Bicultural families are on the rise in Japan. In 1970, less than 6,000 "international marriages" — where one partner is non-Japanese — were registered, or 0.5 percent of the total. In 2000, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare reported that one in 22, or 4.5 percent, of all marriages that year were between a Japanese and a foreigner. In Tokyo, it's now one in 10.
Parents of bicultural children in Japan often find themselves in educational limbo when choosing where to send their progeny: the traditional state school or one of the numerous international schools. And although expensive, an international education should be considered a triple-A investment in their children's future, as well as Japan's.
It's impossible to operate in the world today in isolation. Many international schools in Japan have as part of their mission the goal of creating global citizens.