Incentives for international migration of scientists and engineers to Japan

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    7 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Many developed countries, welcome foreign talent, and Japan is no exception. The Japanese government has developed programmes for expanding the acceptance of foreign labour in specialized and technical fields, in order to compete with foreign nations in the global economy and accommodate the highly specialized domestic industrial structure. This paper focuses on scientists and engineers (S&E) as a component of the highly skilled labour force, and examines their incentives for migrating to Japan, which is one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world. According to a survey conducted in 2004, the majority of S&E working in Japan migrated from Asian nations, and many obtained their doctoral degrees in Japan and continued to stay in the country to work. Key incentives for migration are Japan's high level of science and technology, opportunities to acquire cutting-edge knowledge, and prospects for improving performance in an environment with large budgets, superior equipment and facilities, and good quality human resources. In particular, the technological environment is influential for S&E from countries with a significant technological gap when compared with Japan. However, this does not mean that S&E are indifferent to monetary rewards. The salary gap, which is considered to be a major factor in international mobility in to traditional economic theory, has also proven to be a significant incentive, particularly for S&E from countries where the gap in gross domestic product (GDP) per capita compared with Japan is large. In addition, cultural and social aspects of Japan attract mainly young S&E. The attractiveness of Japanese culture, opportunities to learn the Japanese language, and chances to build a network of personal contacts are important incentives for migration. This study presents some policy implications for countries competing over capable S&E.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)67-91
    Number of pages25
    JournalInternational Migration
    Volume47
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2009

    Fingerprint

    international migration
    engineer
    Japan
    incentive
    migration
    foreign countries
    gross domestic product
    economic theory
    salary
    social attraction
    labor force
    human resources
    reward
    budget
    acceptance
    contact
    labor
    economy
    language
    science

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Demography

    Cite this

    Incentives for international migration of scientists and engineers to Japan. / Murakami, Yukiko.

    In: International Migration, Vol. 47, No. 4, 2009, p. 67-91.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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