World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Pakistanis in Japan

Article Id: WHEBN0020254121
Reproduction Date:

Title: Pakistanis in Japan  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Japan–Pakistan relations, Immigration to Japan, Fushūgaku, Irish people in Japan, Japanese people in Pakistan
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Pakistanis in Japan

Pakistanis in Japan
Total population
10,849 (2011)[1]
Regions with significant populations
Greater Tokyo Area, Kantō Region, Chūkyō Metropolitan Area[2]
Japanese, English, various languages of Pakistan
Related ethnic groups
Pakistani diaspora

Pakistanis in Japan (在日パキスタン人 Zainichi Pakisutanjin) form the country's third-largest community of immigrants from a Muslim-majority country, trailing only the Indonesian community and Bangladeshi community. As of 2011, official statistics showed 10,849 registered foreigners of Pakistani origin living in the country, up from 7,498 in 2000.[1][4] There were a further estimated 3,414 illegal immigrants from Pakistan in Japan as of 2000.[5]

Migration history

As early as 1950, only three years after the independence of Pakistan in 1947 which created the Pakistani state, there were recorded to be four Pakistanis living in Japan.[6] However, Pakistani migration to Japan would not grow to a large scale until the 1980s. The later Pakistani migrants in Japan largely come from a muhajir background; their family history of migration made them consider working overseas as a "natural choice" when they found opportunities at home to be too limited. While Pakistanis saw North America as a good destination to settle down and start a business, Japanese employment agencies commonly advertised in Karachi newspapers in the 1980s, when Japan offered some of the highest wages in the world for unskilled labour; it came to be preferred as a destination by single male migrants, who came without their families.[7] The wages they earned could reach as high as twenty times what they made in Pakistan.[8] Another attraction of Japan over other traditional migration destinations, particularly the Middle East, was the social freedom it offered to migrants; some young Pakistanis came not so much out of economic motives, but instead out of a desire to find freedom which seemed unattainable at home or in other Muslim countries.[7]

Pakistani citizens once enjoyed the privilege of short-term visa-free entry to Japan, but when controversy arose in Japanese society over illegal foreign workers, the Japanese government revoked this privilege.[9] With little chance of acquiring a work visa or even permission to enter the country, Pakistanis paid as much as ¥300,000 to people smugglers in the late 1980s and early 1990s to enter the country.[10] According to Japanese government statistics, the number of Pakistanis illegally residing in Japan peaked in 1992 at 8,056 individuals and declined after that.[5] However, Pakistani sources suggest that as late as 1999, the total population of Pakistanis was 25,000 and still included a significant amount of illegal immigrants.[11] Some Pakistanis were able to obtain legal resident status by finding Japanese spouses.[9]

However, in the tightened security environment following the September 11 attacks in the United States, many were deported; the population shrunk to around 10,000 legal immigrants.[11] In January 2010, two children born in Japan to a Pakistani father and a Filipina mother were ordered to be deported along with their parents because the latter lacked proper visas when they came to Japan 20 years earlier.[12]


Pakistan festival in Ueno Park, Tokyo

According to 2008 Japanese government figures, 19.9% of registered Pakistanis lived in Saitama, 17.8% in Tokyo, 12.3% in Kanagawa, 10.4% in Aichi, 8.98% in Chiba, 7.59% in Gunma, 6.02% in Ibaraki, 4.44% in Tochigi, 4.21% in Toyama, 3.27% in Shizuoka, and the remaining 4.98% in other prefectures of Japan.[13] Only an estimated 200 Pakistanis hold Japanese citizenship.[11]

Business and employment

Many Pakistanis in Japan run used car export businesses. This trend was believed to have begun in the late 1970s, when one Pakistani working in Japan sent a car back to his homeland. The potential for doing business in used cars also attracted more Pakistanis to come to Japan in the 1990s.[14]

Though many migrants come from a middle-class family background in Pakistan, because they often work at so-called Dirty, Dangerous and Demeaning (3D/3K) jobs, and because of their portrayal in the Japanese media, even their co-workers tended to misperceive their background and level of education.[7]


Many Japanese wives of Pakistani migrants have converted to Islam, and in fact form the largest group of native Japanese converts to Islam. They often send their children to mosques so that they can learn about their ancestral religion and study the Arabic language.[9]

In 2001, an incident of Qur'an desecration in Toyama, where about 150 Pakistanis lived, sparked protests from the community. At least one Qur'an was taken from a makeshift prayer room used by Pakistanis, with allegations that six others had also been stolen; someone later left torn Qur'an pages at a Pakistani-owned used car dealership. Hundreds of Pakistani Muslims marched in Tokyo, and nine representatives from the Pakistani Association of Japan met with officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to deliver a letter of protest.[15]

In 1989, the Islamic Center in Japan requested publishers, newspapers, magazines and broadcast stations not to translate or reproduce the novel,"The Satanic Verses," by Salman Rushdie which it called an "anti-Islamic" work that "contains filthy remarks and ridicules fundamental beliefs of Islam." A leader of the Japanese association of Pakistanis joined the condemnations of Mr. Rushdie, saying he deserved to die because of the book. Subsequently the Japanese translator ,Hitoshi Agarashi was found slain at a university northeast of Tokyo on July 12, 1991.[16]


Japan has some Urdu-language media aimed at Pakistanis, such as the freely distributed Pak Shimbun, as well as other Japanese-language publications targeted towards Muslims at large.[17]

Notable people



  1. ^ a b "パキスタン・イスラム共和国", 各国・地域情勢, Tokyo, Japan: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, July 2012, retrieved 2012-10-24 
  2. ^ Sakurai 2003, p. 45
  3. ^ Sakurai 2003, p. 76
  4. ^ Sakurai 2003, p. 33
  5. ^ a b Sakurai 2003, p. 41
  6. ^ Minamino & Sawa 2005, p. 7
  7. ^ a b c Igarashi 2000
  8. ^ Sakurai 2003, p. 77
  9. ^ a b c Yasunori 2007
  10. ^ Sakurai 2003, p. 78
  11. ^ a b c Akhbar-E-Jehan , retrieved 2009-09-23 
  12. ^ Blaine Harden (2010-01-17), "Born in Japan, but ordered out", The Washington Post, retrieved 17 January 2010 
  13. ^ 7Number of Registered Pakistanis in different prefectures of Japan, Pakistan Association Japan, 2010-03-11, archived from the original on 2011-07-21 
  14. ^ "中古車輸出業を営むパキスタン人 (A Pakistani who manages a used-car export business)", Asahi Shimbun, 2008-01-06, retrieved 2008-12-01 
  15. ^ "Pakistani protest over defiled Koran", BBC News, 2001-05-25, retrieved 2008-12-01 
  16. ^
  17. ^ Sakurai 2003, pp. 170–172
  18. ^ Ahmad, Adil (2006-02-02), "The greener pastures", Dawn (Pakistan), archived from the original on 2006-03-26, retrieved 2008-12-02 


Further reading

External links

  • Pakistan Association Japan
  • Pakistan Association Japan
  • Pakistan Student Association Japan
  • Pakistan Japan News
  • Pakistan Japan TV
  • Monbukagakusho Alumni Association of Pakistan
  • [1]
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.