Regulatory approaches to managing skilled migration: Indonesian nurses in Japan

Michele Ford, Kumiko Kawashima*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


This article examines the Japan-Indonesia Economic Partnership Agreement, an agreement that has allowed Japan to supplement its local healthcare workforce while continuing to sidestep the thorny issue of labour and immigration policy reform and Indonesia to increase its skilled workers' access to the Japanese labour market at a time when it was making a concerted effort to reorient migrant labour flows away from informal sector occupations. Despite the programme's many problems, it has contributed to the use of trade agreements as a mechanism for regulating labour migration, and so to the normalisation of migrant labour as a tradable commodity rather than a discrete area of policy-making, with all the attendant risks that normalisation brings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-247
Number of pages17
JournalEconomic and Labour Relations Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016


  • Care work
  • Indonesia
  • Japan
  • labour migration
  • trade agreements


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