chapter  4
Citizenship and differential exclusion of immigrants in Japan KEI KO YA M A NA K A
Pages 26

Japan was once a country of emigration and immigration. During the period from 1885 to 1945, the country sent 800,000 emigrants to other countries as labourers, as well as two and a half million settlers to territories it had annexed as a result of victories in wars. In a reverse flow of migration, between 1910 and 1945, labour migrants arrived in Japan in successive waves from imperial colonies, mostly from Korea. Expanding military aggression resulted in serious labour shortages in the country as adult males were drafted to fight overseas. Colonial immigrants supplied a large pool of alternative, inexpensive labour, rapidly increasing to two million by the end of the Second World War. The majority returned to their home countries as soon as Japan lost the war, but a minority of Koreans (and Chinese) remained in the country to establish their lives and raise children.