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The Nov. 25 editorial “Throwaway workers” could have been written about gaijin English teachers — perhaps the most expendable workforce in recent memory. What irony that young Japanese employees now face the same arrogant cavalier attitude of feckless profit-motivated employers that most foreign-language teachers have been facing for the past 40 or 50 years!

During the 1970s and 1980s, young good-natured ESL teachers arrived in Japan filled with idealism and a sense of mission only to leave in a year’s time feeling very jaded at best. Japan is no country for young workers or teachers.

Japanese management seems to be locked into a medieval Edo Period mentality, seeing itself as the “master.” Japan’s disgruntled young workforce will contribute to this nation’s rapidly setting sun.

The turnover rate for Japanese teachers is especially troubling. It takes years for most “apprentice” educators to achieve the maturity and knowledge base required to be really effective in the classroom. If young teachers are leaving their profession in such great numbers, Japan has a public education crisis on its hands.

robert mckinney
otaru, hokkaido

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

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