Japan has often been regarded as an ethnically homogeneous society whose restrictive immigration policies reflect the deep-seated cultural peculiarities of this 'island nation'. By contrast, I shall argue that Japan's post- 1945 cultural separation from the other countries of East Asia, and its strict border controls, were to a large extent products of Cold War politics. The postwar democratization of Japan went hand in hand with the introduction of tight restrictions on cross-border mobility: restrictions which had profound consequences for the rights of ethnic minorities in Japan (particularly Koreans and Taiwanese). An exploration of the emergence and impact of this border control regime casts new light, not just on Japan's role in the Northeast Asian region, but also on key limitations of nation-state centred notions of liberal democracy.
|Pages (from-to)||6 - 22|
|Publication status||Published - 2006|