How to become a more multicultural society?

by Jun Yasukawa

Multiculturalism is a society that consists of many various cultures. And they coexist together. Recently in the world, there are many multicultural cities, such as New York, Los Angeles, London, and Hong Kong. However, Japan is not considered to be the multicultural society, even the biggest city in Japan, Tokyo. There are many benefits of being multicultural city, but Japan has not been able to receive those benefits, because of not being multicultural society. Therefore, I think that Japan should be more multicultural society.

Few months ago, I went to Vancouver, Canada, for my school trip to study about multiculturalism in Vancouver. Vancouver had been selected as the most livable city in the world for five years in a row before, despite the fact that it is very multicultural society, consisting of a lot of cultures and races. The biggest obstacle immigrants face when they enter new country is the language problems. Especially, in case of Japan, they must be able to use Japanese. In many different societies, English can be used, even though they are not English spoken countries, such as France and Germany. Therefore, I think that the most important task that Japan and Japanese people has to improve is the ability to use English. By improving the skills of English, Japan can be involved a lot more in international society and people from all over the world can come and interact with Japanese people easily, in terms of both business and private. Also, when I went to Vancouver, I noticed that volunteers are playing a big role of welcoming immigrants, supporting them to settle nicely, and live comfortably. For example, when immigrants enter and decide to live in Vancouver, this organization, run by the volunteers, takes care of all the registrations that are needed to settle, such as housing and school registrations. In this way, immigrants can easily settle into new society. However, it does not mean that immigrants depend on those volunteers completely. They learn how to do those kinds of registration, by looking at the support of those volunteers. And later immigrants themselves can become the volunteers and take care of new volunteers, using the knowledge and experiences that they learned before. That is how immigration and settlements work in Vancouver.

I think that Japan should welcome more foreigners, like Vancouver. In Vancouver, volunteers are playing a big role of welcoming foreigners and support them to settle nicely. Today in Japan, I don’t see many volunteers that work to support immigrants. So, in order to be active in international society and become multicultural society, it is important to form a welcoming society, and support and take care new people in long terms.

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