Creating the "multicultural coexistence" society: central and local government policies towards foreign residents in Japan

Hardeep S Aiden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


In March 2006, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) published a report on the promotion of ‘multicultural coexistence’ (tabunka kyōsei) within local communities in response to an increasing number of foreign residents and other demographic changes. This has occurred alongside, and further triggered, a spate of local government ‘multicultural coexistence plans’ to tackle the issues surrounding foreign residents. In the absence of a consistent national approach, local governments have spearheaded policy initiatives at the ‘local’ level to tackle the issues affecting foreign residents. By analysing the MIC Report and a sample of 22 local government plans, I have attempted to understand the role of central government vis-a-vis local government in terms of policies aimed at foreign residents. In many respects, the MIC Report is paving the way for the discourse of multicultural coexistence to provide the framework for an integrated approach. Crucially, the MIC is now positioning itself in a coordinative role, allowing local governments to continue to develop local-level policies while bringing central government back into the picture.
Translated title of the contributionCreating the ‘Multicultural Coexistence’ Society: Central and Local Government Policies towards Foreign Residents in Japan
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213 - 231
Number of pages19
JournalSocial Science Japan Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011


  • multicultural coexistence
  • internationalisation
  • foreign residents
  • Japanese government
  • Cooperation


Dive into the research topics of 'Creating the "multicultural coexistence" society: central and local government policies towards foreign residents in Japan'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this