think the “gaijin clown” article is bang on. I was one of those people who laughs off many of the daily insults encountered as a foreigner in Japanese society, although I don’t think all Japanese people have such narrow-minded views. I do think that such thinking is not discouraged in Japanese society, as it is in the societies with which Japan compares itself and competes.

For a long time, I accepted such treatment as part of life in Japan. However, as my Japanese language skills improved, I noticed how most Japanese people tend not to ask rude, condescending or touchy questions to other Japanese people — questions and remarks that are freely and openly spoken to me.

Although I doubt there will be any changes in regards to the “gaijin clown” mentality in Japan, I would challenge Japanese people to extend the same courtesy to foreigners in Japan as they do to their fellow Japanese. As for McDonald’s Japan. It appears its marketing and advertising is of poor quality.

alexander ross