I know many foreigners feel frustrated at what they perceive as racism and discrimination in Japan. Perhaps it exists, but more often than not I just face it with humor and see the humorous side of things.

Where else in the world can one live where you are presumed guilty before being proved guilty. The 99 percent conviction rate is the highest in the world! Ask anyone who is foreign and has been stopped riding (gasp) a bicycle.

Where else can you walk into a bookstore and see a magazine on “Secret Foreigner Crime Files,” which is full of hate against foreigners who commit the shocking crime of holding hands or sitting on a picnic blanket.

Where else can you live where the mayor of the nation’s capital denies the Rape of Nanking, is paranoid of rioting by foreigners, and has signs put up that read “Beware of foreigners.” This is great stuff for an elected leader. No other “democracy” would leave a guy like that as mayor of even the smallest hamlet much less the capital and largest city.

Where else do you get a sexist and racist Cabinet that openly tries to help raise the national birthrate, thinking that happiness in marriage is found only in having two or more children. Personally, I don’t think of it as a Cabinet but rather as the Buffoons of the Round Table.

I guess life in LDP (Liberal Democratic Party) Land can be trying at times, but for all this comedy, we have a front seat. And the price is only taxes, visa fees and transportation costs.

daniel rea

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