Who decides who is Japanese? Japan′s Hafu people still feel like ousiders | World | Breaking news and perspectives from around the globe | DW | 29.07.2021

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World

Who decides who is Japanese? Japan's Hafu people still feel like ousiders

For many years, Japan has developed an image of being a mono-ethnic nation - but it’s left out a growing part of the population: Japan's Hafu. This is a hybrid Japanese English word meaning 'half' -  and identifyies people of mixed race. Many of them say they are still often treated like foreigners in their own land.

Listen to audio 10:16

It was very moving when Japanese tennis star, Naomi Osaka, lit the Olympic flame in Tokyo a few days ago. And even more so for those in Japan who are of mixed ethic origin. Osaka's parents are Haitian and Japanese. And like this years's flag bearer, Basketball star Rui Hachimura, whose parents are from Japan and Benin, there a more than 30 athletes of multiracial backgrounds in the 582-strong Japanese Olympic squad. No matter how well they do at the Olympics, these athletes are changing ideas about what it means to be Japanese. Reporter Christopher Dodd talks to Hafu people in Japan to find out how they deal with their situation and how they are trying to change society. 

Report: Christopher Dodd