Will Japan become a society of half-breeds?

By on August 13, 2008 under Tabloid News

Kaela Kimura

Kaela Kimura

A rapid increase in the number of women in their 20s and 30s choosing foreign husbands may turn Japan into a land of half-breeds, or so says vernacular web news site J-cast.

The site refers to Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare survey data that indicated that one baby out of every 30 is of mixed blood origin (konketsu no haafu). Moreover in the central wards of Tokyo, as well as in both Osaka and Nagoya, there is a high rate [of intermarriage] — one couple out of 10. According to an expert, over the past five years the number of [Japanese] women choosing Caucasian partners has increased more than tenfold. Is Japan, J-cast wonders, on the verge of becoming a society where [the presence of] mixed-breeds is taken for granted?

J-cast suggests taking a look at prominent figures in the world of sports and entertainment — Yu Darvish (baseball), Kaela Kimura (fashion model), and Eiji Wentz (actor), for example — to see just how many haafu are flourishing. They seem to conspicuously flaunt their differences, the news site adds.

J-cast includes data to support its observations. According to the ministry, the number of infants born in 2006 with at least one foreign parent came to 3.2 percent, or one child out of 30. This means that about one child in every school class will be of either non-Japanese ancestry or part Japanese.

International marriages are increasing, the site says. The ministry noted that 6.6 percent of couples wed had at least one foreign partner, which makes one couple out of every 15. This is the highest level in the past 10 years. In the central wards of Tokyo and in Osaka and Nagoya, the rate [of intermarriage] has reached the high figure of one couple out of 10.

Mr. Yoshihiro Watanabe, vice director of the NPO International Marriage Association, revealed this surprising reality.

“There’s been an overwhelming increase in Japanese females in their 20s and 30s marrying European and American males. This has increased by more than tenfold over the previous five years.”

The reasons, according to Mr. Watanabe, are greater opportunities for women to go abroad for language studies, as well as the conspicuous entry of foreign-capitalized businesses from Europe and North America.

“There is data to the effect that about 90 percent of females who major in the humanities at university have experience studying abroad, and they have an extremely low threshold toward foreigners. Also, there is information that the women are attracted to elite [staff] employed by major insurance firms.”

J-cast asks whether Japanese men are becoming less attractive to females. The article includes ministry data that reveals that today the most common nationalities of foreign fathers are (in order): South Korea, North Korea, China and Brazil.

“That may be the case now, but after a few more years, I suppose the ratio of Caucasians will increase,” says Mr. Watanabe. “I heard from Nozze and Zwei (matchmaking services) that many Japanese women are asking, ‘Don’t you have any foreigners?’ I suppose from now Caucasian males will keep on rising in the rankings,” he analyzes.

Mr. Watanabe noted that Japanese males continue their earlier trend toward marriage with Asian females.

“Just as before, there’s no change in the 40 to 60 age bracket. They don’t get along well with Japanese females, which has resulted in their turning towards foreign women. This began increasing from more than 10 years ago and there are said to be between 2,000 to 3,000 marriage brokers in Japan.”

The article says that according to the ministry, foreign mothers outnumber foreign fathers by 1.4-fold, and come from the following countries (in descending order of frequency): China, Philippines, South Korea and North Korea.

Mr. Watanabe says that Japanese males have lost their appeal.

“Young people with no money, such as freeters and NEETs, are increasing. That’s why [women] think that elite foreigners employed by foreign companies are so wonderful.”

It stands to reason however that not all marriages with foreigners are seen as good, J-cast cautions.

Due to omissions in laws concerning marriage, many people seek advice on such matters as “we can’t get a visa.” Some couples or their children also suffer the stigma of discrimination. And cases of divorce due to cultural clashes are also increasing.

As a result of the increase in international marriages and the proliferation of haafu entertainers, it appears that the younger generation of Japanese will be increasingly more receptive to the haafu, the article says.

“Haafu primary schoolers who can speak two or three languages are envied,” says Watanabe. “It appears that people who can speak foreign languages are viewed as smart and popular.”

Source: “Nihon wa konketsu no haafu shakai ni? Oubeijin erabu 20~30-dai kyuzo (Will Japan become a society of mixed blood origin? Rapid increase in women in their 20s and 30s choosing caucasian partners)” (August 9, 2008).

The Japanese-language Internet news site J-cast Co., Ltd. is located at 12-8 Nibancho, Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo. The site, according to corporate information posted on its site, is operated by Masao Ninagawa (age 70), a former Asahi Shimbun journalist and editor of AERA magazine. The corporate data says the company, founded in 1997, does business with such major firms as Nikkei Business Publications, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Hitachi, Mitsui Chemicals, NEC, Uchida Yoko, Nihon University, Toyo Keizai Shimpo-sha, Bungei Shunju-sha, Sankei Living and Mitsubishi Electric Co., among others. This article has been translated in its entirety for information purposes only. It does not carry a byline. The Tokyo Reporter takes note that J-cast also operates a limited English-language section on its Web site. Given the considerable discrepancies that exist between the English and Japanese content on J-cast, we shall endeavor to share similarly pernicious articles with interested readers.

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Written by on August 13, 2008. Filed under Tabloid News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry.

6 Responses to Will Japan become a society of half-breeds?

  1. Pingback: japannewsjunkie.com

  2. Pingback: Half-breed | English Language Tutorials

  3. Jason Reply

    August 12, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    I would marry a Japanese woman above all if possible.

    • Killercroc Reply

      August 13, 2013 at 1:34 am

      then go to japan my man you have the best shot there

  4. Pete Reply

    October 4, 2013 at 9:16 am

    Not just Japan, also China and other East Asian countries. Soon the East Asian race will be wiped out because of self hating East Asian girls who are honoured to be used as sex objects by foreign men.
    Then we have creepy non-East Asian guys who has Asian fetish. Might as well promote East Asians to date outside their race because East Asia won’t have any full East Asians in the future, mark my words!

  5. Guillermo Reply

    April 24, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    Interesting article, albeit a bit old – like, 6 years of age.
    But that also makes it valuable, in hindsight.

    @Pete

    Aren’t you [assuming you're a member of the people in question] doing this to yourselves, like the Japanese that have eagerly emulated the west only to one day fall short of the standards pursued – like what was suggested in that article where J. males were described as having turned into non-prospects for the J. women? Are you arguing the concept of East Asia will be no more when more based on what’s discussed with regards to Japan or do you have some other examples to share? Could you corroborate?

    I’ll say this regarding the concept of identity: I believe the weight have always rested on the shoulders of the storytellers and myth-makers to make sense of where to go, what to do and who to be, rather than the generals who merely execute what has been written. People want mirrors, they want to see themselves. The production of culture and history largely serve us this function, a reaffirmation of sorts. History itself is much like fiction, which is why a transition of identity would be gradual, generational. The swiftness of the process doesn’t really depend on the skill of the narrators, but rather with the firmness of necessity the narrators feel to stabilize themselves and their environment. It’s a matter of congruence.

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