• Nago, Okinawa

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Many foreign residents, including myself, are angered at the Japanese government’s insular, isolationist worldview, most recently reflected in the Justice Ministry’s decision to deport a Filipino family, the Calderons, who have lived here since the early 1990s (“Filipino parents told to leave”).

But it is Japan and the Japanese people who are paying the highest price for this isolationism. This is a “harmonious,” mono-ethnic but increasingly stagnant society and culture, with decreasing numbers of young people and scant innovation. The Calderons seem to be honest, decent people who could contribute a lot to revitalizing Japan.

Meanwhile, readers of The Japan Times have learned that the United Nations has warned Japan on the continuing problem of human trafficking, many of whose victims come from the Philippines (“Japan warned on human trafficking”).

donald m. seekins

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