Immigrants have become an indispensable part of the Japanese regional economy workforce; in particular, Japanese Brazilians and Chinese trainees have been recently gaining attention in Japanese society.
In this study, I investigate how Chinese trainees build relations with their Japanese host society by examining their work and lifestyle and how they integrate themselves into local communities.
While there are several Chinese trainees whose primary purpose is engaging in economic activities, like in the past, approximately half the Chinese trainees who wish to experience Japanese culture and lifestyle while working in Japan are already employed in their country. Thus, it is difficult to clearly analyze their motivations for coming to Japan, and I suggest considering the various reasons for their working abroad in Japan. Furthermore, they are often actively involved in international exchange events that enable them to become acquainted with Japanese people. Most research on Chinese trainees focuses on their role in Japan's economy; however, in my opinion, such an approach does not sufficiently describe their activities and interactions with the host society.
Therefore, for my research, I have conducted in-depth interviews with Chinese trainees in Japan and representatives of Chinese exchange organizations to understand their interactions with the host society. I discovered that exchange organizations in China provide guidance to these trainees and make them aware of the necessity of learning Japanese and integrating into Japanese society. On the Japanese side, several support activities for new trainees aim to accomplish the same goal and help them enjoy their stay in Japan and participate in local events. Furthermore, some Japanese local initiatives also educate Chinese trainees in Japanese language and culture. These initiatives play an important role in the integration of Chinese immigrant workers into Japanese society, although many new trainees are still rather unaware of their activities.