Japanese immigration to Brazil has a long history starting early in the twentieth century when astonishing amounts of Japanese immigrated to Brazil to take advantage of Japanese government funds encouraging emigration as well as the Brazilian market. However, a deep economic crisis in Brazil during the 1980s saw a lot of this population return back to their country of origin, Japan. This was for the most part seen as a temporary situation and the return to Brazil was always a possibility. A large proportion ended up staying on in Japan as the economy was prosperous but encountered surprising obstacles and discrimination. Many factors both in Brazil and Japan, as well as in third countries led to ties between Japan and Brazil.
[...] The influx of Japanese descendants from Brazil to Japan was and continues to be large. Some returning Japanese decided to make this a permanent stay and did not return to Brazil, making the number of Brazilian Japanese residents in Japan over 270,000, which is the second largest foreign population in Japan. They are for the most part engaged in factory work and they also constitute the largest number of Portuguese speakers in Asia. III) Temporary migration becomes permanent and problematic To the surprise of the Japanese government, the influx of Japanese Brazilians for the most part turned into a permanent situation. [...]
[...] The Ministry of Foreign Affairs even stated that seeing as the standard of living in South America was higher than in Asia, and the way of life more relaxed, it would be better to call the Brazilian Japanese back to Japan for a few years to take on jobs for the good of the economy. Once they had saved up a bit of money, it was thought they would then return to a better life. However, as with most migrants, although the idea is to return, it seems rare in practice. [...]
[...] Japanese immigration to Brazil was at its highest from the mid 1920s to the mid 1930s. Throughout the 1930s, the only immigrants that continued to arrive in droves were the Japanese, who came to till small farms in São Paulo. Between 1932 and 1935 the Japanese made up no less than 30% of the influx of immigrants entering Brazil. Immigrants arrived at Brazilian ports on an almost daily basis and today Brazilians of Japanese descent make up 1.3 million, which is by far the world's largest group of Nikkeijin ("overseas people of Japanese descent"). [...]
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