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Rohingyas socialize with Japanese neighbors

An ethnic minority group from Myanmar invited the Japanese residents of a city north of Tokyo to a get-together on Sunday.

About 90 percent of all the Rohingya people in Japan — more than 200 — live in Tatebayashi in Gunma Prefecture.

They invited around 20 local residents to a mosque in the city to get to know each other better.

The residents showed the Rohingyas a Japanese way of greeting and told them about the community’s rules, such as separating garbage for collection.

The Rohingyas said they will abide by the local rules and try to live harmoniously with their Japanese neighbors.

They also introduced their children who were born and raised in the city. Participants chatted over dishes of ethnic Rohingya food.

One Japanese resident said the event was his first opportunity to get to know the Rohingyas and learn how they think and feel. He said he hopes to get along well with them.

A representative of the Rohingya group said it was a happy occasion and that his people want the Japanese residents to know more about them.

Rohingyas have not been recognized as citizens in Myanmar. A pro-democracy party won last November’s parliamentary elections. A new pro-democracy government is expected to come into power in March, replacing the current military-backed government.

Source: NKH World