Junior high-school student whose parents are from China speaks out against prejudice
October 1, 2014 Ryukyu Shimpo
On September 30, the Okinawa Prefectural People’s Forum for the Fostering of Children and Youth held the 36th Okinawa Junior Students Speech Contest at the Okinawa Civic Theater Ashibina in Okinawa City.
Twelve contestants selected from six districts in Okinawa voiced their opinions on various issues. The second-grade student of Naha Junior High School Tenyo Takahashi won the Grand Prize. He made a speech on the theme of prejudice. He said it is important to understand each other as individuals, and not make assumptions based on national stereotypes.
The boy’s parents are from China. He has experienced prejudice at elementary schools in Japan and China, where he noticed that other students saw him as different. As an example of prejudice, he raised the issue of Japanese websites which slander Chinese people. Takahashi said, “Japanese and Chinese people are the same human beings. Each person has a personality. It is important that we should interact with many people who are different from us and understand each other deeply, because we are the generation who will support the future society.”
His manuscript and audio tape will be sent to a speech contest in Kyushu. The top two winners in Kyushu can take part in a national competition.
The list of other winners follows:
Excellence Award Ryota Shiroma (second-grade student of Nishihara Junior High School), Moeka Nishino (second-grade student of Yokatsu-midorigaoka Junior High School)
Special Jury Prize Kyoka Nakamura (third-grade student of Kamimotobu Junior High School)
(English translation by T&CT)
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