New and Old Diversity Exchange (NODE) UK-Japan network

Migrants form part of many societies across the world and we are witnessing the intensification of diversity which is proceeding at unprecedented speed, scale and spread in many countries including the UK and Japan.

These two countries have many political, economic and social differences yet they share one major challenge: a shortage of labour. Both have attempted to resist high levels of migration, yet now accept that future prosperity depends on international labour migration. Post-Brexit the UK expects to move beyond the EU for its migrant labour whilst at the same time Japan, housing relatively small numbers of migrants compared to the UK, is opening its doors to labour migrants.

Our new academic network brings social sciences, arts and humanities academics from the UK and Japan together to develop new knowledge and insight about diversification and integration resulting from old and new migrations. The network offers opportunities for new directions of scholarly work comparing migration in Japan and UK.  Our approach is highly original in its fusion of East/West intellectual traditions and knowledge that is both interdisciplinary and comparative.  To find out about NODE UK|Japan publications and activities, visit:

NODE logo uk japan

Aims of the research

The overall aim of the project is to create a sustainable network of social science, arts and humanities academics to undertake comparative research exploring old and new migrations and diversifications in the UK and Japan.

Objectives include:

  • To establish a sustainable academic research network using the Institute for Research into Superdiversity and the Institute for Asian Migration as hubs for comparative research activity.
  • To bring new perspectives to the study of migrations and diversifications from the UK and Japan.
  • To exchange knowledge about research practice and research focus in the fields of migration and diversification.
  • To develop greater levels of understanding about the similarities and differences in the UK and Japan's migration and diversification contexts including around migration and integration policy and practice, history, and discourse.
  • To identify and develop key themes that would benefit from a comparative focus.
  • To develop new methods and conceptual frameworks for researching and comparing migrations and diversifications in the UK and Japan.
  • To support a series of new and sustainable collaborations between UK and Japanese academic experts in the fields of migration and superdiversity studies.
  • To promote the mobility of, and support comparative research by, early career academics in the UK and Japan.
  • To offer mentorship to early career academics in undertaking comparative research in different migration contexts.

Research team

Principal investigator

Professor Jenny Phillimore (University of Birmingham)


Professor Gracia Liu-Farrer (Waseda University)
Dr Nando Sigona (University of Birmingham)

Core Research Team

University of Birmingham

Professor Lyndsey Stonebridge 
Dr Laurence Lessard-Phillips 
Dr Ceren Ozgen 
Dr Natalia Vershinina 
Dr Rachel Humphris 
Dr Irina Kuznetsova 

Waseda University

Professor Yasushi Katsuma 
Professor Haysae Shinzo 
Dr Helena Hof 
Professor Kazuo Kuroda 
Assistant Professor Hidetaka Hirota 

This is a collaboration between the Institute for Research into Superdiversity (IRiS) at the University of Birmingham, UK, and the Institute of Asian Migrations (IAM) at Waseda University, Japan.

Funders include the: 

ESRC Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) UK-Japan Social Sciences and Humanities Connections Programme  

Japanese Foundation Grant Program for Intellectual Exchange Conferences

Japan Foundation

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UK Contact

Ann Bolstridge
IRiS Administrator
University of Birmingham
Tel: 0121 414 4967 

Japan Contact

Helena Hof
Research Associate, Ph.D. 
Waseda Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, Waseda University