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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 Summit, Hangzhou, China, Sept. 4, 2016 (AP photo by Ng Han Guan).

From Immigration to Security, Why China Is the Key to Understanding Japanese Policymaking

Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2016

In September, a number of media outlets in Japan published stories about the Japanese politician Renho Murata, who was running for the leadership of the opposition Democratic Party. The attention centered on whether Renho, as she is known, who was born in Japan to a Taiwanese father and Japanese mother, had fully renounced her Taiwanese nationality as required by the Japanese Nationality Law.

In an interview with the Huffington Post at the time, Renho decried all the fuss. “I was born and brought up in Japan,” she commented. “What can I say except that I’m Japanese? Quite honestly, I think this incident says a lot about the environment in Japan today.” She asked whether, in this age of globalization, foreigners would really want to come and live in a Japan that appears so intolerant of diversity. “There is a danger,” she warned, “that people overseas will misunderstand Japan as being a closed culture.” ...

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