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If you’ve spent any extended time in Japan or have even casually followed RocketNews24, you’ve probably encountered the topic of Japanese people dating foreigners. It’s a theme that commonly comes up, often focusing on why foreign men (sometimes independent of their attractiveness), get all the girls! But still, all foreign men aren’t necessarily attracted to Japanese women.

Contributing to the discussion and in promotion of his recently released book, There’s Something I Want to Tell You: True Stories of Mixed Dating in Japan, Yuta Aoki, a Japanese author, vlogger and YouTuber, set out to interview some Japanese ladies on their thoughts about interracial relationships. Take this interview with a grain of salt though, as Aoki only questions five girls, all in the big city at the time and most having spent some time abroad, so, they’re not necessarily a cross section of Japanese women.

▼ Heads up: The video is 16 minutes long, but the interview portion ends at 8:16.

Would you date a foreign guy?

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Outright answers were pretty cut and dry, whether for or against dating a foreigner, but after some discussion, most of the girls seemed to agree that if they were able to communicate well (either the girl could speak a foreign language or the guy could speak Japanese), and the cultural and value differences were sorted out it, they’d probably be okay with it. When speaking of cultural differences, one woman plainly stated, “It could be too troublesome,” a valid point, but many people seem willing to try!

Are you interested in any particular nationalities?

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Some girls, like the one above, wouldn’t really prefer any nationality over another, as long he was a good guy and they got along. However, others had some more specific opinions:

“Americans seem easy to date.”
“They say French guys are too persistent.”
“Somewhere where the men are not too dominant.”
“Somewhere not sexist.”

How about race?

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As with nationality, the girls all seemed pretty open to any race. Feeling pressed for an answer, one girl hesitantly said, “White guys…?” While another girl admitted to sometimes thinking about dating white guys, but she also thinks there are plenty of attractive black and Asian men out there.

Would you marry a foreign guy? (Would your parents approve?)

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Not everyone was as on board as the girl above, but they all had their reasons.

“My parents say ‘You should marry a foreigner.’ [Because] they’re taller. My parents would be OK even if they didn’t speak his language. They are thinking of their grandchildren. Japan would be more international, and there would be more sociable Japanese people.”

“No way. My parents are from the countryside.” [As in many cultures, rural areas in Japan tend to be more conservative.]

“I wouldn’t marry a foreigner. My parents wouldn’t be against it, but I’d prefer to marry a Japanese guy.”

How would you like to be approached?

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This question seems to address dating in general, but Aoki asks some of the girls how they’d feel about being approached in a café, online, or on the street, none of which the typical Japanese guy would try (more on this later).

(In a café)

“If he seemed to be hitting on every other girl, I wouldn’t like it. If there was something to talk about and we could have a good conversation, it might work.”

“I’d like that. It’s like a TV drama.”

What do Japanese guys lack these days?

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The girls had some pretty varied and interesting, if not necessarily specific, answers for this one. Where Japanese guys falter, Western guys often step up.

“[I was lost in Vancouver and this guy assisted me all the way to my destination.] I thought, ‘This is how it’s done!’ Japanese people wouldn’t go this far.”

“Some guys do hit on me in Japan, but the sincere guys don’t.”

“I think they need to be more confident… they can’t decide things for themselves.”

“Guys don’t have cars these days, and they have some weird jobs. Also, I think they need to be more independent.”

“My classmates just go for drinks and that’s it. That’s very sad…boring in my opinion.”

“Japanese guys don’t lack anything in particular.”

Is there anything you like about Japanese guys?

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Japanese men, don’t worry, these women think you still have many redeeming qualities!

“They are responsible.” (She used the word “majime,” which could also be translated as “earnest,” “diligent” or “honest.”)

They are punctual. Most of them have decent jobs.”

“I can help them when they need help and they can help me too.

In the last question of the interview we find out that at least three of the five (we aren’t shown the fifth girl’s answer), have traveled abroad. Visiting other countries can impact one’s opinion of foreigners and one’s own countrymen, for the better or, sometimes, for the worse. This video is pretty interesting, but makes us wonder how good of a representation it is of the typical Japanese lady. After all, most young Japanese people don’t live in very internationalized cities and have never been abroad.

The second half of the video consists of Aoki talking about his new book, reading reviews and such. Don’t worry if you don’t make it all the way through, in fact, around minute 12, he even asks “Are you still listening? … I think 90 percent of the people [watching] have already dropped out at the middle of the video.” If you are interested in hearing more about his book, foreigners’ impressions of Japan or international relationships, by all means, continue on to the end of the video!

Source/Images: YouTube [What Japanese Women Think of Dating Foreign Men (Interview)]