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Is there a nationalist resurgence in the air?

by Melanie Burton

Gwen Loubes
Architect, 24
I live in China and from over there, Japan doesn’t seem so nationalistic. The Chinese all support the Chinese government and follow all the rules. They’re very nationalistic. I think China is a bit envious of Japan.

Celia Mulderrig
teacher, 24
You see the nationalists in Ikebukuro and Shibuya. I’ve asked my students about it and they see it more as a fringe element — a bit embarrassing. Japan is regaining its confidence economically, and it’s spilling over.

Eiko Iwamura
Commerce, 23
In terms of international affairs, for example with the problems in North Korea and China, people in Japan unite together. But usually, young people — including myself- don’t think so much about nationalism.

Matt Naporowski
Teacher, 23
There have been a lot of incidents recently, like the beef imports and the Okinawa issue, where Japan is getting a bit upset, but generally Japan doesn’t seem to be any more nationalistic than it was 6 months ago.

Reiko Iwamura
Student, 20
When there’s an event like the World Cup, Japanese think “I love Japan!” but usually not so much. Maybe there’s more pride among older people, but for young people, foreign brands like Chanel makes us think that overseas is great.

Takako Shibayama
Office worker, 24
No. Many young people have no special interest in Japan or politics. More older people are nationalistic, but some younger people are as well. I am a bit. I think it’s bad to be too nationalistic, but you shouldn’t be ashamed of your country.