On the outside, Japan may seem to be a peaceful and modern country which accepts foreigners to visit with whole heart, however, there is still a bit of a dark side to that as racism and xenophobia are still rampant in the country.
Japan is currently plagued by anti-immigrant and anti-ethnic Korean demonstrations led by a political organization known as the Zaitokukai, or Zainichi Tokken o Yurusanai Shimin no Kai – Association of Citizens against the Special Privileges of the Zainichi. They are protesting against the rights of immigrants, particularly those of Korean descent known as the Zainichi Koreans.
Examples of these Zainichi Koreans include the voice actress and singer, Pile, best known to fans as the voice behind Love Live!’s Maki Nishikino, as well as Romi Park, best known for voicing Zoe Hange in Attack on Titan. And now, several otaku have marched to Akihabara to defend foreigners and protest against the clear discrimination
The protest was spurred on when a neo-Nazi anti-foreigner group went to Akihabara to protest against foreigners and demanded for them to “Go Home”. Well, this clearly did not sit well for many otakus who organized a counter-racist rally of their own.
— Simon_Sin (@Simon_Sin) May 17, 2015
Here are a few photos taken from that anti-racism rally
The Love Live! and shinto holy land known as the Kanda Shrine, even has some emas written by Koreans to show their love for Love Live!, and this has become one of the rallying cries for the movement as anime fandoms really don’t have any borders.
— 百合魔王オッシー (@herfinalchapter) May 17, 2015
Well, racism is still a serious issue in Japan, and the country’s otakus standing up to them is surely a welcome sight for many.
And it ain’t just Zainichi Koreans who are getting discriminated against. Other half-Japanese people, or Hafus, are also being looked down upon by the more traditional Japanese. One example is Ariana Miyamoto, who drew the ire of many Japanese when she won Miss Japan simply because she does not look Japanese enough. Examples of other mixed-race Japanese include voice actresses Megumi Nakajima (Macross Frontier’s Ranka Lee), who is half-Filipino, and half-Australian Sarah Emi Bridcutt (Kantai Collection’s Yuubari).
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