This is a detailed study of the extent to which an increased influx of foreign workers is a threat to law and order in the context of the data-generating process of police statistics and the media coverage of "crimes" committed by foreigners. It shows that a general mood in which foreign workers are viewed as potential danger to Japanese society "protects" the criminalization of foreign "illegal" migrant workers.
The work begins by tracing the upsurge of "illegal" foreign workers in Japan. It builds a social profile of these "illegals" showing that because of fear of expulsion, lack of knowledge of the law and over-dependence on employer and workplace, their ability to avail themselves off the protection of the law is neglible, and they are always at risk of becoming victims to multiple exploitation.
1. Preliminary Remarks 2. Phenomenology of the "illegal" Labour Migration to Japan 3. Some Historical Preliminaries 4. Prelude: The Japayuki Question 5. The Early Stages of a Process of Irregular Migration: The Increase of Male "illegal" Workers 6. The Debate Concerning a Formal Policy on Guest-Workers 7. Migrant Workers and Criminality 8. The Media and Criminality