Issues | THE ZEIT GIST Mar 27, 2007

'Multicultural Japan' remains a pipe dream

In February, education minister Bunmei Ibuki called Japan "an extremely homogenous country." Eighteen months earlier, now Foreign Minister Taro Aso described Japan as having "one nation, one civilization, one language, one culture, and one race." What was notable about these comments is that they ...

Issues | THE ZEIT GIST Mar 14, 2006

Country kids need language support

Ji Young was 13 when she moved from Seoul to a small village in Yamagata in 1999. Her mother had arrived from Korea a few months earlier to marry a Japanese man. Entering the local high school, she struggled at first with the language, ...