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March 24, 2003

New Yorker Running for City Council

New Yorker Anthony Bianchi, 44, is to run in an upcoming city council election in Aichi Prefecture. He is head of the Native English Teacher program in the small city of Inuyama, known for its 16th-century castle. Bianchi first came to Japan in 1988 on the JET Program and has lived here for 11 of the intervening 14 years. His struggles with the local system while trying to set up the English language teaching program led him to consider politics. If successful, he will be the first North American ever elected to public office in Japan. "The Japanese bureaucracy, even on the local level, is like a monolith," he said. "Japanese have a tendency to back down to it. That is something that needs to be changed."

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