Ariana Miyamoto, newly crowned Miss Japan, has caused a bit of an uproar on the web, with critics calling the half Japanese, half African-American beauty not Japanese enough.

Critics Ask Whether Miss Japan Ariana Miyamoto Is ‘Japanese’ Enough

Miyamoto, 20, born to a Japanese mother and African-American father, is the first biracial Miss Japan, but she is completely qualified to hold the position. Miyamoto was born and raised in Nagasaki, Japan, though she did attend high school in America.

She was crowned Miss Japan on March 12, and has received a great deal of negative backlash – with critics dismissing her as “haafu” (meaning multiracial), as well as some fervent support:

“Is it ok to choose a haafu to represent Japan? Sometimes the criteria which they use to select Miss Universe is a bit of a mystery,” wrote one critic.

“Even though she’s Miss Universe Japan, her face is foreign no matter how you look at it!” wrote another.

 

Miyamoto has previously spoken out against critics of her ethnicity, reportedly citing Mariah Carey as an inspiration. “She faced some racial hurdles, similar to myself, but she overcame them and became a top star, so she’s been a big influence on me,” Miyamoto said.

Despite any negative comments, Miyamoto has her eye on the prize and is focused on the Miss Universe pageant, which will take place next January. She will be the first half Japanese, half African American contestant ever to participate in the competition. “The world competition is going to be tough, but I’ll believe in myself and continue doing my best,” she told Japanese reporters.