I`m not a Guest in Japan!

I`m not a Guest in Japan!

by Kevin Burns
(Odawara, Japan)

I feel it is a mistake to think you are a guest in any nation. “It`s a small world afterall.” We are all citizens of the world and we deserve to be treated with respect and dignity wherever we are, and
wherever we choose to live.

If you feel you are a guest, it really means that you are in someone else`s home and they make the rules.
If you don`t like it, you can leave.

This feeling puts you one place down from the citizens who grew up there (in this case Japan). Again it is a mistake to feel this way.

Expats are not guests in Japan. We live here.
We pay taxes, we marry locals, we raise our children and we speak Japanese (of varying levels at least).

After 20 years in this country, I am certainly not a guest.

Do I deserve the right to vote? Tough question!

I would like the right, but I don`t want to have to give up my Canadian citizenship to get it.

Indeed I think all nations should strive to treat
all citizens equally, whether they hold the nationality of the country of residence or not.

The right to vote I don`t have to have. But
fingerprinting me repeatedly everytime I go to the airport (isn`t once enough? It isn`t like I am changing my fingerprint everyday!), and not doing the same to the Japanese man behind me in the line is wrong. It is prejudice. Why am I singled out?

This is basicly saying that I am a potential
criminal and he is not–simply based upon the way we look.

If you want to get more involved in fighting against ethnic profiling like this you should join
Amnesty International Japan.

On the Senkaku Islands Dispute

On the Senkaku Islands Dispute

by Kevin R Burns

The Senkaku Islands dispute has been much in the news. I feel that both sides, Japan and China have not handled things well. I also think the Japanese public needs to delve further into this issue. Most believe what is espoused on the 6 o`clock news or in the newspapers. There is more information out there waiting to be found and it is time to get informed.

“Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding.”
– Albert Einstein

The quickest answer to me at least, is to have the UN or the international criminal court involved in this land dispute between China and Japan. However, that may never happen.
Both sides fear they will lose. It is safer for Japan to assume ownership as they have done for years. Evidence in favour of both sides, be damned. Both sides have a case,
and that scares them. Japan hopes by maintaining the status quo, that it will all slowly go away. Maybe it will. China has to take a tough stance, for fear of looking weak.
Much of how China reacts to world events, is designed to make the many minorities that make up this gargantuan, Asian nation look strong in their eyes. Bowing to Japan on the Senkakus would look bad.

Japanese citizens were guilty of not speaking up or even worse, believing the propaganda promoted by the Japanese government leading up and during World War 2. How much blood shed could have been prevented had Japanese citizens been more involved and outspoken. That said, times were different, and speaking out then was dangerous. It isn`t so now. There really is no excuse about being naïve about the history of ownership of the Senkakus. One only need go to a library or read about it on the internet. Then make your voice heard on this issue.

Japanese can make themselves heard. We witnessed this after the nuclear meltdown in Fukushima and the subsequent anti-nuclear power protests all over Japan. We saw it before during the student protests of the 70s against the security treaty with the United States. The common people of Japan need to be more involved and better informed.

Too many Japanese accept whatever is written in the Yomiuri Shimbun or spouted on NHK (owned by the Japanese government). The opinions and so-called facts should be disputed. All people need to examine what their government and news media are telling them with a critical eye.
Emotions need to be kept in check.

Indeed we need to look at all sides of this issue and resolve it peacefully. It should not be like two children fighting over a toy. There is too much at stake for that. As well as two large and capable armies and navies facing each other. There are economic considerations. So much of the trade involving both countries is mutual trade. China is Japan`s largest trading partner.

Personally, I would love to see Japan get the Senkakus. Japan lacks land and resources and China already has a lot of both. However, international law should decide who owns the islands – not China hater, aging Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara, not the Japanese government and not the Chinese government. An impartial board should be involved and decide who owns these sought after isles. The United Nations would be the likely choice to decide on this. Things can be decided fairly and without carnage by a neutral body such as the UN.

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On the Senkaku Islands Dispute

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Oct 11, 2012
starstarstarstarstar Dispute Of The Senkaku Islands
by: Mary


I had not known of this dispute of the Senkaku Islands. I will search to see some of this.

My hope is that the Communists do not take the islands if there are people living there (you see how little I know). Also, I’m not so sure of the UN being the best judge, but I agree that certainly China nor Japan would be credibly disinterested enough to make the decision.

If there are people involved, perhaps they should say – or stay the way they are.

Thank you for this real Japan news!