ASIA IS THE WORLD'S LARGEST CONTINENT, where 60% of the world's population lived in 1998 (Forbes, Grose-Hode, Hewitt, et al., 1999). Forty-eight nations are located in Asia. The chapters in Part 5 discuss citizenship and citizenship education in Japan, India, and China. Japan and India have Western-style governments and political systems. China has a highly centralized government that is controlled by the Chinese Communist Party. All three nation-states are characterized by diversity, although Japan is only now in the process of coming to grips with the diversity within its population. Citizenship education is complex and has unique challenges in Japan, India, and China.
Many Japanese “believe that they live in a monoethnic society, which they also regard as one of their most distinctive— and positive—characteristics” (Li, 2001, p. 1). The belief that Japan is a monoethnic society is widely shared not only by the citizens of Japan but among scholars who study Japan. This notion is a misconception because diversity within Japan has deep historical roots (Li, 2001; Murphy-Shigematsu, Chapter 11). The diversity within Japan that has deep historical roots has been enriched since the 1980s by the immigration of foreign workers from a number of different nations. These nations include the Philippines, South Korea, Thailand, China,