Aimi Muranaka

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University of Duisburg-Essen

The role of Japanese intermediaries and language schools in the integration of Vietnamese skilled workers in the IT-sector in Japan

This project examines roles of the Japanese intermediary companies and educational institutions on the qualified Vietnamese IT workers. Exposed to the labor shortage, Japan seeks the skilled foreign workers to fulfill its workforce need, despite the lack of official migration policies. The previous studies also suggest the importance in the role of intermediary and other actors (e.g. educational institutions) in the migration. The current study hence addresses following two questions: how these intermediary and educational institutions contribute to the formation of the Vietnamese IT skilled workers? Secondly, in the male-dominant IT-sector, what are the experiences of female IT specialists from Vietnam in the labor market integration like? This project provides a study of Vietnamese migrants in Japanese labor market, which principally concentrated on Vietnamese workers in low-skilled sector, and this research hence adds a case in the literature of migration in Asia.


Muranaka works as post-doc at Institute of East-Asian Studies in Duisburg-Essen University. She has completed her Ph.D. in the same university, and she has conducted qualitative fieldwork in her work which shed light on how Japanese private intermediary actors contribute to ‘make’ a cross-border labor market between Japan and Vietnam. Her study has combined semi-structured interview, participant observation and documentary approaches. Her research interest is marketisation of migration, skills/qualifications in migration and brokerage.