“Despite their middle-class socioeconomic and educational status in Brazil, they are employed mainly in unskilled jobs in Japanese small and medium-sized firms in the manufacturing sector.”
The statement shows that Brazilian-Japanese despite their middle-class socio-economic status in Brazil, accepted to work in unskilled jobs in manufacturing sector in Japan. This statement gestures towards two of the well-known theories of international migration. Firstly, if someone is ready to work in unskilled job despite their middle-class socio-economic status in sending country, it would mean that the middle-class socio-economic status in sending country is lower in terms of earnings as compared to the unskilled labor earning in the receiving country and the main motive behind migration is the wage differential between the two countries (sending and receiving). Now where the question of the wage difference comes, the applicable theory of international migration that explains this situation is Neoclassical Economics theory of migration. Neoclassical Economics theory of migration explains the reason for migration to be the differential economics of migration and states that people migrate from their homeland to other countries and regions because the receiving country pays higher wages compared to the sending country. Since, Japanese small and medium scale manufacturing industry was short of unskilled labor due to highly qualified Japanese youth, this gap caused the demand and hence wages for the unskilled labors to go high and attract immigrants from the sending countries where the demand supply gap was either low or negative. That is why the immigrants from the middle-class of Brazil could earn more in Japanese unskilled jobs compared to what they were earning in their own country.
Another perspective of this situation can be explained by Dual Labor Market Theory which states that people migrate because of the pull factor exerted by the high demand of the secondary labor market to fill the unskilled job. Hence the Japanese primary market which was highly advanced and technology based was filled by the local Japanese while the secondary labor market which was labor intensive was filled by the immigrants due to the pull factor of the positive demand to supply gap.