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‘Haafu’ and proud: Miss World Japan won by mixed-race opponent

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Priyanka Yoshikawa, whose father is Indian, says she was inspired by Ariana Miyamoto, the 2015 Miss Universe Japan winner who faced ethnic backlash

Japan will be represented at this years Miss World contest by the status of women with a Japanese mother and Indian leader after Priyanka Yoshikawa grew the countrys second mixed-race contender in a row chosen for a major international pageant.

The characterized elephant tutor who weighs kickboxing among her pastimes said she would use her entitlement to promote greater inclusiveness in Japan where, according to government statistics, haafu those born with one non-Japanese parent comprised 2% of all children born in 2012.

The 22 -year-old Yoshikawa, who was born in Tokyo but also invested some of her childhood in India and the US, praised Ariana Miyamoto, who triumphed Miss Universe Japan in 2015, for yielding her the confidence to enter Miss World.

Miyamoto, the child of a Japanese mother and African American father, stood a prejudiced reaction on social media, with some asking why the designation had not been awarded to a pure Japanese, although many other commenters celebrated her victory.

Before Ariana, haafu girls couldnt represent Japan, Yoshikawa told AFP after prevailing the claim in Tokyo on Monday night. Thats what I thought too. I didnt disbelieve it or defy it until this day. Ariana helped me a lot by showing me and picturing all mixed girlfriends the way.

Yoshikawa said her background did not disqualify her or other mixed hasten beings from representing Japan. We are Japanese, she said. Yes Im half Indian and people are asking me about my integrity yes my dad is Indian and Im proud of it, Im proud that I have Indian in me. But that does not mean to say Im not Japanese.

Miyamoto, who was born and raised in Nagasaki, grumbled in 2015 that she had been bullied as small children for examining different. In academy people to benefit from throw rubbish at me, she said in an interview with CNN. They too expended ethnic slurs.

Some social media useds questioned her right to represent Japan, with one saying that her name was a incongruity devoted her parentage.

The response to Yoshikawas victory was more muted, while some Twitter customers wondered if a pure Japanese rival would ever acquire the entitle. Whats the detail of maintaining a parade like this now? Zero national peculiarities, one sign said. Another complained: Its like were saying a pure Japanese face cant has become a winner.

The Indian delegation in Tokyo commended Yoshikawa on her succes, which entitles her to represent Japan at the Miss World contest in Washington in December.

Yoshikawa said she was confident she could defy the perception that mingled hasten children are not quite Japanese enough. We have questions, weve been contending and it hurts, she said.

When I came back to Japan everyone estimate I was a germ like if they touched me they would be touching something bad. But Im thankful because that saw me really strong.

As Miss Japan, hopefully I can help change feelings so that it can be the same here too. The number of people with mixed race is merely going to increase, so people have to accept it.

Japanese children born to international matrimonies were also in evidence at the Rio Olympics. They included Mashu Baker, who took golden in the mens under-9 0kg judo, and Aska Cambridge, who was part of Japans silver medal-winning humanities 4x100m communicate team.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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