I'm not gonna get hung up on the Japanese thing, since everybody ignores it anyway. To me, a masked Earthrealm east-Asian assassin is a ninja in MK, so that includes Scorpion, Smoke and Sub-Zero.
Scorpion, Smoke or Sub-Zero don't even look like east-Asian characters AT ALL.
Scorpion looks very European to me, his eyes and skull format are definately of Caucasian nature, not Eastern-Asian, let alone Japanese. They can't even spell his clan right!
Sorry to tell you, but when it comes to East Asian culture and Asian character designs overall, MK plain SUCKS at that.