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Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2008

VIEWS FROM THE STREET

What's your take on the use of the G-word?


By SABINE BRINK

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Shannon Strombon
Student, 15 (American)
I think it's OK, depending on how Japanese use it. They can use it meaning "Oh look, a foreigner!" or in a more discriminatory way.


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Michael Wells
Student, 21 (American)
We have to take it lightheartedly. It's not automatically an offensive word. Actually, it's one of the first words people learn in Japanese.


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Ikue Yamazaki
Housewife, 50
It denotes people who are different. It can be positive, as is often the case with Westerners, or negative, often to Asians. Either way, it's discriminatory.


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Padam
Waiter, 30 (Nepalese)
It's somewhat discriminatory, but I don't have a problem with it. The Japanese people are very quiet and kind-hearted.


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Megumi Suzuki
College student, 19
We use it just because it's shorter than "gaikokujin." It's a Japanese thing. We don't use it to set ourselves apart from others.


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Generoso Florez, 73
Jesuit priest (Spain)
I've been here 48 years and I don't have anything against the term, although the civil service is not allowed to use it in official talks and documents.



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