I object to the content of Cary Elcome’s Nov. 29 letter, “Loath to live in a new culture.”

There are serious reasons why fewer and fewer Japanese students are going abroad to study — and by “abroad” I mean basically the North American, Australian or British universities.

One reason is cost. Tuition and other fees at foreign universities are very high now. In addition, there have been explosive increases in housing costs for students.

Meanwhile, Japan has been undergoing economic decline, and the disposable income of many parents these days is not such that they can afford to send their children abroad for four years. During the “bubble years” it was possible, but not now.

Another reason is racism; as a result of which, Japanese students may be isolated from human contact. Almost half the students at many foreign universities these days are very hostile Chinese (if they are from Hong Kong). And members of the host community (except the Americans) tend to ignore Japanese students, viewing them as inferior Asians.

In their own country, Japanese students feel happy and don’t develop an inferiority complex. Therefore, it is natural for them to stay at home.

dipak basu

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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