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An Overview of Surveys on Life-Styles of Foreign Residents in Japan and Its Implications for a Lacal Community : the Need to Establish an Intercultural Communication Network

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  • 日本における外国籍住民生活実態調査と地域の課題について--異文化間ネットワークの必要性について
  • ニホン ニ オケル ガイコク セキ ジュウミン セイカツ ジッタイ チョウサ ト チイキ ノ カダイ ニ ツイテ イブンカ カン ネットワーク ノ ヒツヨウセイ ニ ツイテ

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Abstract

This study argues the need to carry out a survey on life-styles of foreign residents in Yamaguchi Prefecture, as a valuable source for identifying types of social services appropriate to the needs of foreign residents in this local community. A study of precedents in other local authorities indicates the importance to acknowledge foreign residents as local community members and to ask their participation in the process of designing community service plans for and by themselves. With this aim, this study first carried out a brief overview of current trends and conditions of residency of people from foreign countries in Japan. Secondly, survey reports published by other local authorities were reviewed, and finally the study tried to provide insight into the reality of foreign residents in Yamaguchi Prefecture through fieldwork. The fieldwork confirmed that there seemed to be similar issues in this locality, and thus concluded that implementation of a survey is needed despite the relatively low number of foreign residents in this local community. This study focused on the so-called newly arrived people and tried to analyze problems and issues related to three obstacles facing foreign residents as they become members of a local community : language, social systems and psychological barriers. One of the ways to break these barriers seems to be the establishment of an intercultural communication network between individual foreign residents who may be isolated in local communities, and also between the Japanese and foreign residents at various levels. Education and training of intercultural experts among both Japanese and foreign residents is needed as we become a multicultural society.

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