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The Changing Dynamics of an International Order in Postwar East Asia and Immigration Policy in Japan: The Origins of the Omura Detention Camp

Sun, June 26, 1:00 to 2:50pm, Shikokan (SK), Floor: BF, 004


This research project examines the institutionalization of the Japanese border control system through an analysis of the international origins of Omura Detention Camp (hereafter “Omura Camp”) constructed in Japan during the Allied Occupation Era. The Japanese government used the Omura Camp as a place to detain Korean people until their repatriation. Generally speaking, a detention camp is to function not as a place for punishment but simply as a waiting station for newly arrived immigrants. Yet, Omura Camp deviated from this typical function and obtained an unusual characteristic in the process of its construction. Throughout the first decades of its existence, Japanese officials utilized Omura Camp for the special purpose of interning Korean deportees. With this specific mission, the camp increasingly came to symbolize the complexity of international relations in East Asia after the collapse of the Japanese empire. By focusing on the establishment of this peculiar institution with the purpose of targeting a specific national group, this project explores the international origins of the Japanese migration control system in the postwar period.