Social Resources and Challenges Related to the Schooling and Education of Immigrant Children at High Schools in Japan

  • Hiromi KobayashiEmail author
  • Mioko Tsuboya


Japan has recently seen an increase in the number of immigrant children, many of whom face difficulties at school. The country’s educational policies have failed to address the needs of these children. As a result, the schools and local municipalities in which these children are educated bear the burden of this problem. This study examines how the social resources and home lives of these immigrant families affect children’s schooling and education at high schools. First, the authors describe the problems of the education system in relation to the children of foreign workers and low-wage immigrants in the context of Japan’s stringent immigration policy. Then, in a case study, they highlight the ways in which family-related factors, local resources, and an innovative quota system combined with special programs at a local high school affect the schooling and educational success of immigrant students. The results indicated that most foreign children newly arrived in Japan due to the transnational movement of their parents had limited family resources and limited Japanese language skills and that external networks helped such children continue on to high school. The paper concludes by suggesting that integrated measures, including institutional admission arrangements and social supports, are needed to provide immigrant children of low socioeconomic status with adequate educational opportunities.


Immigrant children Japan High school education Quota system Social resources Immigrant families 



The authors would like to thank the study participants and teachers at X high school in Yokohama. The authors would also like to thank Drs. Jacqueline Adams, John Hayakawa Torok, and members of ISSI at the University of California, Berkeley, for their valuable comments and editors in American Journal Experts for their editorial services. This study was supported in part by a grant of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (No. 26380693).

Funding information

This study was funded in part by a grant from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (No. 26380693).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Human StudiesBunkyo Gakuin UniversitySaitamaJapan
  2. 2.Department of International College of Arts and SciencesYokohama City UniversityYokohamaJapan

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