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Among the English-speaking community in Japan there has been a long-running debate over whether to use the word “foreigner.” Personally, I prefer using “non-Japanese.” The word “foreigner,” I feel, implies difference, exclusion and an inability to assimilate.

Having said that, Bryan Jenkins is a foreigner. The main character of NHK World’s groundbreaking new sitcom “Home Sweet Tokyo” is a recent arrival to Japan who is slow to figure out how things work here — and it’s his foreignness that caused many non-Japanese living here to respond with a collective groan across social media after seeing trailers for the show.

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