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A significant number of gaikokujin say koku is an integral part of their identity as a foreigner living in Japan.

Experts say a gaikokujin’s koku can often be the only thing that makes Japan a pleasurable experience.

“In many cases, koku is all they live for,” says Professor Takai Nobuhiro.

A large proportion of gaikokujin in Japan believe it is their fundamental right for koku to be used whenever they are addressed.

“A ‘gai’ should always come with a koku,” explains one foreigner.

“I need a well-pronounced koku to know I’m not being discriminated against.”

It’s common for foreign residents in Japan to suffer from koku neglect, with many saying they need koku to feel self-assured.

“If you don’t give me my koku I feel like I’m being deprived of the true essence of what it really means to be a foreigner in Japan.”

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