Regarding the Big in Japan column titled “Does contemporary Japan need religion?” in the Feb. 5 edition, it is rare that a nation can mold itself to pursue a common objective over a prolonged period of time.

Japan is one of the few such cases in human history. In collective pursuit, be it living in complete isolation or the Meiji Restoration or the postwar transformation, each era is dominated by an absolute theme. And then suddenly and dramatically there comes a metamorphosis to the next theme. Consumerism, religion, social values, business principles all but become a mere byproduct ensuring the success of the theme of the era.

Today’s theme will be defined around an aging and shrinking populace, and the struggle to survive and remain relevant as a nation-state. Whether religion, commerce and immigration will become mere tools in this common pursuit of survival, only time will tell.


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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