3rd SIEM research meeting

Thanks to the interesting presentation of Prof. Hachiro Hagiwara and Ms. Rosalia Avila and the critical questions of the participants, the 3rd meeting was quite interesting. The number of participants tippled due to the increasing the awareness of globalization issues among geographers in Japan.

Japanese Enterprises in Brazil
Prof. Hachiro Hagiwara (Faculty on Management & Information Science, Shikoku University)

The industrialization of Brazil has been realized and supported by the so-called “three legs”, consisting of national private enterprises, national public enterprises, and multinational enterprises. Japanese people started to immigrate into Brazil in 1908, and Japanese immigrants have been playing an important role in Brazilian society, especially in the agricultural field. Máquinas Agrícolas Jacto S.A., for example, is a Brazilian private enterprise founded by a Japanese immigrant.
Investment from Japan to Brazil had its first boom in the mid 1950’s, when important national projects emerged in the field of energy and steel, etc. The second boom occurred in the period called the “Brazilian miracle,” from 1968 to 73, when many Japanese enterprises rushed to Brazil. But, the 1980’s was a “lost decade” for Brazil, and the 1990’s was a “lost decade” for Japan, after the collapse of the Bubble Economy. Investment from Japan was minimal during these periods. Since 1994, when the Real Plan started to stabilize the Brazilian economy, investment by Japanese enterprises has been returning to Brazil, which has created a third boom.
When compared with occidental enterprises, Japanese firms operating in Brazil are said to lack an obvious aim and investment strategy, to lack speed in making decisions, and to be too closely tied with their Japanese headquarters, not localizing sufficiently by hiring local staff as managers, etc. Japanese enterprises face such difficulties as a complicated tax system, serious security issues, and problems with employing Brazilian staff. However, Japanese enterprises are accumulating know-how for local management through their long experience in Brazil.
Since 1990, when Japanese immigration law changed, increasing numbers of second and third generation Brazilian Japanese have been moving to Japan to work, and the movement of people, money and information between the two countries is increasing. Today, Brazilian enterprises are also investing in Japan, creating an active bilateral relationship in a global era.

Japanese-Spanish International Marriages in Spain and the practice of inter-culturality
Rosalia Avila Tàpies

This presentation is about my current research into the immigration and cultural experiences of Japanese women living in Spain who are married to Spanish men. It deals with the immigration of women associated with the opportunity for a meeting of cultures, which has resulted in the internationalization of the Japanese economy and culture, and an increase in Japanese presence in the world since the eighties. I use a humanistic approach and qualitative methods in my research in order to reach a subjective understanding of the immigration and cultural experience of the women who belong to the Tanpopo Association in Spain. I focused on analyzing the written narratives of the members of the Tanpopo Association, which have been published in the Association Bulletin over the last thirteen years (1995 – 2007). The initial aim of the association was to promote friendship and the exchange of information between members of the Japanese community living in Spain about the cohabitation problems of intercultural couples, the multicultural education of children (Hispanic-Japanese), and other problems and experiences as immigrants and foreigners living in Spain married to Spaniards, and as shapers of multicultural families and mothers of bicultural children. The evolution of the activities of the Tanpopo Association towards a greater emphasis on the transmission of the Japanese language and culture to children, and its publication in the bulletin, was a result of the interest, efforts and perseverance of the members of the Barcelona area. On the other hand, there is a certain regionalization about the association. The narratives of the Association Bulletin discover the issues that most preoccupy Japanese female immigrants through marriage in Spain. It is important to study this in order to find help and cooperation strategies aimed at easing or overcoming common problems, particularly in relation to childcare and international marriage.

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