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I don’t get it. Do I live in a different part of the galaxy from professional victims like Debito Arudou and others who whine about alleged discrimination in Japan? Certainly, Japanese suffer from narrow perspectives, stereotypes and ethnocentrism — like people the world over, but no worse.

In more than 35 years in this vale of tears, I have been “carded” by the police three times, but not once in over 25 years. I have never been refused service at any shop, hotel, bank, hot spring, public bath, restaurant or pub. Perhaps some complainers spend too much time seeking admission to hostess bars and soaplands. I have never been verbally or physically accosted. I have obtained credit cards as well as auto and housing loans. Apartment rentals have been hit and miss, but I have generally had few problems with those either. Japanese need guarantors, too.

In general, I get better, more considerate service at hospitals, public institutions and stores than do natives. When I applied for the right to purchase publicly developed residential land limited to Japanese citizens, the city authorities themselves advised me how to evade the restrictions!

My children have never been victims of bullying or ostracism by schoolmates. They have flourished in the Japanese school system and have even been selected to represent their schools at some public functions.

Once, when I could not obtain a loan to purchase a motorcycle because of my employer’s insolvency, the dealership simply lent me the money directly. In a tight spot, I once had to hitchhike and was given a lift by a man who told me point-blank he would never have picked up a Japanese.

As for Arudou . . . we all have our emotional needs.

jim chambers