How do the Japanese people react when they are mistaken as being Chinese by Westerners?
I don’t feel bad or angry at all. I just said, “I am Japanese”.
I know that they can’t recognise which one is Japanese or Chinese.
We are all similar faces. I think they feel Asian is all same. I can’t recognise which one is American or English either.
I would actually be impressed if a Westerner recognizes me as Japanese.
I mean, even I sometimes can’t tell the Asians apart.
It’s a reasonable assumption since what, almost 90% of the East Asian population is Chinese.
I usually politely correct them, teach them the Japanese greetings (Konnichiwa), and walk away to get on with my life.
P.S. In reverse, I will also confess that despite living in Germany for the past two years, I have never been able to tell Italians and Germans apart.
My wife either ignores it, or politely corrects them, depending on context.