Great Power Politics and Japan’s Immigration Dilemma

The coronavirus pandemic suddenly closed Japan’s doors to inbound tourism and migration in early 2020s. But those doors were never going to be closed indefinitely. The pandemic, originating in Wuhan, revealed the centrality of China in particular to Japan’s immigration dilemma. China’s transformation in the twenty-first century into an economic superpower has been an understudied possible motivation for Japan’s government to liberalise the country’s immigration regime as a tool for retaining influence in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond.

Anand Rao is an assistant professor of political science and international relations at the State University of New York at Geneseo. His work has been published by Asian Politics & Policy, the Japan Studies Association Journal, and Lexington Books. He is a member of Cohort 5 of the U.S.-Japan Network for the Future. Dr Rao was an Academic Visitor at St Antony’s College during the Michaelmas Term in 2023.