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Sport What Japan won't say about Osaka's US Open win

18:21  19 september  2020
18:21  19 september  2020 Source:   wwos.nine.com.au

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YOKOHAMA, Japan (AP) — Naomi Osaka ' s victory in the U . S . Open has added her to a growing list of athletes, Nobel Prize winners, and beauty pageant contestants who have raised the issue of what it means to be Japanese . The daughter of a Japanese mother and a Haitian father, Osaka was born in

Japan is celebrating Naomi Osaka's victory at the US Open, especially her array of corporate sponsors.

But like much of Japan, they are more muted in backing — or understanding — her campaign against racial injustice in the United States. Unlike the US, Japan has relatively few immigrants and has a generally lower level of awareness about racism — even at home.

Osaka was born in Japan to a Japanese mother and a Haitian father, but moved to the United States when she was three and was raised there.

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US Open favorite and social campaigner Naomi Osaka is a "role model" for people with an impressive attitude We support her there because we know how important it is." Osaka , who is preparing to face Shelby Of course, she wants to go really far in this Grand Slam, and obviously she wants to win it.

Osaka , a shy, 20-year-old who was born in Japan but moved to the United States at age 3, grew up admiring and emulating Williams. Then Osaka served better, made fewer mistakes and ran down most of the shots that Williams made, frustrating the six-time Open champion to win the first set, 6-2.

Before each of her seven US Open matches, she wore a mask with the names of Black Americans who died as the victims of violence.

a person wearing a helmet: Naomi Osaka enters the US Open final wearing a mask bearing the name of Tamir Rice. © Getty Naomi Osaka enters the US Open final wearing a mask bearing the name of Tamir Rice.

Osaka is expected to compete for Japan in next year's Olympics and, like many athletes, may want to use that stage to deliver her message; in Osaka's case, the Black Lives Matter campaign.

The International Olympic Committee prohibits displays of "political, religious or racial propaganda" on the Olympic medal podium under its so-called Rule 50. But many athletes are pushing for more rights to speak out at upcoming Olympics.

Some people lobbying for change have said "anti-racist" speech is not political speech.

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The new US Open champion has spoken about the mixed emotions she felt after winning her first grand slam in a match overshadowed by controversy. Japanese player won her first grand slam title on Saturday. Final was overshadowed by Osaka said she was grateful for Williams’ s efforts.

The Associated Press contacted several of Osaka's sponsors. Forbes magazine listed her last year as the world's richest female athlete with earnings of $US37.4 million in the previous 12 months.

The reaction of Japanese watch-maker Citizen Watch Co. was typical of the responses. The company declined to comment on the masks, but expressed delight in an official statement that the tennis star was wearing one of its products — a Naomi Osaka watch with a yellow band during the US Open.

Naomi Osaka holding a racket: Naomi Osaka hits a backhand in the US Open final. © Getty Naomi Osaka hits a backhand in the US Open final.

Sports equipment manufacturer Yonex Co. expressed support for Osaka's feelings, while also stressing that she won her third Grand Slam using one of its racquets.

"National borders and racial discrimination should not exist in sports, and we are carrying out our business activities with hopes that everyone who takes part in sports around the world will have fun. We think Ms. Osaka's actions reflect our basic stance, and we respect her actions."

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US Open women' s singles champion Naomi Osaka poses for photographers with her trophy at Top of the Rock Observation Deck at Rockefeller Center And now she' s the first player from Japan to win one. Osaka was born there, to a Japanese mother and Haitian father, and moved to New York at age

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Nissin Foods — the instant noodle maker — said Osaka's third Grand Slam win underlined the spirit behind the company's "Hungry to win" slogan, and looked forward to her participation in the Olympics.

But when asked about the masks and Osaka's campaign against racial injustice, the spokesman declined comment calling it "her personal matter."

Automaker Nissan Motor Co. said it planned no statement.

Naomi Osaka wearing a blue hat: Naomi Osaka with the US Open trophy after winning the 2020 final. © Getty Naomi Osaka with the US Open trophy after winning the 2020 final.

Some response on Japanese social media has been negative, lashing out at Osaka. Of course, there has also been ample praise.

Negative outbursts against people who stand out can be common in Japan, where conformity and teamwork are valued, and individualism is often seen as selfish and unbecoming.

The statement from the Japanese Prime Minister's Office made no reference to Osaka's masks or any mention about racial injustice, saying on Twitter: "Congratulations. It was a full-set comeback from behind, and you never gave up till the end. Thanks for inspiring us."

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