Gen Mount, 30
Researcher (Australian)
Japan has a strong, unique culture that hasn’t been as heavily influenced by other countries as the U.S. or Australia. I think most people here would prefer a Japanese PM.

Kei Nishiyama
NPO worker, 40
Japanese people are very conservative. I can’t see it happening in my lifetime. It’s more likely a female prime minister will be elected before someone from an ethnic minority.

Sarah Montgomery

English teacher (U.S.)
Some Japanese are accepting of and eager to learn about different races and cultures, but when it comes to letting one have real power in government, then it’s a definite “no.”

Fumiaki Akaike
Executive officer, 58
We want someone who can offer us a better future — unlike our recent leaders. If someone with these qualities came from a minority group, I think he or she could be accepted.

Tomomi Kambayashi
Office worker, 29
I don’t think it will ever happen. I have no problem with foreigners, but other Japanese do. Japanese often discriminate against minorities, like the Ainu.

Kenwin Benn
Professor (American)
Before contemplating a female or ethnic minority PM, they must address the male domination of most sectors here; first they need to encourage equal participation.

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