In the light of rapid population aging, one of the most pressing policy issues in Japan and Germany is how to provide health-caregiving to the elderly. Only recently, both countries have opened their domestic labour markets to international health-care professionals. On paper, both newly established migration schemes read like a turn toward an open-door migration policy, thus representing a paradigm shift in Japan and Germany’s migration policies. Yet, the number of migrants who actually have come to Japan and Germany through these programs, has been strikingly low so far.

This talk will firstly introduce both migration schemes and their many shortcomings, and, secondly, provide insights into the underlying multi-level policy-making processes in both countries. While the policy-making processes have differed substantially, the policy outputs and outcomes are remarkably similar. It will be argued that despite the increasing demographic pressure, Japan and Germany have designed window-dressing migration avenues that merely fulfil the foreign policy rationale of regional economic integration, but deliberately lack any impact on labour migration flows to both countries.

Presented by Professor Gabriele Vogt from the University of Hamburg in Germany.

Gabriele Vogt (PhD, 2002) is Professor of Japanese Politics and Society in the Institute of Asian and African Studies at the University of Hamburg, and a visiting professor in the Graduate School of Asia-Pacific Studies at Waseda University. Gabriele serves as a board member to the Berlin Institute for Population and Development, the European Association for Japanese Studies, and the German Association for Asian Studies. She is the European representative of the Social Science Japan Journal. Her main research areas are demographic change and international labour migration to Japan and Germany, as well as Okinawan studies in the contexts of social movement research and International Relations. Her latest book is entitled “Population Aging and Health-Caregiver Migration to Japan” (Springer, 2018).


Convenor: Val Colic Peisker

Supported by the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies (GUSS) and Social and Global Studies Centre (SGSC).


RMIT City Campus
Building 37, Level 2
Room 3 (next to the School of GUSS reception)
Melbourne VIC 3000


13 July 2018



Refreshments provided.