2013 年 2013 巻 31 号 p. 35-60
Studies of ethnicity in Japan can be categorized into several broad themes, such as: urban community and foreign residents, foreign worker issues, policies for foreign residents, ethnic business, and ethnic culture. In this paper I will discuss previous studies and the future prospects of the first three themes which urban sociologists in Japan have long been working on.
The population of Japan, incidentally, is expected to decline by approximately 41million in the coming 50 years. Now is the start of a society with a declining population.Japan needs to decide whether it will pursue the way of a “big country” or a “small country”. Sooner or later, the nation will be forced to seriously discuss the acceptance or non-acceptance of migrants.
Over the last 25 years, sociologists have conducted research on foreign residents in Japan from various standpoints, sometimes with severely conflicting opinions. Right before the start of large-scale demographic change, we should pay special attention to every study made on this theme － this is the author's fundamental belief for this paper. Constructing the larger research framework within which to sublate the conflicting opinions will surely benefit our society in the future.