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Asian Cross-border Marriage Migration

Asian Cross-border Marriage Migration: Demographic Patterns and Social Issues

Wen-Shan Yang
Melody Chia-Wen Lu
Copyright Date: 2010
Pages: 264
  • Book Info
    Asian Cross-border Marriage Migration
    Book Description:

    The past two decades have witnessed a rapid increase of cross-border marriage migration between Southeast- and East Asia. The majority of these marriages are between are men of wealthier countries/regions and women from economically less developed ones. The phenomena of "brides from Asia" in Japan, "Chosonjok brides" and "mixed marriages" in South Korea and "foreign and mainland brides" in Taiwan, all attract huge media attention, cause public panic, and challenge these societies whose population and immigration policies are based on mono-ethnic principles. Despite huge scholarly interest, we know very little about who these women are and why they marry and migrate. This book provides an overview of the demographic patterns of, and social issues related to cross-border marriages in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan Hong Kong, Thailand and Vietnam in the past two decade,s with contributions from scholars in the fields of demography, sociology, anthropology and social work. With its diversified methodologies and approaches, this volume will interest scholars and students of migration and gender studies. It also informs policy-makers and concerned civil society groups and practitioners.

    eISBN: 978-90-485-0639-2
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. 1-4)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. 5-6)
  3. List of Tables and Figures
    (pp. 7-10)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. 11-12)

    • 1 Introduction
      (pp. 15-30)
      Melody Chia-Wen Lu and Wen-Shan Yang

      The past ten years have witnessed a rapid increase in the intra-Asia flow of cross-border marriage migration, particularly between Southeast Asia and East Asia. In Japan, the number of international marriages has been steadily growing since the 1970s, from 0.43 percent in 1965 to 0.93 percent in 1980, and then to 5.77 percent in 2005, with Chinese and Filipina female spouses at the top of the list. In Taiwan, cross-border marriages, with brides from Indonesia, Vietnam and the PRC, increasingly gained numerical significance from the mid-1980s onwards, and by 2002 they comprised 27.4 percent of all Taiwanese marriages of that...

    • 2 Marriage Migration to East Asia: Current Issues and Propositions in Making Comparisons
      (pp. 31-46)
      Yen-Fen Tseng

      In the last two decades, in Asia, women have increasingly been involved in migration, both internally and internationally. Such a phenomenon is distinctive in its historical trend (Hugo 2006: 155). There are several important migratory flows where women are dominant. Firstly, Asian women have traditionally been the major labor supply of domestic workers in Asia and beyond (Hugo 2000: 157).¹ Secondly, women from Asian nations have married across borders to spouses both in Asia and in the rest of the world (Constable 2005; Cahill 1990; Penny & Khoo 1996).

      Until recently, there was relatively little research on marriage migration (Wang & Chang...


    • 3 Feminization of Immigration in Japan: Marital and Job Opportunities
      (pp. 49-86)
      Kao-Lee Liaw, Emiko Ochiai and Yoshitaka Ishikawa

      Van de Kaa (1999) argued that during a period of ‘second demographic transition’, the decline in fertility below the replacement level is compensated for by cross-border migration. During this period, an ‘international migration turnaround’ takes place, in which an emigration excess is replaced by an immigration excess. One of the authors of this paper, Yoshitaka Ishikawa, examined this hypothesis in a Japanese context, and demonstrated that such an international migration turnaround happened in Japan around 1990 (Ishikawa 2005a: 346-348).¹

      The theory of international migration turnaround is concerned with the quantity of the migrating population, but notable changes in the quality...

    • 4 Examining Cross-border Marriage in Hong Kong: 1998-2005
      (pp. 87-102)
      Zhongdong (John) Ma, Ge Lin and Frank Zhang

      While cross-border and international marriage behavior has a long history in Hong Kong, recent cross-border marriage has been driven mainly by the following two factors: the marriage squeeze in the local marriage market, and increased connections and communications between Hong Kong and other economic and political entities in the nearby regions. The two variables central to this discussion of cross-border marriage in Hong Kong are: assortative mating and social disparity. Focusing on males, this study examines the influence of these two main forces in driving demographical change in cross-border behavior in Hong Kong during 1998-2005.

      In the 1960s, labor shortages...

    • 5 Minority Group Status and Fertility: The Case of the ‘Foreign Brides’ in Taiwan
      (pp. 103-126)
      Wen-Shan Yang and Marloes Schoonheim

      In November 2005, the ‘Foreign Spouse Care and Counseling Fund’ proposed by the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) of Taiwan passed its preliminary review by the supreme national legislature, the Legislative Yuan. Ideas for this Fund were developed as a result of the growing numbers of female marriage immigrants, to the dismay of the women concerned, who in popular Taiwanese terms are referred to as ‘foreign brides’ (waiji xinniang) in the case of Southeast Asian marriage immigrants, and ‘Mainland brides’ (dalu xinniang) for women from the People’s Republic of China (Hsia Hsuao-Chuan 2005). One month before the Fund passed the...

    • 6 The Rise of Cross-border Marriage and Divorce in Contemporary Korea
      (pp. 127-154)
      Doo-Sub Kim

      Koreans are generally well-known for maintaining a tradition of ethnic homogeneity. However, a silent and pervasive revolution is underway in Korea: Koreans are now getting a taste of diverse types of marriages. A rapid upward trend in the number of cross-border marriages has been observed since the early 1990s. The number of cross-border marriages has increased 9.2 times during the period 1990-2005. Cross-border marriages composed 13.6 percent of overall marriages registered in 2005 (KNSO 2006). It is also noted that the nationality of foreign spouses has become more diverse in recent years along with the tide of globalization and labor...


    • 7 Vietnamese-Taiwanese Marriages
      (pp. 157-178)
      Xoan Nguyen and Xuyen Tran

      Over the last twenty years there has been a rise in the scale and complexity of international migration in Asia. One of the most prominent characteristics of this migration is that women outnumber men (Hugo 2003). A significant proportion of international female migration is cross-border marriage, which has become a vital part of international migration in Asia in recent years (Wang & Chang 2002). This global trend mainly comprises emigration from poor countries to more developed nations. In particular, during the 1980s a large number of women in the Philippines, Korea, China and other Southeast Asian countries became partners of Japanese...

    • 8 Cross-border Marriages: Experiences of Village Women from Northeastern Thailand with Western Men
      (pp. 179-200)
      Ratana Tosakul

      Over the past two decades, thousands of village women from economically deprived northeastern Thailand, where the Lao language is dominant, have chosen to marry Western men and migrate to live with their husbands overseas.¹ According to a recent survey conducted by the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) of the northeastern region, Thailand (2004), a total of 19,594 women in nineteen northeastern provinces chose to marry Western men. In some northeastern villages, it is reported that as many as one-third of families have female members who have opted for Western husbands.

      I was intrigued by this phenomenon and decided...

    • 9 Foreign Spouses’ Acculturation in Taiwan: A Comparison of Their Countries of Origin, Gender, and Education Degrees
      (pp. 201-220)
      Yu-Ching Yeh

      According to a 2001 OECD annual report, there has been a gradual upturn in immigration numbers in most OECD member countries since the mid-1990s, primarily for family reasons. This immigration trend peaked in 1992-1993 in countries such as Canada, Germany, Japan and the United States (OECD 2001).

      A new trend in Taiwan is the number of Taiwanese men marrying Southeast Asian and Chinese women. This trend peaked slightly later than the OECD trend; in 1997, 2,243 foreigners were approved for Taiwanese citizenship via marriage, as opposed to only 318 the previous year. The number of immigrants doubled to 5,198 in...

    • 10 Transnational Families among Muslims: The Effect of Social Capital on Educational Strategies
      (pp. 221-240)
      Shuko Takeshita

      Since the latter half of the 1980s, a large number of Muslims have come to Japan from Pakistan, Iran, Bangladesh and so forth with the purpose of working. Most of them were men in their 20s and 30s who came to Japan alone. During the 1990s, there was an increase in the number of Muslims who married Japanese women, forming families in Japan. Though the focus was originally on how Japanese wives who converted to Islam upon marriage adapted to Islamic culture (Takeshita 2004), the children of these families are now entering school age, and educational problems among second-generation Muslims...

  8. Contributors
    (pp. 241-244)
  9. Collective Bibliography
    (pp. 245-258)
  10. Back Matter
    (pp. 259-259)