(Just a humourous take on Japanese people's behaviour towards foreigners)
This classification just came out from a funny talking among us (some Nepalese, some Indonesians and one Nigerian) during a tour (organized by our university)to Tokyo.
Ethnically Japan is a perfectly homogeneous country. You can say 100% of Japanese are of the same race. I have met some Japanese muslims, but racially they are Japanese. May be they were converted some decades or a century ago, I am not sure.
So what is this classification?
It has to do with the foreigners in Japan. Compared to western countries, Japan has smaller foreigners density (in my opinion, I may be wrong!). Japan hasn't much opened still to foreigners. They may be very polite surfacially but you can still sense Japanese people's unease regarding increasing number of foreigners. Most of them think that increase in crime in Japan is directly related to foreigner influx. But if you follow the news for some weeks/months, you can see that, though some foreigners are also involved in crimes, most of the criminal incidents are by Japanese themselves.
OK lets forget it and lets go to the classification.
The first type is NOHINJIN (日本人), which means JAPANESE. That is the best class!
Second is AMERICAJIN (アメリカ人),which means AMERICAN (US citizens). They need to be respected more than any other type, sometimes even more than the Japanese. So you start getting confused which one is the best class/type, right?!
Third is GAIKOKUJIN (外国人), which means FOREIGNERS. But stop, people from not all the foreign countries are included in this. White westerners other than Americans are this type.
And here comes the last one, GAIJIN(外人). It also means FOREIGNERS in direct translation as it is the short form for GAIKOKUJIN, but it is for another different breed of foreigners. This breed comes from the third World, like me and Japanese people think it to be responsible for all the problems, all the ills that Japan is facing now!
But what would industrial Japan seem without the cheap labor of this last breed?