According to the article “Foreign-born candidates discuss challenges and prejudice on the Tokyo campaign trail” in the April 26 edition, it still seems to be difficult for foreign people in Japan to have their voices heard. Some foreign-born candidates are faced with discrimination while others have difficulty entering politics in Japan.
What should we do to make life for them easier in this country? Both the social system and our attitude toward them will need to be changed and become more tolerant.
First, the social system such as law and politics should be equal for all people. It is important for the national and local governments to remove all barriers for people, including non-Japanese. For instance, for those who can’t understand Japanese, language barriers must be removed. This is how minorities in terms of language, culture, religion or lifestyle can be free to live without any hurdles. The social system needs to be changed to provide for easier living.
Second, we should change our attitude toward non-Japanese. Some people might discriminate or be prejudiced against them. Others might be indifferent to the problem of unfairness. We need to be compassionate toward them in order to make their lives easier. For one example, we must carefully share with foreign residents the rules about garbage. It is necessary to explain to them the Japanese lifestyle. But at the same time, we should respect their lifestyles and values.
Not only tourists, but also more and more foreign workers are expected to come to Japan. For the good of society, coexistence between Japanese and non-Japanese is vital. To achieve this, both the social system and our consciousness must become more tolerant and able to respect diversity.
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.