Friday, November 28, 2008

The invasion of evil (baka) gaijin

Some 51.8 percent of Japanese said a rise in foreign tourists visiting Japan made them "concerned about safety" and thought "some steps should be taken" to address such concerns, according to a government survey released Thursday. Japan Times.

Remember back in the 80s and early 90s when things were simpler and folks only had to worry about sneaky, dangerous, drug-using, quasi-criminal non-Japanese spreading AIDS? Now da' gubbermint is actually tryin' to git more of them to visit the Land of Purity.

What else could be expected when people are exposed to government officials promoting xenophobia; when the media often dwells on crimes committed by non-Japanese in a way that is all out of proportion to similar crimes committed by Japanese; when nearly everything people are exposed to from childhood on claim a unique Japanese "race" which is different from all other human beings? When the government wants to take attention off of its (and society's) own failings by exaggerating problems elsewhere so as to make those of Japan seem minor in comparison, why would fear of others even be newsworthy?

Since neither the poll results nor the questions are described in any detail, It's hard to know what to make of it. There is nothing at all surprising unless one considers the 51.8% low. In fact, 48.2% not feeling concerned
(I'll generously assume this) about non-Japanese visitors could be considered progress, little or no thanks to the media and government.

However, I agree that "steps should be taken". It could be called education, perhaps. We could start with the elite then move down the ladder to the folks who think Japan is the only country that has four seasons and drinkable water.

Remember the minister (
Nariaki Nakayama) who was fired because he said (among other things) that Japanese do not like foreigners?

It's not worth worrying about. I just had to do something as I postponed my trip to the mountains for a week and had some free time for ranting.

No comments:

Post a Comment