Who is Arfaiya Iri, the first Uyghur parliamentarian in the history of Japan?

Who is Arfaiya Iri, the first Uyghur parliamentarian in the history of Japan?
Who is Arfaiya Iri, the first Uyghur parliamentarian in the history of Japan?

Orfiya Eri .. Uyghur arrives in the Japanese Parliament

Orfiya Eri, who last month became the first Japanese person of Uighur descent to be elected to the country’s national parliament, said she hopes to show the world that while Uighurs face genocide in China, they are succeeding elsewhere in politics, business and other fields. In an interview with the site Axios.

Eri added, “We are, of course, victims of genocide. But we are much more than that. We too deserve success and we deserve to thrive, and that is something I hope to model through my work.”

And the Chinese government has developed more than a million of Uighurs mass internment camps in the northwest region of the country, according to human rights groups, as part of a sweeping crackdown that many governments have described as genocide.

The lower and upper houses of Japan’s parliament have adopted resolutions expressing concern about human rights abuses in Xinjiang, although neither has called the government’s actions there genocide.

In April, Iri was elected to the Diet of Japan, as a member of the Liberal Democratic Party.

What are Erie’s main goals for the position?

  • Improving disaster preparedness in the event of earthquakes and tsunamis.
  • Strengthening child welfare support, including free food programs and free national health care for all children in Japan.
  • Strengthening national security and constitutional reform.
  • Improving mental health support for refugee and Uyghur communities.

Eri also said her experience as a member of the Uyghur community had motivated her to push for more diversity and inclusion in Japanese society, which has long been seen as too homogeneous.

Eri said that despite the grief Uyghurs carry every day, she also hopes to “celebrate our lives and celebrate our successes.”

Who is Arfiya Eri?

According to Anadolu Agency, Eri was born to a Japanese father of Uyghur ethnicity, and a Japanese mother of Uzbek origin, in the city of Kitakyoshi, Fukuoka Prefecture, southern Japan. Her father’s origins are in Xinjiang.

Eri became a Japanese citizen in 1999, when she was 10 years old. Despite her multicultural background and mastery of 7 languages, she confirmed in press statements: “I never felt like a foreigner” in Japan.

After completing her basic education, much of which she spent in China due to her father’s job there, Eri left for the United States to study at Georgetown University, where she majored in international politics.

After her graduation, she returned to Japan to work for a short time at the Bank of Japan, after which it was decided to return to the United States to work at the United Nations headquarters.