In his Dec. 13 letter, “Pay the price of social harmony,” Graham Blake’s suggestion (that Japan hold off on fully opening its door to immigrants) is like building on sand. As a reader, I am cognizant of his right to an opinion, but I have to dispute it because of apparent gaps in information.

Although I was astonished to find out that Norway has a small workforce relative to other nations, it turns out that Norway’s population, as of the end of 2006, was estimated to be well under 5 million. Therefore, the working population suffices as it accounts for nearly half of the overall head count. Add that to a comparatively vast landscape, and that ought to explain Norway’s high standard of living compared to its more congested neighbors.

As for Blake’s statement that Japan move toward cultural self-preservation, I suggest that he watch Nihon television and take a stroll on the streets. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to recognize that today’s Japan is rapidly becoming Westernized. Should Japan truly seek to save its authentic culture, then it should completely shut its doors economically, politically, socially and culturally to the rest of the world. But that is something of a distant possibility, for we live in an age where communication is but a click away and the only thing that separates a nation from another is territorial borders.

hiroshi inaba

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