As the rest of the world debated the ramifications of U.S. President Donald Trump's travel ban on persons from seven Muslim-majority countries last week, Japan was notably silent.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is currently going out of his way to placate the new American leader for the sake of national interests, but in any case there was little he could add to the discussion. Japan has never universally welcomed immigrants, especially refugees. The local media, which covered the travel ban with detachment, didn't bother to make any relevant connections to Japan's situation, but that didn't mean there weren't any.

For instance, the Asahi Shimbun ran an interview on Feb. 1 with Takaji Kunimatsu, the former chief of the National Police Agency. Kunimatsu is best known for having been shot in 1995 in what is believed to have been an assassination attempt carried out by the religious cult Aum Shinrikyo, whom the NPA was investigating at the time. After he retired, Kunimatsu was appointed ambassador to Switzerland for three years, during which time he observed how a multicultural society operated.