Voices | VIEWS FROM THE STREET

Tokyo: What do you make of the idea of having a romantic relationship with a Western woman/Japanese man?

Makoto Tsuji
Social worker, 35 (Japanese)
At first, I thought I preferred Japanese women based on looks, but now I am actually married to an American woman. I was attracted to her as a whole — her personality as well as her looks.

Rachel Garner
Wine analyst, 39 (English)
For me, I would rather not, what with hearing of how many Japanese men have relationships outside marriage. This aspect of the culture is off-putting as it does not empower the women, but rather makes them submissive to the status quo.

Kazuo Saito
Manager, 48 (Japanese)
I think having a Western woman as a potential love partner as you ask is fine, and I have no issues at all with it. In fact, it would be interesting to be able to learn about her culture, where she comes from, and why she does what she does.

Amelia Innis
Bartender, 24 (American)
I dated a Japanese guy and I think our relationship worked so well because we were both interested in the other’s culture. Not only did we explore the traditions and aspects of a “typical” Japanese relationship, but he was willing to take on my American personality.

Kate Sikora
Teacher, 32 (American)
Japanese men often seem shy or reserved about expressing their feelings and intimacy. It can come off as being cold but, as long as both partners have good communication and understanding, there is potential for a strong loving relationship.

Koji Kajima
Editor, 39 (Japanese)
I think it would be great to have a foreign woman as a romantic partner, and if I had the chance I would not refuse. I really don’t think it is important to talk about her being a Western woman as the nationality and/or race don’t mean anything special to me.

Interested in gathering views in your neighborhood? E-mail community@japantimes.co.jp

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