Japanese Attitudes Toward Immigrants' Voting Rights: Evidence from Survey Experiments

Author Name IGARASHI Akira (Osaka University) / ONO Yoshikuni (Faculty Fellow, RIETI)
Creation Date/NO. February 2022 22-E-008
Research Project Advanced Technology and Democracy: Does new technology help or hurt democracy?
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The presence of native allies is important for the success of immigrants' social movements in East Asian countries, as the number of immigrants is relatively low. However, it remains unclear whether advocacy messages from natives or from immigrants are more effective in changing the attitudes of natives to support policies for immigrants. From the perspective of social identity theory, we hypothesized that the effectiveness of persuasive messages would vary depending on the group issuing the message. To test this, we conducted a survey experiment using a Japanese case of granting local voting rights to immigrants. Our results showed that Japanese support for granting immigrants local voting rights did not decrease when they heard an advocacy message from Japanese but decreased when it came from a Korean immigrant whose voting rights are highly relevant. These results suggest that advocacy messages from natives may lead to more support for immigrants.

Published: Igarashi, Akira, and Yoshikuni Ono, 2022. "Who should call for advocacies? The influence of rights advocates on the public’s attitude toward immigrants’ voting rights in Japan," Journal of East Asian Studies, Volume 22, Issue 3 (2022), 555-566.