There is a newly crowned Miss Universe Japan, but some Japanese don’t like her because she is African American and Japanese.
Ariana Miyamoto, who is 20, is called “hafu”—half Japanese because she is biracial, recently stood her ground before the Japanese media, according to the blog Kotaku.
” I may not look Japanese on the outside, but on the inside there are many Japanese things about me,” she said.
Rocket News 24 reported that Miyamoto has faced her share of race-related challenges. Some people are against representing Japan because she is biracial, but others are supporting her, Rocket News reported. One commentator wrote, “It makes me uncomfortable to say she’s representing Japan,” according to UPI.com.
Japan’s foreign population remains relatively low, comprising less than 2 percent. In 2008, the non-Japanese population identified as permanent residents was estimated at 2.2 million and annually 20,000 half Japanese are born in Japan, according to UPI.
The country’s low birthrate and aging population, however, could lead to a labor shortage, but Japan has been slow to open up immigration for much-needed workers, according to The New York Times.
She was crowned Miss Universe Japan March 12, according to her Facebook page.
Miyamoto was Miss Nagasaki before being crowned Miss Japan Universe. She will represent Japan in the 2016 Miss Universe pageant.
She grew up in Nagasaki but attended high school in the United States. Miyamoto practices calligraphy.