Ukrainian model wins Miss Japan pageant — RT World News

Some Japanese commentators said that Carolina Shino's victory was a “political decision.”

Ukrainian model Karolina Shino has sparked controversy by winning the Miss Japan 2024 pageant. Although Shino is a naturalized Japanese citizen, she has no Japanese ancestry and her win has angered some viewers in the ethnically homogeneous country.

The 26-year-old model was crowned the winner of the 56th annual Miss Japan Grand Prix on Monday, becoming the first naturalized Japanese citizen — and the oldest woman — to do so.

Shino was born in Ukraine to Ukrainian parents, and moved to Japan at the age of five when her mother remarried.

“I live as a Japanese person, but there were racial barriers and in many cases I was not accepted.” she said during Monday's ceremony, according to Reuters. “I feel so much gratitude that I am truly accepted as a Japanese person today.” She added, speaking fluent Japanese.

Japanese commentators on social media were less accepting. “So, a person who does not have a drop of Japanese blood and no trace of Japaneseness will represent the Japanese woman?” One X (formerly Twitter) user wrote.

“If it's half [Japanese]Sure, no problem. But she is 0% ethnically Japanese and was not even born in Japan.” another wrote, while one user expressed concern about it “Japanese people are normal [would] You get the wrong message when someone with European appearance is called the most beautiful Japanese.

Some commentators claimed that the judges chose Chennault to send a signal of support for Ukraine in its conflict with Russia. “If she had been born Russian, she wouldn't have won. Not a chance. The criteria now is clearly a political decision. What a sad day for Japan.” one person wrote.

The competition's organizer, Ai Wada, told the BBC that the judges chose Shino “Complete trust.” Ukrainian model “He speaks and writes in beautiful, polite Japanese,” Wada said calling her “More Japanese than us.”

Japan is widely considered the most ethnically homogeneous developed country in the world, and although its government does not track the race or ethnicity of its citizens, it is believed that 98% of the country's population is of Japanese descent. Although the government no longer pays migrant workers to return to their home countries – as it did following the 2008 financial crisis – migrants must meet… Strict standards To become citizens, citizenship is not granted by birthright.

Shino is not the first controversial Miss Japan winner. In 2015, Ariana Miyamoto, whose parents are Japanese and African-American, became the first biracial woman to win the contest, sparking a national debate about whether mixed-race contestants should be allowed to enter the contest.

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