Dr.in Aimi MURANAKA (Institute of East Asian Studies, University of Duisburg-Essen)
Dr.in Joohyun Justine PARK (Goethe University of Frankfurt)


Mittwoch, 15. März 2023
9.00 – 10.30 Uhr
Präsenz: Hörsaal 888, Sigmund-Haffner-Gasse 18, 3. Stockwerk
Online: Webex ( Link)

   FOR APAC Agorá


How to attract and retain foreign skilled professionals is a crucial question for governments and businesses around the world. However, the literature on the international migration still largely focuses on “Western” traditional immigration countries, – the U.S., Canada, the UK and Australia-, while studies on skilled migration in Asia are limited. This on-going comparative study centres on “emerging migration countries” in East Asian economies, namely South Korea and Japan. Based on a comparison of skilled visa policies and interview data, this study explores the challenges faced by foreign skilled professionals in their pursuit of  labour market integration in these countries. Both countries are facing accelerated labour shortages due to their low fertility rate and aging populations, leading both governments to actively seek foreign talents. Nevertheless, despite strong efforts from the governments, the findings of this comparative study suggest that skilled migrants experience legal and structural barriers to enter the labour market and to purse upward career mobility. Even if they secure a job post, they are under precarious employment conditions and/or they cannot necessarily make use of their “skills”. The findings from the two research projects hint similar but slightly different labour market integration outcomes of foreign professionals in two countries. Despite the efforts made by both governments, the comparative study suggests that there is still a significant gap  in successfully retaining these skilled migrants.

Aimi Muranaka works as post-doc at Institute of East-Asian Studies in Duisburg-Essen University. She has completed her Ph.D. in Duisburg-Essen university, and she has conducted qualitative fieldwork in her dissertation which sheds light on how Japanese private intermediary actors contribute to ‘make’ a cross-border labor market between Japan and Vietnam. Her current project investigates how the Vietnamese IT professionals navigate in the Japanese labour market. Her research interest is marketisation of migration, skills/qualifications in migration and brokerage in Asia.

Joohyun Justine Park is a post-doctoral research fellow at Goethe University Frankfurt. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Auckland, where she conducted a comparative study of success beliefs and well-being between Korea and New Zealand. In her current joint project, she is examining the impact of structural and inter/intra-personal factors on the integration, well-being, and mobility decision of Asian skilled migrants, using the perspective of positive psychology. Her research interests encompas integration, acculturation, ethnic/national identity, psychological capital, and well-being.