The Only Gaijin in the Village: Chapter 3

Source: Gaijin Pot
The Only Gaijin in the Village: Chapter 3

A Farewell to Arms

Japan is safe. This is the mantra repeated in the news, during welcome ceremonies for overseas workers and any time the government tentatively floats the idea of opening the door to immigrants from a crack to wide open. Japan is safe.

If we’re talking about crime, fair enough. In comparison with many other countries, Japan has low crime rates. I once drunkenly left my cell phone on top of an ATM and found it waiting for me the next morning. You can generally walk home late at night without fear of mugging, molestation or anything more sinister than a drunk salaryman hoping for a free English lesson.

Japan is safe. If you don’t count earthquakes, tsunamis, active volcanoes, typhoons and the associated frequent landslides, Japan is safe. If you ignore the shaky logic of building forty-three nuclear reactors in the most seismically active country on the planet, Japan is safe. If you turn a blind eye to employment practices that result in karoshi — death from overwork — and high suicide rates; if you sweep the problem of yakuza and other gangs under the tatami; if you don’t ask why the hills are alive with the sound of those …continue reading