This chapter examines the central place played by the discretionary “special permission to stay” system in immigration to Japan in the postwar period. Japan’s postwar Migration Control Act gave extensive discretionary powers to the government to deport certain foreigners from Japan, but also to allow others to remain even though they did not fulfill the normal legal criteria. The sudden closing of the border between Japan and its former colony Korea from 1946 onward, and the redefinition of Koreans in Japan from the status of “colonial subject” to the status of “foreigner”, created many social problems. A large number of families became divided, with some family members in Japan and others in Korea, unable to enter Japan legally. As a result, there was substantial illegal entry by boatpeople from Korea in the late 1940s, 1950s and 1960. The chapter explores the process by which some of these undocumented migrants obtained “special permission to stay”, but also highlights the arbitrary nature of the system and its potential to encourage corruption or to cause give rise to injustices.
|Title of host publication||Hiseiki Taizaisha to Zairyu Tokubetsu Kyoka: Ijushatachi no Kako, Genzai, Mirai (Undocumented Residents and Special Permission to Stay: The Past, Present and Future of Migrants)|
|Editors||KondÃ´ Atsushi, Shiobara Yoshikazu and Suzuki Eriko|
|Place of Publication||Tokyo|
|Publication status||Published - 2010|