I appreciate Chavez’s article very much, as my hardships of being a foreigner in Japan were hardships I had never experienced in my home country, which then allowed me to put myself in the shoes of minorities elsewhere.
For example, being seen as a threat to public safety just by looking different has made me very sensitive to cases of injustice that minorities are subjected to — the Trayvon Martin case in Florida for one. Although the hardships I endured in Japan were unpleasant, it was a learning experience that has helped me understand the feelings of discriminated groups. There is no other way to understand than to go through discrimination yourself.
I see the author’s point that some foreigners in Japan do not appreciate this learning experience and that they should put it into perspective for the sake of others in the world. I agree that it is something valuable to take away from their time spent in Japan. At the same time, though, it sounds like Chavez is making a blanket statement that all foreigners in Japan act this way. Not true.
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.