harassment.[7]

Notable people[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ MOFA 2010, 基礎データ
  2. ^ a b c Richard, Dreux (2011-07-19), "Japan's Nigerians pay price for prosperity: Facing apathy within and racism without, a disunited community struggles to thrive on society's periphery", The Japan Times, archived from the original on 2012-10-18, retrieved 2012-12-09 
  3. ^ a b Kawada 2008, p. 172
  4. ^ Cybriwsky 2011, p. 138
  5. ^ a b Brasor, Philip (2007-02-18), "'Africans in Japan' . . . not from the quill of Ishihara, thank God", Japan Times, retrieved 2011-06-25 
  6. ^ Cybriwsky 2011, p. 140
  7. ^ Kawada 2005, p. 71

Bibliography[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • 川田薫 [Kawada Kaoru] (2006), "在日ナイジェリア人のコミュニティの共同性の構築─イモ州同郷人団体がつなぐイボ民族の生活世界 [Structure of cooperation among Nigerians in Japan: Imo State migrant organisations and Ibo people's lives]", 生活学論叢 11: 127–138 
  • 川田薫 [Kawada Kaoru] (July 2007), "在日ナイジェリア人のコミュニティの形成――相互扶助を介した起業家の資本形成 [Community formation among Nigerians in Japan: Mutual assistance through entrepreneurial capital formation]", Kantoh Sociological Association Annual Review (20) 
  • Schans, Djamila (2009-05-23), "Lost in Translation? Marriages between African immigrants and Japanese women", IMISCOE conference on Interethnic Relations: Multidisciplinary Approaches, Lisbon, Portugal, retrieved 2011-06-25 

External links[edit]