LOPEZ, Mario Ivan


Division:Network Division

Position:Associate Professor


E-Mail:marioivanlopez [at] cseas.kyoto-u.ac.jp



Research Interests:

  1. The construction of transnational families in Japan and Southeast Asia
  2. Reconceptualizations of care in ageing societies (Europe and Asia-Pacfic, and the role of religion in supporting immigrant workers overseas

Research Overview:

    At present, my main research focus has been on the increasing transnational flow of nurses and care workers within the Asia Pacific region. In particular, I have been working on a comparative project comparing regional nursing systems as part of an effort to provide a policy response to reformulating the Japanese government’s current mechanism for accepting nurses and care givers from Southeast Asia. This funded through a MEXT grant-in-aid.
    The current research project aims to offer policy suggestions to the Japanese ministries involved in managing care-workers and nurses accepted from the Philippines, Indonesia and potentially, Vietnam. In order to provide examples for creating a more flexible inter-regional “win-win” scheme in managing the flows of skilled labor, I have focused on Europe’s infrastructure for circulating skilled migrant labor on three levels. 1. On countries which are E.U. members and allow for the free movement of labor. 2. On countries which are in the E.U. but place restrictions depending on the political and market needs for skilled labor. 3. On countries which are outside of the E.U. but free to accept and send skilled labor both within the region and accept from outside of it.
    The second focus is to learn more about the local, regional, national and E.U. wide provisions that are in place for the acceptance of foreign nurses and/or care workers in order to facilitate the delivery of care in both hospitals in the public and private sectors. To do so, this research has focused on care managers of national health service trust hospitals (U.K., Norway) government agencies responsible for formulating policy flexible to the market’s need (U.K., Germany, Norway) and nursing associations which are responsible for the welfare of overseas nurses (U.K. Germany and Norway).
    Ultimately, based on observations of the regulatory mechanisms in place in the E.U., along with other research members, I hope to provide specific suggestions for the consideration of an ASEAN + Japan mechanism; one that can flexibly respond to the labor market’s needs for highly skilled clinical labor that is attuned to the current political and social conditions of Japan and the sending and receiving nations.

Academic Articles:

Author Name Title Date
Mario Lopez,
Ohno Shun
Acceptance of Migrant Nurses in Germany: Examining the “Triple Win Project” 2015
In Nursing in Japan and Asia: The Experience of Sending and Receiving Countries of Nurses through the Economic Partnership Agreements. Psyche & Culture. Vol 14:2, pp 123-131.
Mario Lopez & Jafar Suryomenggolo Rethinking Democratic Practices in Southeast Asia: Corruption and Political Scandals in the Early 21st Century, Asian Politics & Policy, Vol. 6 (4): 515–522 2014
Mario Lopez (Guest Editor) Collaborative Research in Southeast Asia: towards a sustainable humanosphere,” International Institute of Asian Studies (IIAS) Newsletter, pp. 23-34. 2013
Mario Lopez Reconstituting the Affective Labor of Filipinos as Careworkers in Japan 2012
  Global Networks, 2012. Vol. 12(2): 252-268  
Mario Lopez Progressive Entanglements: Religious Intimacy in Japanese-Filipino Marriages. 2012
  Philippine Studies, Vol 60. No.2: 261-90.