Nissan Seminar: Skilled Migration: Solving Japan’s demographic crisis?

Convener(s): Professor Sho Konishi

Speaker(s): Dr Nana Oishi

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In the past decade, skilled migration policies in Japan have undergone some major transformations through the points-based system and the regional migration scheme. In April 2019, the new migration scheme for ‘Specific Skilled Workers (SSWs)’ opened a new migration era, admitting 345,150 migrants, who used to be labelled as ‘unskilled’, in the next five years. How did these policy changes take place and what factors were behind them? Can skilled migration be the answer to Japan’s demographic crisis? What else would be needed? While addressing these questions, Dr Oishi will also present her most recent quantitative and qualitative research on the growing ‘brain drain’ phenomenon in Japan and will highlight the need for ‘brain circulation’ policies.


Dr Nana Oishi is Associate Professor in Japanese Studies at the University of Melbourne. Prior to her current position, she was Professor of Sociology at Sophia University in Tokyo and Policy Analyst at the International Labour Organization in Geneva. She has served on the United Nations Expert Meeting on Migration, Development and Social Protection and on various national advisory boards on immigration in Japan. She completed her Ph.D. in Sociology at Harvard University as a Fulbright Scholar, and has received several awards, including the Government of Canada Award.