Invisible Immigrants: Undocumented Migration and Border Controls
in Early Postwar Japan
The economic "bubble"
of the 1980s is widely assumed to mark the start of large-scale
immigration to postwar Japan. This article questions that assumption by
examining the neglected topic of immigration to Japan in the decades
immediately following the Pacific War. Though the scale of immigration to
Japan in these decades is difficult to assess, there is good reason to
believe that tens of thousands of "illegal" migrants (so-called
mikkōsha) entered Japan, mainly from Korea, between 1946 and the
1970s. The article explores the experiences of these migrants and suggests
that official responses to their presence had a lasting impact on Japanís
migration and border control policies.
32, Number 1 (Winter 2006)
© 2006 Society for