Japanese cities worried about taking in more foreign workers, survey finds

Oct 27, 2017
1,680
#1
Nearly half of cities and towns across Japan are concerned about how to appropriately deal with to foreign workers as they prepare for an influx starting this spring due to a new government policy aimed at addressing a chronic labor shortage, a survey conducted by Kyodo News showed Sunday.

But the survey, covering all of Japan’s more than 1,700 municipalities, also found that 47 percent of them are in favor of having more workers from abroad, as many companies continue to struggle with a labor crunch amid the country’s aging population and falling birthrate.

Japan will introduce a new visa system in April as part of efforts to attract more foreign workers for the country’s labor-hungry sectors, including nursing care, construction, farming and restaurants.

Of the municipalities surveyed, 12 percent said they are concerned about whether they can ensure that employers treat foreign workers properly, such as providing necessary livelihood support and salaries on a par with their Japanese colleagues, and 35 percent said they generally feel the same concern.

Combining the two figures, 47 percent are worried about how to coexist with foreign workers, with some citing the government’s lack of specific measures as a major reason for their anxieties.

Among other opinions, the city of Odate in Akita Prefecture said that “many companies have no know-how about accepting foreigners” and called for support from the central and local governments.

Some of the municipalities that are not so positive about accepting more foreign workers said they think higher priority should be given to efforts to secure jobs for elderly Japanese people and women.

The nationwide survey was conducted between November and January. It covered all of Japan’s 1,788 municipalities, of which 99 percent, or 1,768, responded.

Under the new visa system, Japan plans to accept up to around 345,000 foreign workers over the next five years.

They are mainly expected to come from nine Asian countries, including China, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam.

With the policy to grant new visa statuses, Japan will formally open its doors to foreign blue-collar workers for the first time. In the past, the country has granted working visas only to people with high skills and professional knowledge such as doctors, lawyers and teachers.
I wonder if there is a polite and respectful way for the Japanese government to essentially state that the future of the country is doomed unless foreigners are allowed to come in? Since there is no progressive change yet on working culture, and the current birth rate issue.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2...-worried-taking-foreign-workers-survey-finds/
 

shira

Community Resetter
Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,813
#3
I wonder if there is a polite and respectful way for the Japanese government to essentially state that the future of the country is doomed unless foreigners are allowed to come in? Since there is no progressive change yet on working culture, and the current birth rate issue.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2...-worried-taking-foreign-workers-survey-finds/
There is just going to be a lot of friction until this older generation dies off.

I think the next generation will be a lot more willing to accept foreigners.
Who are these people crazy enough willing to work in Japan?
David?
 
Oct 26, 2017
258
Hungary
#4
Isolated country has trouble opening up culturally and demographically - that is not a new phenomena.
I am not blaming them, but I cant say I am proud of Japan either. The country either moves forward in time or the population will shrink further. They decide.
 
OP
OP
.Detective.
Oct 27, 2017
1,680
#5
There is just going to be a lot of friction until this older generation dies off.

I think the next generation will be a lot more willing to accept foreigners.
The problem is, if they wait for an extended period of time(since Japanese senior citizens live for a while), it will just cause further damage to the population.

One has to wonder what kind of next generation there might actually be.
 
Oct 25, 2017
5,376
#6
To be fair if the government isnt providing support I can see some concern happening.

I mean sure, there's xenophobia abound but its a legit concern if no adequate system in place for employers, especially with a language barrier.
 
Jun 9, 2018
383
#7
Isolated country has trouble opening up culturally and demographically - that is not a new phenomena.
I am not blaming them, but I cant say I am proud of Japan either. The country either moves forward in time or the population will shrink further. They decide.
If automation is supposed to wipe out half the labour force, and Japanese demographics are projected to shrink by a thirds, couldn't the two phenomenons be used to balance each other out? As someone with an urban planning background I think reduction planning is an interesting and often overlooked field.
 
Nov 11, 2017
1,757
#9
It's almost as if at this point the world should damn well know better than to fall back on isolationist short sided thinking, and value its people as people and focus on making peoples lives good.

At some point the "fuck everyone but us!!!" mentality just can't work.
 
Oct 25, 2017
5,620
North Jackson High
#10
It's xenophobia, but can manifest differently than other countries. Japanese culture is notorious for being impenetrable to foreigners insofar as while you can learn the language same as any other, there are so many little subtleties and shibboleths that only native Japanese will understand that you'll always stand out for more than just your appearance. It's why their effort to open up immigration to Japanese-Brazilians in the 90s failed, the ethnically Japanese immigrants still felt discriminated against because, not being raised in Japan, there were still little things that flagged them as outsiders.

Like many Japanese will notice an obvious non-Asian foreigner, but there's a tendency to be more vindictive to people who are *not* obvious, racially Asian people who aren't Japan born and raised, partially out of a sense of embarrassment that they didn't know they were dealing with a foreigner leading to a loss of face.

Something to look for at the 2020 Olympics will be a lot of businesses putting up signs that they don't cater to foreigners. It's xenophobia that manifests as a fear of embarrassing themselves in front of people that they don't know how to properly accommodate.

Contrast pretty much anywhere else where they're just grateful if you try to speak the language (which is *also* the case in Japan, mind, just that you do have a subset expressing this odd form of xenophobia too).
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,203
#14
Is Japan offering incentives for foreigners to move there, and work (something like what VT is doing)? Or are they just tolerating outsiders because they need too?
 
Oct 26, 2017
11,691
#15
No shit. Same could be said about every country on earth because xenophobia is real.
Some countries are worse at dealing with their racist past in schools and whatnot than others. And if that country is based on an island, it's not exactly getting better.
 

Stinkles

343 Industries
Verified
Oct 25, 2017
9,590
#18
They have to do something, but it's like the UK and Brexit - they know it's dumb, they know it's not going to work, but they made up their minds, folded their arms and are stuck with a right wing government that is fueled by jingoism, nationalism, isolationism and in Japan's case -frankly rejection of non-Japanese people and influences. Or at least that's a good chunk of the population. A lot of young japanese folks are much more progressive and forward thinking and tolerant.

You can read about the Japanese working experience on this forum. Lots of expats living in Japan. There are three or four ways to do it and tbh - I've seen successful versions of all of them, but the only way to make it work is to go in with your eyes wide open. You are not Japanese. Being white helps sometimes. Nobody in Tokyo gives a shit that you're white except little kids sometimes, or drunk Salarymen, but white people in Tokyo are ubiquitous. Once you get out into the country - you will be stared at. Being black helps sometimes but comes with more challenges (including the sort of "can I touch your hair" stories that horrify folks here in the states, but sometimes weirder). Being Asian is helpful sometimes and then other times you're the wrong kind of Asian (like third generation Japanese-Koreans who have to take a Japanese name just to get by). And so on. If you live there, you WILL encounter racism - sometimes funny and harmless, sometimes shocking and significant. It might be trouble renting an apartment, or a drunk salaryman starting a fight with you on the station paltform on friday night, ot being rejected from an onsen spa with no explanation, or being yelled at by a little nazi political worker on a truck with a megaphone, in broad daylight at Shinjuku station.

Note, this is nothing like working WITH Japanese people or going there for business - both of which are an absolute JOY. Here's my super reductive version of how to succeed there - which is missing any nuance or exceptions and is a cartoon fo sorts, but sort of true.

1. Weeaboo -- full on immersion where work is just a way to pay for anime and dinner and Japanese classes and you freaking love it even the bad stuff and you don't mind being a second class citizen and you feel like you know your place and your ambitions are limited anyway. Like, that sounds negative, but there are a lot of those folks and they can be really happy. It doesn't mean they can't have friends or be social or meet a bae. Just that they're naturally OK with the negatives and accept or even embrace those as cultural attractions.

2. Own your own business and have your Japanese employees shield you from a lot of the potential negatives and control your own destiny and be on top of the workplace social pecking order, but that occasionally will mean that your Japanese employees might have to represent you to bypass a lot of structured social barriers - and even take care of apearancesd when working with bigoted or blinkerfed clinets and customers - that is to say, you might need deputies to be Japanese for you, even if you're fluent and havew lived there for years. Depends on the nature of the business andn its surrounding networks.

3. Be That Guy. I once met a US expat, former marine, swole, 6 foot 2, fluent Japanese speaker with a perfect (allegedly - I can't tell) Hokkaido accent and a full understanding of the entire thing from top to bottom. He embraced the fact that he'd encounter racist Japanese folk, that the culture is rigid, that traditions and habits will negatively impact him and his ability to succeed or fit in. So he didn't try to fit in. He never put up with it - and would simply reply in perfect Japanese that "he wasn't going to put up with racist shit and you should say that again to his face and see what happens" - I saw that twice in one week - once at a restaurant where a Japanese waiter said something mildly jingoistic and snide to another server and once when the owner of a bar tried to screw our group on the final negotiated check (actually pretty normal to dicker over the bill at those small Izakayas) based on the fact that there were AMERICANS in the group and that had been a hassle. In both cases it was enough of a scene that I was embarassed/confused about what was going on, but I could tell in both cases that they were shocked or scared into immediate apology. Anyway, that's how he rolled. His Japanese colleagues thought he was a HOOT and loved seeing him do it, to the point I think they were encouraging him. I can't say he seemed happy, but he sure was confident. I wonder what happened to him.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,928
Frisco, Tx
#20
I always wondered if Japan is so Xenophobic, why do they make all their anime charecters look more european/American in nature? I rarely see a lead anime character look like a typical Japanese man or woman.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,189
#21
Who are these people crazy enough willing to work in Japan?
That's also a problem with the half a million workers they're trying to attract. Especially in the nursing care sector. Cause of the relative low wages, need to speak and understand Japanese and better deals to be found in Europe, US, etc. people would be much better off going to other foreign countries to work than Japan.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,255
#22
They have to do something, but it's like the UK and Brexit - they know it's dumb, they know it's not going to work, but they made up their minds, folded their arms and are stuck with a right wing government that is fueled by jingoism, nationalism, isolationism and in Japan's case -frankly rejection of non-Japanese people and influences. Or at least that's a good chunk of the population. A lot of young japanese folks are much more progressive and forward thinking and tolerant.

You can read about the Japanese working experience on this forum. Lots of expats living in Japan. There are three or four ways to do it and tbh - I've seen successful versions of all of them, but the only way to make it work is to go in with your eyes wide open. You are not Japanese. Being white helps sometimes. Nobody in Tokyo gives a shit that you're white except little kids sometimes, or drunk Salarymen, but white people in Tokyo are ubiquitous. Once you get out into the country - you will be stared at. Being black helps sometimes but comes with more challenges (including the sort of "can I touch your hair" stories that horrify folks here in the states, but sometimes weirder). Being Asian is helpful sometimes and then other times you're the wrong kind of Asian (like third generation Japanese-Koreans who have to take a Japanese name just to get by). And so on. If you live there, you WILL encounter racism - sometimes funny and harmless, sometimes shocking and significant. It might be trouble renting an apartment, or a drunk salaryman starting a fight with you on the station paltform on friday night, ot being rejected from an onsen spa with no explanation, or being yelled at by a little nazi political worker on a truck with a megaphone, in broad daylight at Shinjuku station.

Note, this is nothing like working WITH Japanese people or going there for business - both of which are an absolute JOY. Here's my super reductive version of how to succeed there - which is missing any nuance or exceptions and is a cartoon fo sorts, but sort of true.

1. Weeaboo -- full on immersion where work is just a way to pay for anime and dinner and Japanese classes and you freaking love it even the bad stuff and you don't mind being a second class citizen and you feel like you know your place and your ambitions are limited anyway. Like, that sounds negative, but there are a lot of those folks and they can be really happy. It doesn't mean they can't have friends or be social or meet a bae. Just that they're naturally OK with the negatives and accept or even embrace those as cultural attractions.

2. Own your own business and have your Japanese employees shield you from a lot of the potential negatives and control your own destiny and be on top of the workplace social pecking order, but that occasionally will mean that your Japanese employees might have to represent you to bypass a lot of structured social barriers - and even take care of apearancesd when working with bigoted or blinkerfed clinets and customers - that is to say, you might need deputies to be Japanese for you, even if you're fluent and havew lived there for years. Depends on the nature of the business andn its surrounding networks.

3. Be That Guy. I once met a US expat, former marine, swole, 6 foot 2, fluent Japanese speaker with a perfect (allegedly - I can't tell) Hokkaido accent and a full understanding of the entire thing from top to bottom. He embraced the fact that he'd encounter racist Japanese folk, that the culture is rigid, that traditions and habits will negatively impact him and his ability to succeed or fit in. So he didn't try to fit in. He never put up with it - and would simply reply in perfect Japanese that "he wasn't going to put up with racist shit and you should say that again to his face and see what happens" - I saw that twice in one week - once at a restaurant where a Japanese waiter said something mildly jingoistic and snide to another server and once when the owner of a bar tried to screw our group on the final negotiated check (actually pretty normal to dicker over the bill at those small Izakayas) based on the fact that there were AMERICANS in the group and that had been a hassle. In both cases it was enough of a scene that I was embarassed/confused about what was going on, but I could tell in both cases that they were shocked or scared into immediate apology. Anyway, that's how he rolled. His Japanese colleagues thought he was a HOOT and loved seeing him do it, to the point I think they were encouraging him. I can't say he seemed happy, but he sure was confident. I wonder what happened to him.
#3 is the kind of thing I want to see/hear more of. Need to put this racism in its place.
 
Oct 26, 2017
258
Hungary
#26
If automation is supposed to wipe out half the labour force, and Japanese demographics are projected to shrink by a thirds, couldn't the two phenomenons be used to balance each other out? As someone with an urban planning background I think reduction planning is an interesting and often overlooked field.
Personally, I do not subscribe to the idea that a nation shrinking by population size (via less children being born than the elderly/sick dying) is a problem by itself. The problem, as you point it out, is that less people to work -> worse economy etc, which can be counteracted with state-owned automation, for example, yes.

Although as far as I know, there are many smaller isolated ghost towns as well that do not lend itself to easy solutions as far as autiomations go. Its much easier to think about infrastructure in larger cities.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,189
#28
Nursing care? Hell yeah! I’ll be an RN and my plan is to do travel nursing. Japan would be a great temporary job.
You'll have to brush up on your Japanese skills before going:
http://www.asahi.com/sp/ajw/articles/AJ201812190055.html

aspiring foreign care workers will be required to pass two Japanese language ability tests.

First, they will need to pass either a newly set test, tentatively called “Japanese standard assessment test,” or attain a certain level in the existing Japanese-Language Proficiency Test.

In the latter, test-takers must demonstrate daily conversational ability in Japanese when spoken to slowly.

In addition, they will have to pass another test, yet to be established, to evaluate their command of caregiver terminology.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,876
#29
But Japan, compared to other countries, has a very serious problem with it's demographic.
Most of developed world have huge problems with demographics. Even with immigration. There is no developed country with above replacement level fertility rate. Germany has had more deaths than births yearly since 1972. For comparison in Japan first year with more deaths than births was 2005.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,062
#30
Even with all these new options, the fundamental concept of their 'immigration' system seems different. America, Canada, UK, Australia, etc want skilled foreign workers who move there, do the job and eventually integrate with the population at large and build a life there. This includes a clear path to permanent residency/citizenship. Japan's rules (and past behaviour) seems like they want the kind of system Saudi Arabia or Qatar or UAE have. Come, work the jobs that need to be done, go away in a few years.
 
Nov 15, 2017
2,095
#31
Most of developed world have huge problems with demographics. Even with immigration. There is no developed country with above replacement level fertility rate. Germany has had more deaths than births yearly since 1972. For comparison in Japan first year with more deaths than births was 2005.
But germany has a completely different history of immigration. Both these things together + the rather life expectancy makes the situation in Japan and the OP thread worthy.
I was just trying to point that out to the "no shit.same as every country" post.
 
Nov 11, 2017
2,516
#32
Outside of the correct take of criticism towards Japan's xenophobia...

Current Japanese society gives little incentive to have kids. Ergo, immigration is actually necessary to replace the dying population. Don't want immigrants? Should've thought of that before making having kids be a humongous ask given what else you're demanding of your adult children. Now immigrants are not only something that should be morally allowed, but also flat out necessary.

I always wondered if Japan is so Xenophobic, why do they make all their anime charecters look more european/American in nature? I rarely see a lead anime character look like a typical Japanese man or woman.
The big eyes and defined chins and such is a side effect of Osama Tezuka and other older mangaka taking inspiration from Walt Disney and his creations. So naturally you have individuals inspired by Tezuka carry that on, and then people inspired by those people. And so on. The blue eyes and blonde hair is to help distinguish characters- that's why blue, red, purple, and other such colors of hair and eyes exist in anime without anyone pointing out how weird it is.

It's not actually them trying to make anime characters look foreign in most cases. In fact, many Japanese think characters we Westerners would see and think "oh they're white" in fact look Japanese- characters like Sailor Moon and Naruto. This is because, unless made obvious in other ways, anime characters with Japanese names are just assumed to be Japanese. They tend to make non-Japanese Asians look more, hm, well, stereotypical, or White people have even more well defined or masculine features. There are exceptions, like FMA, but then the characters are defined as being the norm in their setting so no alterations from basic features is needed.

This is all also why a lot of older shows have offensive depictions of black or dark skinned people- the assumption that, since Western cartoons like Looney Toons and illustrations in books like Little Sambo showed black people with big red lips and pinprick pupils or as servants only, that's how they ought to be depicted. That's been changing since Western feedback has said it's, well, actually pretty inaccurate and offensive, but it still pops up sometimes.
 

Zoc

Member
Oct 27, 2017
818
#34
The more I hear about the specifics, the worse this new immigration bill seems.

Previous attempts at this kind of thing have ended up with immigrant workers paid less than minimum wage, overworked, and with their rights abused by unethical employers.

The lack of safeguards mentioned in the OP’s article suggests that the same thing is going to happen again, on a much larger scale. It’ll be bad both for the foreign workers themselves and for the lower class Japanese who’ll have to compete with them.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,928
Frisco, Tx
#36
Outside of the correct take of criticism towards Japan's xenophobia...

Current Japanese society gives little incentive to have kids. Ergo, immigration is actually necessary to replace the dying population. Don't want immigrants? Should've thought of that before making having kids be a humongous ask given what else you're demanding of your adult children. Now immigrants are not only something that should be morally allowed, but also flat out necessary.


The big eyes and defined chins and such is a side effect of Osama Tezuka and other older mangaka taking inspiration from Walt Disney and his creations. So naturally you have individuals inspired by Tezuka carry that on, and then people inspired by those people. And so on. The blue eyes and blonde hair is to help distinguish characters- that's why blue, red, purple, and other such colors of hair and eyes exist in anime without anyone pointing out how weird it is.

It's not actually them trying to make anime characters look foreign in most cases. In fact, many Japanese think characters we Westerners would see and think "oh they're white" in fact look Japanese- characters like Sailor Moon and Naruto. This is because, unless made obvious in other ways, anime characters with Japanese names are just assumed to be Japanese. They tend to make non-Japanese Asians look more, hm, well, stereotypical, or White people have even more well defined or masculine features. There are exceptions, like FMA, but then the characters are defined as being the norm in their setting so no alterations from basic features is needed.

This is all also why a lot of older shows have offensive depictions of black or dark skinned people- the assumption that, since Western cartoons like Looney Toons and illustrations in books like Little Sambo showed black people with big red lips and pinprick pupils or as servants only, that's how they ought to be depicted. That's been changing since Western feedback has said it's, well, actually pretty inaccurate and offensive, but it still pops up sometimes.
Thank you so much! That helps a ton understanding this weirdness.
 
Oct 5, 2018
1,096
#37
But Japan, compared to other countries, has a very serious problem with it's demographic.
This is true. I guess I would just rather see a thread about one of their other issues as well. Like the rampant and virtually unchecked sexual assault of women and girls on their rail system.
 
Dec 15, 2017
800
#38
The more I hear about the specifics, the worse this new immigration bill seems.

Previous attempts at this kind of thing have ended up with immigrant workers paid less than minimum wage, overworked, and with their rights abused by unethical employers.

The lack of safeguards mentioned in the OP’s article suggests that the same thing is going to happen again, on a much larger scale. It’ll be bad both for the foreign workers themselves and for the lower class Japanese who’ll have to compete with them.
Seems like a fair amount of the respondents are share some of your concerns. It will be interesting to read about any adjustments made as a result of the feedback. Interesting issue to be sure.
 
Oct 31, 2017
730
Austria
#39
It's a real shame Japan has these issues. In 2019 societies should be open to foreigners.
Why? From what I understand and know their culture is quite unique and different to most others and they want to preserve that - which is very difficult if you have a lot of foreigners spicing up the soup. So naturally they are cautions. I really don't understand what is the problem with that. It's not our place to judge.
 
Nov 20, 2018
16
#40
The country either moves forward in time or the population will shrink further. They decide.
Is that so bad though? Japan is the most overpopulated country in the world.
The thought that humanity has to exponantially grow for ever is not sustainable at all and very troubeling.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,663
America
#41
, or being yelled at by a little nazi political worker on a truck with a megaphone, in broad daylight at Shinjuku station.
Is THAT what they were yelling about? I could tell they were nationalists of some kind but I didn't realize they were straight up nazis.
 
Oct 28, 2017
3,077
#43
Why? From what I understand and know their culture is quite unique and different to most others and they want to preserve that - which is very difficult if you have a lot of foreigners spicing up the soup. So naturally they are cautions. I really don't understand what is the problem with that. It's not our place to judge.
Accepting immigrants which will still take up a tiny percent of the population isn't going to destroy Japanese culture.

That's the kind of nonsense and threats we hear from right wing nutjobs
 
Nov 9, 2017
125
#44
They have to do something, but it's like the UK and Brexit - they know it's dumb, they know it's not going to work, but they made up their minds, folded their arms and are stuck with a right wing government that is fueled by jingoism, nationalism, isolationism and in Japan's case -frankly rejection of non-Japanese people and influences. Or at least that's a good chunk of the population. A lot of young japanese folks are much more progressive and forward thinking and tolerant.

You can read about the Japanese working experience on this forum. Lots of expats living in Japan. There are three or four ways to do it and tbh - I've seen successful versions of all of them, but the only way to make it work is to go in with your eyes wide open. You are not Japanese. Being white helps sometimes. Nobody in Tokyo gives a shit that you're white except little kids sometimes, or drunk Salarymen, but white people in Tokyo are ubiquitous. Once you get out into the country - you will be stared at. Being black helps sometimes but comes with more challenges (including the sort of "can I touch your hair" stories that horrify folks here in the states, but sometimes weirder). Being Asian is helpful sometimes and then other times you're the wrong kind of Asian (like third generation Japanese-Koreans who have to take a Japanese name just to get by). And so on. If you live there, you WILL encounter racism - sometimes funny and harmless, sometimes shocking and significant. It might be trouble renting an apartment, or a drunk salaryman starting a fight with you on the station paltform on friday night, ot being rejected from an onsen spa with no explanation, or being yelled at by a little nazi political worker on a truck with a megaphone, in broad daylight at Shinjuku station.

Note, this is nothing like working WITH Japanese people or going there for business - both of which are an absolute JOY. Here's my super reductive version of how to succeed there - which is missing any nuance or exceptions and is a cartoon fo sorts, but sort of true.

1. Weeaboo -- full on immersion where work is just a way to pay for anime and dinner and Japanese classes and you freaking love it even the bad stuff and you don't mind being a second class citizen and you feel like you know your place and your ambitions are limited anyway. Like, that sounds negative, but there are a lot of those folks and they can be really happy. It doesn't mean they can't have friends or be social or meet a bae. Just that they're naturally OK with the negatives and accept or even embrace those as cultural attractions.

2. Own your own business and have your Japanese employees shield you from a lot of the potential negatives and control your own destiny and be on top of the workplace social pecking order, but that occasionally will mean that your Japanese employees might have to represent you to bypass a lot of structured social barriers - and even take care of apearancesd when working with bigoted or blinkerfed clinets and customers - that is to say, you might need deputies to be Japanese for you, even if you're fluent and havew lived there for years. Depends on the nature of the business andn its surrounding networks.

3. Be That Guy. I once met a US expat, former marine, swole, 6 foot 2, fluent Japanese speaker with a perfect (allegedly - I can't tell) Hokkaido accent and a full understanding of the entire thing from top to bottom. He embraced the fact that he'd encounter racist Japanese folk, that the culture is rigid, that traditions and habits will negatively impact him and his ability to succeed or fit in. So he didn't try to fit in. He never put up with it - and would simply reply in perfect Japanese that "he wasn't going to put up with racist shit and you should say that again to his face and see what happens" - I saw that twice in one week - once at a restaurant where a Japanese waiter said something mildly jingoistic and snide to another server and once when the owner of a bar tried to screw our group on the final negotiated check (actually pretty normal to dicker over the bill at those small Izakayas) based on the fact that there were AMERICANS in the group and that had been a hassle. In both cases it was enough of a scene that I was embarassed/confused about what was going on, but I could tell in both cases that they were shocked or scared into immediate apology. Anyway, that's how he rolled. His Japanese colleagues thought he was a HOOT and loved seeing him do it, to the point I think they were encouraging him. I can't say he seemed happy, but he sure was confident. I wonder what happened to him.

Honestly, having lived there for a year, I am inclined to go with number 3. I got so sick of their racist micro agressions, that I started to get agressive really quickly. Most of the time it didn't escalate because I try to be polite and whatnot. And besides one stern look would usually suffice to let them know I wasn't gonna bend over. Especially a look coming down from 20cm above their heads.

But yeah, I sympathize with your ex-marine expat guy. And besides, when living over there by yourself, even making friends doesn't necessarily chase the feeling of isolation and being an "outsider" who will never really fit in. It's insane. Unless you're a delusional weeb of course. I had to smile at the part of his japanese colleagues encouraging him to do it, because stuff like that makes you feel a little less ostracized. Gets better once you get over the gaijin syndrome/complex though.
 
Nov 15, 2017
2,095
#45
This is true. I guess I would just rather see a thread about one of their other issues as well. Like the rampant and virtually unchecked sexual assault of women and girls on their rail system.
Make a thread about it. Haven't hard about that and i would be interested.
 
Oct 26, 2017
1,673
#46
If automation is supposed to wipe out half the labour force, and Japanese demographics are projected to shrink by a thirds, couldn't the two phenomenons be used to balance each other out? As someone with an urban planning background I think reduction planning is an interesting and often overlooked field.
Just make sure those machines pay taxes and we're golden
 

Zoc

Member
Oct 27, 2017
818
#50
Why? From what I understand and know their culture is quite unique and different to most others and they want to preserve that - which is very difficult if you have a lot of foreigners spicing up the soup. So naturally they are cautions. I really don't understand what is the problem with that. It's not our place to judge.
This is such bullshit. It’s white supremacism with the colours changed.

Culture had nothing to do with the colour of your skin. If immigrants want to come to Japan and take up traditional Japanese culture, it can only be a benefit.