I live in China and from over there, Japan doesn’t seem so nationalistic. The Chinese all support the Chinese government and follow all the rules. They’re very nationalistic. I think China is a bit envious of Japan.
You see the nationalists in Ikebukuro and Shibuya. I’ve asked my students about it and they see it more as a fringe element — a bit embarrassing. Japan is regaining its confidence economically, and it’s spilling over.
In terms of international affairs, for example with the problems in North Korea and China, people in Japan unite together. But usually, young people — including myself- don’t think so much about nationalism.
There have been a lot of incidents recently, like the beef imports and the Okinawa issue, where Japan is getting a bit upset, but generally Japan doesn’t seem to be any more nationalistic than it was 6 months ago.
When there’s an event like the World Cup, Japanese think “I love Japan!” but usually not so much. Maybe there’s more pride among older people, but for young people, foreign brands like Chanel makes us think that overseas is great.
Office worker, 24
No. Many young people have no special interest in Japan or politics. More older people are nationalistic, but some younger people are as well. I am a bit. I think it’s bad to be too nationalistic, but you shouldn’t be ashamed of your country.
In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.