Japanese Australians

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Japanese Australians
Total population
c. 71,013[1]
35,378 (by birth)[2]
50,761 (by ancestry)
Regions with significant populations
Sydney · Melbourne · Brisbane · Cairns · Broome
Australian English · Japanese
Buddhism · Shinto · Christianity · Other
Related ethnic groups
Asian Australians · Japanese New Zealanders

Japanese Australians (日系オーストラリア人, Nikkei Ōsutoraria-jin) are Australian citizens who trace their Japanese ancestry, which includes Japanese immigrants and descendants born in Australia. According to a global survey conducted at the end of 2013, Australia is the most popular country for Japanese people to live in.[3] Kuniko Yoshimitsu of Monash University wrote in 2013 that "Japanese people have not established themselves as a major ethnic subgroup in Australia (as have the Italian and Greek communities, for example)".[4]


People born in Japan as a percentage of the population in Sydney divided geographically by postal area, as of the 2011 census.
one dot denotes 100 Japan born Melbourne residents

In the 2006 Census 30,778 Japanese-born residents were counted in Australia. This number excludes Australian-born persons of Japanese ancestry, and Japanese in Australia as overseas visitors (and would include non-Japanese born in Japan). Of this number 24,373 spoke Japanese at home, and 40,968 declared Japanese ancestry (including those who claimed other ancestries).[5] Sydney had the largest population of Japanese born (10,020), followed by Melbourne (5,287), Brisbane (3,300) and the Gold Coast (3,148).

Only 4,643 Japanese-born residents have since acquired Australian citizenship (discouraged perhaps because Japanese citizenship does not recognise multiple citizenship for its citizens aged over 22). Japanese women represent about two thirds (20,413) of the Japanese-born in Australia. About half of all Japanese-born residents profess no religious affiliation (15,131), while Buddhists (8,644) and Christians (3,645) are the most commonly subscribed religions.[6]

As of 2000, there were about 33,000 Japanese persons living in Australia, most of them being temporary residents.[7]


A relatively recent ethnic group, only 2,384 Japanese-born had arrived in Australia before 1979. The lifting of barriers in Australia to non-European immigration in the 1960s coincided with the Japanese post-war economic miracle which dissuaded Japanese from emigrating.

Japanese only began to emigrate from their homeland in the 1880s. The Immigration Restriction Act 1901 temporarily prevented more Japanese from immigration to Australia, but they were shortly later exempted from the dictation test when applying for extended residency.

Japanese Cemetery of Broome.

In Australia at the time many worked as pearlers in Northern Australia or in the sugar cane industry in Queensland. They were particularly prominent in the Western Australian Kimberley town of Broome, where until the Second World War they were the largest ethnic group, who were attracted to the opportunities in pearling. Several streets of Broome have Japanese names, and the town has one of the largest Japanese cemeteries outside Japan.

During the Second World War, the Japanese population was detained and later expelled at the cessation of hostilities. The Japanese population in Australia was later replenished in the 1950s by the arrival of 500 Japanese war brides, who had married AIF soldiers stationed in occupied Japan.

Japan's increasing economic importance to Australia from the 1960s, and rising prosperity and linkages between the two countries, naturally led to an increase in the number of Japanese choosing to live in Australia.


The Japanese School in Perth and the Hyogo Prefectural Government Cultural Centre (兵庫文化交流センター)
Locations of full-time and part-time Japanese schools in Australia designated by the Japanese Ministry of Education (gray dots refer to closed schools)

Japanese international day schools in Australia include the Sydney Japanese International School (SJIS), The Japanese School of Melbourne (JSM), and The Japanese School in Perth (JSP).

There are also weekend supplementary programmes in Brisbane, Cairns, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth approved by the Japanese Ministry of Education (MEXT).[8]

Saturday schools not designated by MEXT:

  • Sydney Saturday School of Japanese (SSSJ; シドニー日本語土曜学校 Shidonī Nihongo Doyō Gakkō) - Cammeray[13]

South Queensland Academy (SQA), an overseas branch of a Japanese private school, or a Shiritsu zaigai kyōiku shisetsu (私立在外教育施設), previously offered Japanese system high school classes. The school opened in 1992 (Heisei Year 4),[14] and closed in 2006 (Heisei 18).[15]

Notable figures


See also


  1. ^ "Annual Report of Statistics on Japanese Nationals Overseas" (PDF) (in Japanese). Retrieved 17 July 2016.
  2. ^ "The Japan-born Community: Historical Background (2011 census)". Australian Government, Department of Immigration and Border Protection. 19 November 2013. Archived from the original on 13 February 2014. Retrieved 15 January 2014.
  3. ^ 2013 End of the Year Survey - Japan WIN/GIA
  4. ^ Yoshimitsu, Kuniko. "Japanese-Background Students in the Post-Secondary Japanese Classroom in Australia: What Norms are Operating on their Management Behaviour?" (Archive). Electronic Journal of Foreign Language Teaching. Centre for Language Studies, National University of Singapore. 2013, Vol. 10, No.2, pp. 137–153. CITED: p. 137 (PDF p. 1/17).
  5. ^ ABS Census - ethnicity
  6. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics - Ethnic Media Package - Japan (2006)
  7. ^ Yoshimitsu, Kuniko. "Japanese school children in Melbourne and their language maintenance efforts." DOI: 10.1075/japc.10.2.07yos. In: Jernudd, Björn H. (editor). Language Management and Language Problems: Part I. Special issue of Journal of Asian Pacific Communication (Volumes 10-11) 10:2 (2000). p. 255-278. CITED: p. 255. "In Australia, Japanese residents number only about 33,000. Most of these residents are sojourners."
  8. ^ "大洋州の補習授業校一覧(平成25年4月15日現在)" (). MEXT. Retrieved on February 13, 2015.
  9. ^ "平成 26(2014)年度" (Archive). The Japanese Language Supplementary School of Queensland. Retrieved on April 1, 2015. p. 4. "借用校舎:インドロピリー州立高校(Indooroopilly State High School) Ward Street, Indooroopilly, QLD4068, AUSTRALIA 事務所:The Japanese Club of Brisbane/The Japanese School of Brisbane Suite 17, Taringa Professional Centre, 180 Moggill Road, Taringa, QLD4068" and "借用校舎:オールセインツアングリカンスクール(All Saints Anglican School) Highfield Drive, Merrimac, QLD4226, AUSTRALIA 事務所:The Japanese Society of the Gold Coast/ The Japanese School of Gold Coast 25 Mawarra Building, 3108 Gold Coast Highway, Surfers Paradise, QLD4217"
  10. ^ "学校名称." Adelaide Japanese Community School. Retrieved on April 7, 2015. Old URL
  11. ^ Home page (Archive). Cairns Japanese Language Tutorial Centre Inc. Retrieved on April 7, 2015.
  12. ^ "学校概要" (Archive). Canberra Japanese Supplementary School Inc. Retrieved on 7 April 2015. "借用校 Alfred Deakin High School (Denison St., Deakin, 2600, ACT) ディーキンハイスクール(写真)校舎・2Fにて授業を実施" and "日本大使館領事部:112 Empire Circuit, Yarralumla, Act 2600, Australia"
  13. ^ Home page. Sydney Saturday School of Japanese. Retrieved on March 31, 2015. "学校所在地 / Location of the School Cammeray Public School (Palmer Street,Bellevue Street Cammeray NSW 2062) " - Old website
  14. ^ "沿革" (Archive). Seirinkan High School. Retrieved on April 6, 2015. "平成 4年 特別姉妹校 SOUTH QUEENSLAND ACADEMY(略称 SQA)開校"
  15. ^ "10校(うち1校は休校中)あります" (Archive). Japanese Ministry of Education. February 15, 2013. Retrieved on March 27, 2016. "サウスクイーンズランドアカデミー (平成18年4月~休校)"

Further reading

External links

  • Australian Bureau of Statistics
  • Immigration Museum
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