"Who is that person?"
I think this HiNative answer gives a good explanation:
If "Kochira wa", it's short for "Kochira no kata wa". And "kochira/sochira/achira" are more polite than "kono/sono/ano". So "kata" would be appropriate for kochira etc, and "hito" would be appropriate for kono etc because kata is more polite than hito, like:
Kochira no kata wa, Kochira wa,
Sochira no kata wa, Sochira wa,
Achira no kata wa, Achira wa,
Kono kata wa,
Sono kata wa,
Ano kata wa,
[Commonn/Base (Not used polite form/style)]
Kono hito wa,
Sono hito wa,
Ano hito wa,
Tip for future use: Don't say "Jap," because that became a derogatory slur in English during the world wars, and so now polite persons are conscientious not to use it anymore, just like we make sure not to use any other racial/cultural/orientational/etc. slurs. (And I know you didn't mean it that way, so I just figured I'd better warn you for the future. :) )
Have you checked the previous comments? https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/22962167?comment_id=37858184
そちらの方 (sochira no kata) is natural Japanese that is used often. Due to varying politeness levels, Japanese has multiple ways to say the same thing. あの人, その人, and この人 are not appropriate for polite conversation. Saying あの人 or その人 sounds to me like you are putting distance between yourself and the person you're talking about
In this sentence you could say that the only difference is politeness.
If you want to know more about when they are not the same, see this italki answer:
Note that there is one case you cannot use "kata" instead of "hito." "Kata" should be always modified some other preceding word/phrase/clause. It can't stand alone.
There is a person in the room.
This "hito" is not modified by any word. Therefore, 部屋にかたがいますis wrong.
If you change the sentence like this; あの部屋にいる人はメリーさんです。 The person who is in the room is Mary.
This "hito" is modified by あの部屋にいる, so あの部屋にいらっしゃるかたはメリーさんです。is correct.
(The verb いる becomes いらっしゃる in honorific speech.)
So, what situation would you be in that would require using this level of politeness?
I don't think I would use this with my family. If I were teaching students, would I use it when I'm talking to them? Can you give examples of situations/places this level of politeness would be used?
It depends on your relationship with your students and their age. I teach elementary school (6-12 years old), so I wouldn't speak politely to them (and if I do they know they're being bad...). You want to speak politely to people you consider "above" you (people who are older, your boss, strangers, customers).
"kata" is usually used to call senior person or person who you respect or stranger.
I'll give you some example
In party, you ask your boss "Who is she over there?(she looks like person who have authority of company)"
= あちらにいるかたは誰ですか？＝achira ni iru kata ha dare desuka?
- when you introduce someone who is very important for you "she is Ms.Mika from NY"
=こちらにいるかたはNYからきたミカさんです。=kochira ni iru kata ha NY kara kita Mika san desu
so, "kata" include meaning, respect or esteem=very formal
but "hito" just mean person for instance, in class, you find new face. then you ask your friend "who is she?"
=あの女の人だれ？=ano onna no hito dare?
i think if you use "kata", people would not be offended, but this way is very formal. so it is not common in ordinal life.
"hito" is more common
I'll give you more example
あの人だれ？＝you ask your friend about stranger
この人はバカだ＝you insult certain person directly and there are some friend around you. if there are only you and this person, you say "あなた（おまえ）はバカだ”