Neko Hiroshi – Gaijinhan

Neko Hiroshi

The continuing outcry of Singaporeans on the ridiculous influx of foreigners brings to mind the discontentment of how China-born table tennis representatives of Singapore threw the Olympic bouquet to fans from China instead of to those from Singapore. Not forgetting a certain player having returned to China.

A Japanese comedian who goes by the name Neko Hiroshi had a dream to be part of the Olympics. Of course there isn’t a comedy event but being a good marathon runner, his dream was to take part in a marathon on the international stage. With so many good runners in Japan, he knows that he won’t be able to fulfill his dream by staying in Japan, so what he did was to give up his Japanese citizenship to take up Cambodian nationality and accomplish his dream from there. Nevermind he won’t win the Olympics. Being a part of it alone is a huge dream-come-true. Not unexpectedly, many Japanese people criticized his actions, but while there were mixed feelings of whether this is right or not, I felt that at least he was going for his dreams in any way he could that doesn’t hurt anyone.

He successfully gained Cambodian citizenship before the Olympics and was informed that he would be able to participate as a contestant. However, some time later, the IOC decided that a person should be a citizen of a country for a period of at least one year before they can represent the country at the Olympics. So, there goes his dreams. But what about his nationality? Would he give it up and return home? We don’t know for sure but he says that he is going to at least stay for some time to return the favour to the many people who assisted him on his journey to the Olympics. This could mean that there is a chance he would take back his Japanese citizenship again.

It’s hard now for me to decide whether I am for or against such actions because to me, a person who does what he can to achieve his dreams is admirable.

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