People from Brazil, China, Philippines and from various countries and regions lives in Mie Prefecture, and the number of nationality is over 100. As of the end of 2017, the number of foreign residents increased by about 4,200 from the previous year, there are 47,665 foreigners living in Mie prefecture. The ratio of foreigners accounts for about 2.6% of the total population in the prefecture, and it is a high ratio nationwide.
In Mie Prefecture where internationalization and multicultural symbiosis are advancing this way and in Suzuka city where many foreigners live, Japanese and foreign residents are working together every year to create an international exchange festival with the keywords “Collaboration” and “Cross-cultural Experience”. With these keywords, the “WaiWai Spring Festival” was held. A lot of residents of various nationalities gathered this year and had a wonderful day. We interviewed participants about the importance of cross-cultural understanding and multicultural symbiosis.
[Lima・Ceasar and Matsumoto・Sonia – Brazilian]
I think exchange with Japanese people is important. Not only Brazilians, but Filipino, Peruvian, Japanese, etc., are also participating in this event to talk to each other, exchange information about Japan and our own culture . I think that is a good thing.
With this kind of event, we can meet people with different nationalities. I think that is important. I try to participate in various events.
[Ao – Mongolian]
I have been in Japan for 15 years. After all, I live as a foreigner in Japan. It is fun to interact with the people from different countries at such international exchange event. From now on, if there’s another event like this, I would definitely want to enjoy, not only the food, but also spend more time talking to everybody.
[Alex and Zaida – Peruvian]
I think (Multicultural symbiosis) is important. Because you can interact and create an international community. That is really important for our children growing up in Japan. As time goes by, I think that multicultural symbiosis is progressing. It is a gratifying thing and important for my entire family.
[Apollo – Filipino]
The Philippine group started participating in Mie Prefecture events 8 years ago. This group is not just for Filipino people. I would like people in various countries all over the world to have fun.
We asked Ms. Nakano of Suzuka International Friendship Association (SIFA) who is organizing this event about the purpose of the Wai Wai Spring Festival.
[Nakano Chizuko – Organizer (Suzuka International Friendship Association)]
In this event, you can experience the taste of various countries. This is also a good opportunity for foreigners to know the taste of other countries and have an exchange. Even in the stage, we have dances from various countries, so participating in such an event makes us familiar with foreign (culture). I think that it is very important that communication starts with this as a trigger.
After all, we live together in Suzuka. I would like to have this opportunity to make the foreigners participate in society and build it together, not just looking at everything as outsiders.
Foreigners are also in the executive committee. Not only Japanese people are working at the venue on the day. It is a festival where people from various countries get together and make it together. This is the purpose (Wai Wai Spring Festival).
This year’s WaiWai Spring Festival was one of the efforts of “Mie International Week 2018”. We interview the person in charge of “Mie International Week 2018”.
[Yamane Risuki – Mie Prefecture Employment Economics Department International Strategy Division – Mie-ken Koyo Keizai-bu Kokusai Senryaku-ka]
In Mie prefecture, about two weeks before and after May 26th and 27th of the summit holding date, “Mie International Week” are set in order to make the most of the experience of the Ise Shima Summit. The International Week is a period for intensive international efforts. Through efforts carried out during this week period, it is expected that the people of the prefecture will raise their interest in the world and make them active in the global field.
It has been two years since the Ise Shima Summit was held, but I hope that it will continue to turn our eyes on the world through international efforts, I hope that people throughout the prefecture would enjoy the international week.
The Wai Wai Spring Festival was an event that allowed us to experience multicultural symbiosis. Through such international efforts, the perspective of multicultural symbiosis is also emphasized in Mie Prefecture where internationalization is more prominent. People with diverse cultural backgrounds and values recognize each difference and are asking for every citizen to build a community while giving respect to each other.