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Thursday, 18th September 2008
In General Japan News,

Tokyo Chinatown proposal 'sparks controversy'

Proposals to promote an area of downtown Tokyo as the Japanese capital's very own Chinatown have sparked controversy.

The Ikebukuro district is known for its concentration of Chinese immigrants who began settling their in the late 1970s, according to Kiyomi Yamashite, a professor at the University of Tsukuba.

Local shopkeepers decided to form an association to promote the area following the success of the Olympic Games in Beijing.

Non-Chinese businesses and restaurants in the area are less pleased about the area becoming a Chinatown however, reports the Asahi Shimbun.

Hu Yifei, director of the Chinatown Promotion Association, commented: "With Chinese businesses fully complying with Japanese business customs, we hope that we can work hand-in-hand [with Japanese businesses] to revitalise the Ikebukuro area."

Time Magazine reported that Japan is an attractive destination for many Chinese immigrants as it is relatively close to the Asian mainland and shares a common writing system.

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