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Ayako Komine

Ayako Komine
Bildquelle: Marcus Reichmann

GEAS PostDoc Alumna 2013-2015

GEAS PostDoc 2013-2015

Ayako majored in Political Science and minored in Women’s Studies at McGill University in Montreal. She then completed an MSc in Gender and Social Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science and a DPhil in Politics at New College, University of Oxford where she was the Aso-New College Oxford Scholar for 2010-11. Ayako is fluent in English and Japanese and has working knowledge of French.

For many, Japan continues to be an ethnically-homogeneous, non-immigration country largely devoid of cultural diversity. In reality, however, the country has experienced a rapid increase in the number of migrant workers in the past three decades or so. Ayako’s research attempts to explain how and why this change has taken place by examining a multi-stranded sequence of social and political events since the late 1970s through the analytical lens of historical institutionalism. She is currently finishing up writing a comprehensive narrative of the Japanese immigration regime; and hopes that the work will convey the complexity and intricacy of the phenomenon and offer a counter-narrative of nationhood in contemporary Japan.

When migrants became denizens: understanding Japan as a reactive immigration country. Contemporary Japan. 26(2): 197-222 (Sept. 2014).

Becoming a (non-)immigration country with denizens. Paper presented at the German Association for Social Research on Japan Annual Conference, Berlin, Germany (Nov. 2013).

Reconsidering Japan’s ethno-cultural nationalism: a critical examination through immigration admission policies towards professional migrants and Nikkeijin (co-authored by Hardeep Aiden). Paper presented at the Royal Geography Society Annual Conference, London, UK (Aug. 2013). 


Highly-skilled migrant policy and Japan’s new immigration regime (co-authored by Hardeep Aiden). Paper presented at the Highly Skilled Migration into the 21st Century Conference, Middlesex University, London, UK (May 2012). 


Rethinking immigration and nationhood in contemporary Japan. Paper presented at the British Association of Japanese Studies Workshop, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK (Sep. 2011). 


Politics of ideas: Immigration and nationhood in contemporary Japan. Paper presented at the European Association of Japanese Studies PhD Workshop, Tallinn, Estonia (Aug. 2011).