Although Japan’s demographic decline is well known, the slow but steady increase in the country’s immigrant population has been less acknowledged. Despite this continuing influx of foreigners the Japanese state still has no coordinated immigration policy that clearly addresses such issues as residency, employment, education, and access to social services. Rather it is at the local level that towns and villages all across the country are having to develop ad hoc responses to the growing number of foreigners resident in their communities. Hitherto most research into immigrants’ lives has focused on what are known as ‘diversity points’, large urban areas with significant numbers of non-Japanese residents. However, the majority of immigrants live in small, ethnically dispersed communities spread across the entire country. This paper presents a case study of one such location, an industrial town in northern Japan.