Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka speaks for Black Lives Matter, faces setbacks



TOKYO - Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka has been attacked online in her birthplace after speaking out about racial injustice and encouraging people to participate in the Black Lives Matter March.


Hundreds of people flocked to the Japanese capital and western city of Osaka on weekends to express support for the movement and protest racial injustice in the United States - as well as racism in Japan.

Protesters have also targeted Japanese police after a Kurdish man was thrown to the ground for allegedly stopping the police for no reason.

These protests revived the debate about racism in Japan - and provoked a conflict with right-wing nationalists.

Born to a two-time Grand Slam winner and former World No. 1 Japanese mother and Haitian father, Osaka's rise to the Japanese community known as "Hafu" has been widely anticipated, encouraging you to accept. Or half Japanese.

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The 22-year-old Osaka has deep roots in the United States. She moved to New York with her family when she was 3 and lived and trained in South Florida for most of her life. She said last year that she was giving up her US citizenship to represent Japan at the Tokyo Olympics because, according to Japanese nationality law, people with dual citizenship must choose one before their 22nd birthday.

For some nationalists, Osaka's acceptance is best - or unconditionally - to keep his mouth shut on political issues.

The tennis champion began speaking on Twitter against racial injustice in the US last week before encouraging Japanese people to march in support of Sunday's Black Lives Matter in Osaka.




His comments provoked a flood of angry responses. Some have argued that the protests are intensifying the COVID-19 transformation, while others have argued that racism is not a problem in Japan, or that left-wing activists have staged demonstrations with the agenda I went through.

"Naomi Osaka doesn't look like Japanese pride," one person tweeted. "It's my personal opinion, but now I find him to be a terrorist. I don't want him participating in tennis in the future. It's a gentleman's sport."

However, Osaka reminded her followers of how two Japanese comedians had to apologize last year after she said she "burned in the high sun" and "needed some bleach." "

"I hate when random people say that athletes shouldn't get involved in politics and be entertained," he tweeted. “First, it's a human rights issue. Second, what right do you have to speak more than me? By that logic, if you work in IKEA, would you be allowed to talk only about 'grind'? "

Many have rallied in support of him and condemned the attacks on him.

Kentaro Iwata tweeted to leading epidemiologist Kentaro Iwata, "Never shut your mouth and we will always be with you." "Not for any kind of racism."


Bay McNeil, an African-American writer living in Japan, said it was refreshing to hear Osaka use her platform and financial security, but it was frustrating to see the level of protest.

"He respects me more," he said. "She knows [her comment is generating a response], and I'm sure her PR people and campaigners know about it, but she's telling them, 'I'm going to do what I want to do.'

Koichi Nakano, dean and political science professor at Sofia University in Tokyo, welcomed the discussion on racism, but the episode revealed the persistence of a very conservative viewpoint.

"It is encouraging that a significant number of young people are ready to speak on the subject, but at the same time the desire for domination and supremacy is also worrying and frustrating."

Although rare for Western countries - police in Japan target foreigners for random investigations, and exaggerate or massage criminal statistics exaggerate immigrants and their actions, along with the domestic media, where everyone is ready to play to justify.

Protesters were sparked during a march in Tokyo's central Shibuya district, following a video of a 33-year-old Turkish man of Kurdish descent who was harassed by a police car in the capital last month.

One person's lawyer, Yasuki Nara, said his client had filed a criminal complaint against the police for allegedly forcing the land and neck and back.

The police refused to respond to the matter, but a police officer told the Manchi newspaper that the man was speeding and refused to submit his driving license and was stopped by police because the traffic was heavy and the situation was dangerous.

On social media, police supporters have argued that they have used reasonable force and that there is no evidence of discrimination. He claimed that activists were exploiting the issue.

Japan participated in the International Conference on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination in 1995 and stated that it was "doing everything possible to eliminate all forms of discrimination."




Nobuyuki Suzuki, the head of Japan's small nationalist national party, tweeted that it is illegal for foreigners to engage in political activities.

"We cannot allow operations against the national interests of Japan," he wrote. "We have to send foreigners out of the country to participate in demonstrations in Shibuya."

Japan's constitution guarantees freedom of speech for foreigners in Japan, but - by some limitations - the US visa for Ronald McLean was not renewed in the 1970s after the Vietnam War in protest of the Supreme Court ruling that I went to.

In South Korea, meanwhile, one of the world's most popular music acts, the K-pop band BTS, donated $ 1 million to Black Lives Matter last week, according to their label Big Hit Entertainment. The band's ARMY Fan Collective has come up with a special donation drive, earning an additional 1 million by Sunday night.

Akiko Kashiwagi of Tokyo and Min Joo Kim of Seoul contributed to this report.

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