When Roseli Okuyama came to Japan from Sao Paulo in 1990 and began working at a plastics manufacturing factory, she had planned to stay for a year and then move to Europe.

"I came to like living here, so I didn't want to go back," she said. Her five siblings and their families also live in Japan, and Okuyama said she plans to return to Brazil in two years to care for her 70-year-old mother.

Okuyama, 32, a second-generation Japanese-Brazilian, initially earned 800 yen an hour. But she now works at a different plastics maker in Satte, Saitama Prefecture, where she earns 1,000 yen per hour.