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HomePoliticsUighur-heritage candidate Eri urges Japan to 'embrace diversity'

Uighur-heritage candidate Eri urges Japan to ’embrace diversity’

Tokyo (AFP)-Alfiya Eli is a young, female, multilingual former UN employee, all of whom have already helped stand out as Japanese politicians, but she is also a Uighur heritage. ..

Her campaign is not centered around her ethnic background, but in countries where politics remains a nearly homogeneous issue, it has received both positive and negative attention.

Ethnic Uighurs are generally from the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region of China, The government has been accused of detaining more than one million of them Other Muslim minorities in the long-standing crackdown that the Rights Group calls include a wide range of “crimes against humanity.” China has denied all accusations.

Eli, 33, is running for the Senate in Parliament with the ruling Liberal Democratic Party on a platform that emphasizes the bread and butter issue and her identity as a proud Japanese citizen.

Eli, who is from Uighur and ran for Japan’s first major party candidate, admits that her campaign is being seen through the prism of her family’s history.

“Instead of my vision and policy as a Japanese politician, people ask me about the Uighur issue because of my ethnic background,” she told AFP.

“I understand why this happens, but it feels a bit strange.”

But that doesn’t mean that diversity isn’t an issue for women who speak seven languages ​​and are educated among Japan, China and the United States.

In fact, after she saw the elections in her hometown of Fukuoka, South Japan, and observed the uniformity of the candidates, it helped to inspire her to run.

“More and more people, like me, are visibly represented by non-traditional Japanese names,” said Eli, whose family name is sometimes mistaken for her name. Told.

“Women are also more visibly active and successful … but when you look at the world of politics, that diversity has not yet been represented and reflected.”

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