The News Lens
By: Xiaochen Su
The controversy surrounding Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka has parallels to opposition to Taiwan’s plans to become a bilingual nation by 2030.
The woman looked absolutely perplexed when I asked her for direction in English.
Assuming that she is a foreigner based on her dark skin tone, I stopped her in the streets to inquire the whereabouts of a local park in an unfamiliar neighborhood of Tokyo. But clearly, the lady did not comprehend the words that were coming out of my mouth.
Embarrassed that I had inadvertently stepped into the landmine that is the definition of who is a Japanese person, I quickly switched into Japanese to apologize. The woman was good-natured about the incident, apparently quite used to people mistaking her for a foreigner. But her explanation of her Japanese identity was a rather odd one. Remarking that her father is Jamaican and her mother Japanese, she nonchalantly said, “I am fully Japanese because I cannot speak any other language other than Japanese.” [FULL STORY]