Research Project (Ongoing)

International Migration Routes and Route Selection Mechanisms

Project background

International labor migration is now a major global phenomenon. Diverse types of reciprocal relationships occur between sending and receiving countries. Sending countries benefit from labor migration because outbound workers receive enhanced incomes and can afford a better quality of life for themselves and their families. Receiving countries are advantaged because they can bridge gaps in labor availability and their industries can continue to advance. Notably, international labor migrations will intensify in the future because of the continuously declining fertility rates in advanced nations and their consequently lower productive-aged populations.

However, implementing international labor migration is not an inconsequential task. Therefore, high-quality international cooperation is mandated to prevent adverse outcomes. Transnational collaborations should strengthen and expand safe migration processes. To accomplish this objective, some important aspects must be identified, including individual circumstances, family and community support, and national regulations.

Project objectives

This study aims to illuminate the route choice mechanisms affecting international migrant workers. Specifically, it pinpoints aspects influencing their decision-making from the preparation to the departure. It also ascertains the essential elements of their migration routes. Complex factors circumscribe the current circumstances of international labor migration. The labor markets and government policies of both the sending and receiving countries are significant macro-level considerations. Individual and community-related factors, such as individual choices and family situations must also be contemplated.

The present study thus proposes to deliver a more comprehensive understanding of the complex and multilayered circumstances concerning international labor migration. It incorporates the push-pull model and includes the meso and micro levels. Further, this study applies the qualitative as well as quantitative methodologies. Thus, it can more precisely reveal complex and multilayered conditions by organically integrating the results obtained by using each methodology.

The idea of individual decision-making among workers has attracted scholarly attention in recent years. Numerous studies have focused on the adaptation or integration of migrant workers in their destination countries. However, studies on sending countries remain scant. Studies on sending countries should consider individual intentions and examine the ways in which choices are narrowed and fixed before the final decisions are taken.

In conclusion, this study considers crucial factors and attempts to provide critical information on the steps Japan should take to attract an increasing number of talented workers. It also emphasizes how Japan’s international cooperation could contribute to migration routes. Consequently, this study is expected to benefit sending countries by developing their human resources.

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