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Dekasegi (Portuguese: dekassegui, dekasségui, [dekaseˈgi], [dekɐˈsɛgi]) is a term used in Latin American cultures to refer to ethnic Japanese people who have migrated to Japan, having taken advantage of Japanese citizenship or nisei visa and immigration laws to escape economic instability in South America. The vast majority are Brazilians, but there is also a large population of Peruvians, as well as far smaller populations of other Latin Americans.

The original Japanese word dekasegi (出稼ぎ?) roughly translates as "working away from home". This can cause annoyance to those of Japanese descent who were born abroad, but have come to regard Japan as their permanent home, and therefore object to being regarded by Japanese (in Japan) as gaijin or foreigners.

There are approximately 275,000 such people in Japan from Brazil alone.


Some Brazilians are bilingual in Japanese and Portuguese, but many are monolingual in Portuguese alone when they first come to Japan and face additional challenges due to this language barrier.

Many code-switch Japanese when speaking Portuguese.[1]

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