Sunday, December 09, 2007

Another whining foreigner, James Fallows,

who was one of the so-called "revisionists" to the E. O. Reischauer et al sugar-coated version of modern Japan in the late 80s and early 90s when he wrote for Atlantic magazine (he still does) visited Japan over Thanksgiving. Unlike some of our resident apologists, he did not especially appreciate Japan's new policy even if America does it too. My god, does he not know that if the USA does it, right or wrong, that it provides justification for everyone?

Japan's way of ushering in the Thanksgiving holidays has been to institute mandatory fingerprinting and photographing of all foreigners entering the country. Let me put this bluntly: this is an incredibly degrading, off-putting, and hostility-generating process. The comment is not anti-Japanese: when the U.S. does this to foreigners, it's wrong and degrading too (as many people, including me, have pointed out over the years). But Japan has just ushered in this procedure, and they deserve to take some heat for it....

....It’s one thing, and wrong enough, for the U.S. to apply similar measures in the panicky, immediate, “we’re for anything that is called ‘anti-terrorist’ ” mood of the 9/11 aftermath, which is when the U.S. began discussing similar “biometric” measures. It’s even worse to do it six years later, after a chance for cold deliberation about the prices society is and is not willing to pay to keep itself “secure.”

I learned of this from where I often find similar interesting material.

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