Global Youth Nikkei Research Project150th anniversary of Japanese emigration

The Nippon Foundation will conduct research on young adult Nikkei (Japanese emigrants and their descendants) this year. This will be the first research to target young Japanese descendants across the world (to The Nippon Foundation’s knowledge).
The year 2018 marked 150 years since the first official mass emigration from Japan. Large populations of Nikkei are concentrated in the Americas and over this long history, Nikkei communities have gone through various changes including a loss of Japanese language proficiency and less commitment to Nikkei organizations. In recent years, more Japanese individuals have emigrated and settled outside Japan for international marriage and various other reasons. According to the Association of Japanese and Nikkei Abroad, the total number of Nikkei is roughly 3,800,000.
With the passing of generations, it is important to investigate how the current younger generation perceives its Nikkei identity and how these individuals view their relationship with Japan. Japan is starting to open its door to international communities, for example by passing a law to accept more foreign workers. The research being initiated by The Nippon Foundation aims to identify possible areas in which Japan could collaborate with Nikkei communities going forward in this globalized 21st century.
The Nippon Foundation has been working closely with Nikkei communities in the Americas and Asia for more than 50 years. The findings of this research will be used as guidance for future projects carried out by the Foundation.

Research overview

Target Young adult (18-35 years old) Nikkei
  • For this research, Nikkei is defined as “Japanese emigrants and their descendants throughout the world”
  • In addition to the Americas, the research targets Japanese emigrants and their descendants who have emigrated for various reasons to countries around the world.
Method Online survey and focus group interviews
  • Focus group interviews will be carried out with groups of roughly 10 persons in each of 11 locations (Hawaii, Los Angeles, Canada, Brazil, Peru, Paraguay, Australia, Japan, the Philippines, United Kingdom, the Netherlands)
  • Online survey
    January 28 – February 28, 2019
  • Focus group interviews
    March – June 2019
Organizer The Nippon Foundation
In collaboration with the Japanese American National Museum
Announcement of results April 2020 or later (to be decided)


Communications Department
The Nippon Foundation