Migration and competitiveness in science and engineering in Japan


  • Nana Oishi Associate Professor of Sociology, Faculty of Liberal Arts, Sophia University, 7-1 Kioi-Cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 102-8554




ICT, highly skilled migration, global talent, competitiveness


This article focuses on highly skilled migrants employed in science and engineering, especially the information and communication technology (ICT) sector. Despite the fact that Japan is the third largest economy in the world, and is known for cutting-edge science and technology, the percentage of foreign scientists and engineers employed in Japan is the lowest among major industrialized countries. Can Japan attract highly skilled professionals as global competition of talent grows more fierce and the population ages? The author concludes that Japanese corporations will have to introduce more global human resource practices such as diversity management policies and performance-based pay/promotion schemes, and that the government will have to further expand the new point system to provide more incentives for skilled foreigners to work in Japan. Improving Japanese universities’ research and education capacity would also be necessary to attract top-level international students who are prospective highly skilled workers.


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How to Cite

Oishi, N. (2013). Migration and competitiveness in science and engineering in Japan. Migration Letters, 10(2), 228–244. https://doi.org/10.59670/ml.v10i2.145