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Tuesday, Dec. 04, 2007

VIEWS FROM THE STREET

What is the most important issue facing foreigners in Japan right now?


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Tomokazu Kaneko
DJ/musician, 28
I think Japanese people and foreigners are equal, and I think the biggest issue facing all of us is the environment. This affects everyone the same. The key is not to consume so much.

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Dana Beckelman
Professor, 45 (American)
I'll gladly trade my fingerprints and smiling photo for visas for domestic partners, more visas for extended family, more tenured university jobs, easier access to home loans and housing, and a cooler summer.

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Hiromi Chiba
Public relations
It's a fact that Japan needs foreigners, but I think Japan can be a very closed society. I think there is a lot of discrimination, especially with housing. I think it is especially difficult for Asians in Japan.

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Helen Veitch
Grad student, 28 (English)
The distorted perception of foreigners as criminals, undesirable or irresponsible members of society, particularly in light of the fingerprinting. I think you really feel that in your everyday life.

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Brandon Stowell
Consultant, 25 (American)
Communication and cultural understanding: I think they're always the biggest things, because they're pertinent to every foreigner, every day, everywhere in Japan.

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Grace Hiebert
Teacher, 27 (Canadian)
I can't speak for all foreigners, but as for myself, mastering the language and finding a place where I can feel like an equal member of the community — those are important issues for me.



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