Since the late-1970s, millions of Chinese have arrived in Japan as students, workers, family members, long-term residents, and undocumented migrant workers. Hundreds of thousands of them have chosen to settle in this country. This paper introduces the major patterns of contemporary migration from China to Japan and describes some characteristics of Chinese migrants, highlighting the transnationality of their socioeconomic practices and settlement orientation. It also discusses the impact of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake on the Chinese community, pointing out that migration decision-making takes into account a complex set of contextual factors. Natural disasters might only be a small part of the causal reasons or a catalyst at best. On the other hand, the shared disaster experience might be an opportunity for migrants to participate in societal building and cultivate a sense of belonging.
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