Journal of International and Global Studies


Migration to well-off countries has been well documented. However, the reasons why migrants return to their home countries, which often face severe economic disadvantages, are examined less frequently. The return migration of Japanese-Brazilians (Brazilian citizens of ethnic Japanese descent) who migrate to Japan and return again to Brazil has not been studied to any great extent. To understand the factors associated with Japanese-Brazilians’ return migration, using Gmelch's (1983) model of push and pull factors, we examined what motivated Japanese-Brazilian migrant laborers to return to Brazil from Japan. With a mixed method including in-person interviews, a total of n=47 Brazilian migrants to Japan were sampled in São Paulo, Brazil. The present examination resulted in a pattern similar to the one Gmelch (1983) observed in his study on Irish and Newfoundlander return migrants. In the current study, pull factors were more important than push factors in terms of repatriation. Personal and social pull factors were stronger reasons compelling migrants return to Brazil than were economic or familial factors. Nevertheless, familial and economic reasons were also reported as important motivators for returning to Brazil in our interviews. Limitations are also discussed.

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.