Current Projects

New and Old Diversity Exchange (NODE) UK-Japan Network

Migrants form part of many societies across the world and we are witnessing the intensification of diversity which is proceeding at unprecedented speed, scale and spread in many countries including the UK and Japan.

These two countries have many political, economic and social differences yet they share one major challenge: a shortage of labour. Both have attempted to resist high levels of migration, yet now accept that future prosperity depends on international labour migration. Post-Brexit the UK expects to move beyond the EU for its migrant labour whilst at the same time Japan, housing relatively small numbers of migrants compared to the UK, is opening its doors to labour migrants.

Our new academic network brings social sciences, arts and humanities academics from the UK and Japan together to develop new knowledge and insight about diversification and integration resulting from old and new migrations. The network offers opportunities for new directions of scholarly work comparing migration in Japan and UK.  Our approach is highly original in its fusion of East/West intellectual traditions and knowledge that is both interdisciplinary and comparative.

Aim of the research

The overall aim of the project is to create a sustainable network of social science, arts and humanities academics to undertake comparative research exploring old and new migrations and diversifications in the UK and Japan....

Outputs and impact

UK/Japan Migration five day Symposium, December 2019...

Research team

Principal investigator...

In preparation for the forthcoming NODE conference (2-4 December)  in Tokyo, we are launching a series of Working Papers that examines a range of issues related to migration and diversity in Japan and the UK through a comparative lens. You can access to the Working Papers by 

View all NODE conference presentation slides: 

This is a collaboration between the Institute for Research into Superdiversity (IRiS) at the University of Birmingham, UK, and the Institute of Asian Migrations (IAM) at Waseda University, Japan.

It is funded by the ESRC Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) UK-Japan Social Sciences and Humanities Connections Programme. 

Gracia Liu-Farrer

  • “Global Labor Mobility and the Changing Meanings of Work and Workplace: A Comparative Study of Germany and Japan,” Japan Ministry of Education (MEXT)/Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS). Fund for the promotion of International Joint Research. 

Glenda S. Roberts

  • “Inclusion and integration of diversity:  Employers, newcomer migrant workers, and their communities in Japan.” Funded by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, 2019-2021.

Hidetaka Hirota

  • “The Business of the Nation: Foreign Contract Labor and the Rise of American Immigration Control”. This book project examines the intersections of migration, capitalism, borderlands, and law in the nineteenth-century United States by analyzing the transnational business of importing Asian, Mexican, Canadian, and European contract laborers to America and the evolution of federal alien contract labor law designed to restrict this form of immigration.

  • “Democratic Intolerance: The History of American Nativism”. This book provides a synthetic history of American nativism from the American Revolution to the present.

Helena Hof

  • JSPS Early-Career Scientists award for "Tokyo's attractiveness for global talent: a comparative study of Tokyo, Singapore, and Sao Paulo," 2019-2022, Principal Investigator. This qualitative project examines Japan’s low attractivity for skilled foreign labor in a comparative perspective. As global nodes in the world economy, the three metropoles Tokyo, Singapore, and Sao Paulo, regional headquarters for their respective regions, potentially appeal to so-called ‘global talents’, yet Sao Paulo similar to Tokyo struggles to attract and more so to retain such talent. The theoretical framework of the ‘alternative global city’ offers an original angle to study the challenges and opportunities of incorporating ethnically diverse foreigners into the domestic labor markets and increasingly multicultural city populations and aims to provide Japanese policy makers and firms with recommendations how to retain global talent more successfully.

Tina Shrestha

  • JSPS Early-Career Scientists award for "Migration infrastructure and Nepali student-migration to Japan," 2019-2021, PI, brief description: The project is an ethnographically grounded approach to understanding the contemporary migration from Nepal to Japan. The focus is on the collaborative role of the state and private institutions, including educational consultancies, language institutions, and government-initiated training programs, organizing, regulating, and ultimately facilitating Nepali outmigration to Japan.

© Institute of Asian Migrations

  • Grey Twitter Icon