Japan lags far behind in terms of racism. Although such allegations are often heard in the West, Japan has made great strides in racism since the beginning of the 21st century. A record 562 athletes from Japan will participate in the Tokyo Olympics. There are several mixed players in this team.
In Japan, it is not just people of color who are involved in sports, but also children of mixed backgrounds. In addition, many people have recently started living in this country by marrying a Japanese citizen. One of the parents is not white – although many families have been discriminated against in the past, the situation has changed recently. However, it is not just an expression of Japan’s goodwill. Many children of those who have stayed in Japan after marrying a black man and building a family are leaving their mark on their own talents. As a result, the acceptance of the children of such families in the society has also increased. For example, Laura, the daughter of a Bangladeshi father and a Japanese mother, is now a well-known name in Japan.
Apart from this, the same can be said about Naomi Osaka. One of the best female tennis stars in the world has brought fame to Japan by winning several Grand Slam tournaments. In addition, a few other mixed-color players have recently become familiar faces in Japan.Despite this, the games will go ahead. There will be limited numbers of local spectators allowed in venues filled up to 50 per cent capacity. This means 10,000 spectators wearing masks at all times and who are not allow to shout or cheer. But these 10,000 spectators may be the least of the organisers’ worries.
This is also affecting the Olympics. A record 562 Japanese athletes will take part in the Tokyo Olympics, which begin on the 23rd of this month. Some of them are also optimistic about getting medals.
Japan’s national football and basketball teams also have mixed players. Until recently, whites dominated in this group, but nowadays it is not so much. The people of Japan as well as the country’s sports organizations are now taking it lightly and are not stingy in recognizing it. One of these two will be male and the other female. The IOC’s guidelines are to ensure gender equality in all areas of sports. According to the directive, a Japanese woman and a man will perform this duty.
In the Olympics, the captain of any country’s national team as well as the flag bearer is considered an important member in the opening ceremony. The two athletes nominated by the Japan Olympic Committee as flag bearers at the opening ceremony on July 23 are national team basketball player Rui Hachimura and one of the country’s top female wrestlers, Yui Sasaki.
The 22-year-old Sasaki’s parents are both Japanese. Although he won his own weight category at the World Wrestling Championships in 2016 and 2017, this is his first time joining the Olympics. Hachimura, 23, has a Japanese mother and an African father. He is a regular player in the professional basketball league in the United States.
In a statement, Hachimura said he had been dreaming of participating in the Tokyo Olympics for some time. He is honored to be the flag bearer.
Among the recent steps taken by Japan to create equal opportunities for all to ensure racial equality, the carrying of the Hachimura flag is being considered as a step forward. In addition, the Japan Olympic Committee has also decided the captain and vice-captain of the national team. The captain will be sprinter Ryota Yamagata, who holds the national record in the men’s 100 meters.
A female contestant has been appointed vice-captain, table tennis star Kasumi Ishikawa.