Mixed-ethnic people in Japan

by Akisato Fujita

From the readings, I found that many mixed-ethnic children suffer from teasing in the Japanese school system because their appearances are different from others. This time, I’d like to think about the reasons why there is some difficulty of accepting foreigners in the Japanese society and children which have a foreign parent are abused in the school system. It is considered that there are mainly two causes about it.

The first reason is the principle of Japan. Japan is classified into countries which have ethnic nationalism because it has a jus sanguinis principle and it is relatively hard to acquire its nationality. The jus sanguinis principle means that when one of natural parents has Japanese citizenship, their child also acquire it. This principle is usual for countries which have ethnic nationalism. However, Japan has many conditions for foreigners to get Japanese nationality, and the procedure is very complicated compared to other countries. It can be said that that is why there are not so many foreigners living in Japan. It means that most of Japanese people do not have much time to communicate with the people having different backgrounds. Therefore, Japan has too few people who understand them, and has not still created the societies which could accept foreigners, and it also affects the Japanese children’s way of thinking about mixed-ethnic children.

The second reason is the education about foreign people in the Japanese school system. There are basically no education systems in the Japanese school system which teaches children to understand people from foreign countries and mixed-ethnic ones. If there were many children from other countries in Japan, they would not be teased even if their appearances are different from others because spending time with them is usual for Japanese. However, Japan has not still had so many foreign people, so it is unusual for Japanese children to meet mixed-ethnic children. Therefore, it is necessary to teach children other different cultures and identities in order to understand mixed-ethnic people. The problem is that children are not taught about them in the school system now, and it causes some difficulties with many mixed-ethnic children.

For two reasons, Japanese principles and education, it can be said that most Japanese people including children do not understand the people who have different identity. Therefore, it is needed for all Japanese to think about people who have different identities and try to accept them.

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