What do you think of when you hear the word ‘Japan’?: views from Laos


In the landlocked country of Laos, Tyler Parr asked expats, tourists and locals about what springs to mind when they hear the name of this island nation.

Somphavanh Somlor
Scientist, 27 (Lao)
I think it’s good and interesting there. Japan is a fine country. They have high-level technology there. People are so kind. I stayed in Tokyo for a conference and liked the city — busy, with many lights.

Duc Ledinh
Business owner, 33 (Vietnamese/French)
First of all, it’s clean. Friendly people, kind, respectful. There is good food, nice culture, and they have a lot of antiques. Bonsai is really interesting to me, and also samurai.

Obinna Keko
Basketball player, 29 (American)
I saw the movie “Jiro Dreams of Sushi.” There is a lot of fashion in Tokyo, and I’ve had fun in Roppongi. I stayed there recently for the first time, and want to visit Kyoto on the next trip.

Joana Hu
Unemployed, 28 (Chinese)
Japan’s a small country, but strong. The Japanese people had to deal with that quake, but they picked themselves up and worked to get water to (cool the nuclear plant in) Fukushima, so I think they are quality.

Mr. Mini
Restaurant owner/manager/head chef, 59 (English)
“Ohayo,” “clean,” “nice,” “deer,” “beautiful girls” and “peaceful” — but they’ve got gangsters there too. It’s known for precision engineering — their knives and ingredients are top quality.

Mario Hasslwanter
Bartender/chef, 25 (Austrian)
Shige! I yell that because my friend’s there at the moment, waiting to come back here. I think about hectic cities full of hi-fi and a beautiful country — but I haven’t been there. Shige! We all miss him!

• Interested in collecting vox pops in your local area? Email community@japantimes.co.jp.

  • Paul Martin

    eautiful country, friendly people, but too stringent immigration laws that deter foreign entrepreneurs !