Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s Untenable Refugee Policies

June 18, 2013 Asia Pacific Memo 3

Recent demonstrations protesting Hong Kong’s zero-recognition refugee policy in April 2013 brought renewed attention to a crisis situation regarding asylum seekers in the territory. Since 2004, 12,300 asylum seekers have filed claims with Hong Kong’s Immigration Department asking to be allowed to remain on the grounds that they face torture if returned to their countries, but only one has ever been granted refugee status. Hong Kong’s refugee recognition rates are well below the international average of 13.8% reported by the United Nations, and the 20% to 38% recognition rate in liberal democracies. […]

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Japan

Filipina Immigrant Girls’ Lived Experience in Japan

February 23, 2012 Asia Pacific Memo 0

Memo #134 – Filipina women, who entered Japan as “entertainers” or as the spouses of Japanese men, sometimes left children behind to be raised by relatives in the Philippines while they built economically viable lives in Japan. More and more, the teenage children of these migrant women are entering Japan, entering Japanese schools, and entering society as an important and recent immigrant youth population. These youth are being reunited with their mothers, beginning lives with unknown step-families, and struggling to learn Japanese – which is often their third or fourth language. Most scholars focus on how immigrant youth are victimized by an assimilationist-oriented education system, with its Japanese-only language policies and hyper-competitive high school entrance exams. But this focus allows only a small glimpse of their lived experience. […]

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Japan

Becoming a Commercial Marriage Broker in Malaysia

February 22, 2012 Asia Pacific Memo 0

Memo #133 – In the last two decades, East Asian countries have experienced a dramatic rise in international marriages. Much of it is between men in the wealthier countries of Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore, and women from poorer countries in the region. Among Chinese Malaysians, the number of marriages between the men and Vietnamese women increased from 28 in 2001 to 1,185 in 2005. To explain this increase, the media began to cover the proliferation of commercial matchmaking agencies in the early 2000s. But the role that Vietnamese wives play in the matchmaking business has attracted little attention. […]

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South Korea

South Korea’s Immigrant Incorporation Strategy

January 31, 2012 Asia Pacific Memo 0

Memo #127 – In July 2002, the mayor of Seoul conferred honourary residency status on Guus Hiddink, a Dutch soccer manager who advanced the Korean soccer team to the World Cup quarter finals. In contrast, in October 2009 the government deported Minu, a migrant worker and activist from Nepal, who had lived in Korea for 18 years and had been active in organizing migrant workers. These two vignettes demonstrate how the Korean government treats immigrants differentially. […]

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South Korea

한국정부의 이민자 정책

January 31, 2012 Asia Pacific Memo 0

Memo #127 – 2002년 월드컵의 열기가 채가시기 전인 2002년 7월에, 서울시는 당시 대한민국 축구 국가대표팀 감독이었던 거스 히딩크 감독에게 명예 서울 시민증을 수여했다 반면 2009년 10월 한국에 18년 동안 있으면서 이주노동자 운동에 앞장섰던 네팔인 미누씨를 강제추방했다. 이 두 사건은 한국 정부의 차별적 이주자 정책을 단적으로 보여 준다. […]

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Philippines

The Philippines’ Labour Export Policies – Pros and Cons

November 22, 2011 Asia Pacific Memo 0

Memo #122 – The Central Bank of the Philippines announced recently that despite the global economic crisis, remittances from Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) would hit $20 billion by the end of 2011. This is seven per cent higher than in 2010 and raised foreign exchange reserves to $76 billion, resulting in a $9 billion surplus in the country’s balance of payments. What lies beneath the surface of such good news? […]

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Japan

Foreign Workers and the Wildfires of Democracy in East Asia

October 20, 2011 Asia Pacific Memo 0

Memo #111 – As democratic movements spread to the Middle East and North Africa, hopeful observers and nervous authoritarian leaders wondered when they will reach Asia. In fact, they already arrived there in the late 1980s. But another East Asian democratic revolution has been taking place over the past decade, brought about by foreign workers. […]

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Canada

The Middle Mountain of the Xinhai Revolution

September 27, 2011 Asia Pacific Memo 0

Memo #104 – Growing up in Canada, my relatives would always remind me that my family came from the same county as Dr. Sun Yat-sen, the “Father of China”, when I was picked on by other kids because I was Chinese. This seemed like cold comfort. But it turns out that my relatives understood the relationship between the rise of modern China and the role of the overseas Chinese. […]

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Canada

Self-searching Migrants: Japanese Temporary Residents in Canada in the Age of High Mobility and Self-Reflexivity

July 5, 2011 Asia Pacific Memo 0

Memo #94 – The term “self-searching” (自分探し – jibun-sagashi) has become a cliché in Japan since the early 1990s, when the high-growth period ended. Economic stagnation obliged many new university graduates to get unstable and unfulfilling jobs. Since then, an increasing number of young Japanese have become “self-searching migrants” forming a new category of trans-Pacific migration. Just as migrants around the world have for centuries, Japanese young people are embarking on journeys across the Pacific in search of a professional or personal calling. […]

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Canada

「自分探し」のグローバル移動: 流動化と自省の時代におけるカナダの日本人一時滞在者たち

July 5, 2011 Asia Pacific Memo 0

Memo #94 – 「自分探し」という語は、1990年代初頭以来、日本であまりに安直に使われてきた決まり文句である。この時期日本ではバブル経済が崩壊し、大卒者でさえ多くが不安定な、やり甲斐のない仕事に就かざるを得なくなった。以来、「自分探しのための移動」をする若者たちは次第に増えていき、太平洋を越えて移動する者たちの中で新カテゴ
リーを形成している。 […]

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