Public Opposition to Refugee Resettlement: The case of Japan

         
Author Name HORIUCHI Yusaku (Dartmouth College) / ONO Yoshikuni (Faculty Fellow, RIETI)
Creation Date/NO. July 2018 18-E-050
Research Project Research on Political Behavior and Decision Making: Searching for evidence-based solutions to political challenges in the economy and industry
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Abstract

Ferwerda, Flynn and Horiuchi (2017) showed a not-in-my-backyard (NIMBY) attitude toward refugee resettlement among Americans and their responsiveness to threatening media frames. Our study extends their experimental study with a focus on Japan. We conceptualize two types of NIMBY-ism with regard to refugee resettlement within-country and between-country NIMBY-ism and manipulate the proximity to a threat in media frames. The findings suggest that Japanese people are not only prone to free-ride other countries' efforts to address the global refugee crisis, exhibiting a larger sentiment of between-country NIMBY-ism, but also susceptible to threatening frames regardless of whether a threat is directly relevant to Japan. While conscious interactions with foreigners make them less susceptible to those frames, such interactions are rare for most Japanese. These results imply a continued challenge for Japan to accept more refugees, at least in the short term.