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Race, nation and diplomacy: Japanese immigrants and the reconfiguration of Brazil's 'desirables'

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An examination of early Japanese immigrants in Brazil (1908-1942) suggests that the infrastructure of Japanese-Brazilian relations was framed before Brazil declared war on Japan in 1942. This infrastructure was built on a desire by the governments and elite of both countries to achieve two objectives: capitalist expansion and domestic tranquility. These two objectives were manifested in a coherent programme of migration, expansion of international trade, and domestic order. In Japan, this was translated into a concerted campaign by governmental agencies and officials, corporations, and banks to export people and capital to Brazil. In Brazil, efforts were made to cooperate with the Japanese emigration establishment to manage and regulate the activities and lives of Japanese migrants. The success of this diplomacy was a product of an organised campaign that effectively exploited the dynamics of migrant labour, investment-relations, and racism.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Associated Colleges of the Midwest

Publication date: May 1, 2004

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