Japanese Discouragement of Foreign Visitors

In a post about Tokyo, I said it was a tragedy that there were so few foreigners there. You might think that someone in power in Japan would figure out that America’s biggest strength is that foreigners want to move there (for example), but apparently not. A Tokyo University student told me today that at her school, the dormitory for foreign students is one hour away from the campus.

2 Replies to “Japanese Discouragement of Foreign Visitors”

  1. Have a look sometime at the JET program, which brings to Japan every year thousands of young college grads from the US, Canada,UK, Australia, South Africa – – even New Zealand – – to work as assistant language teachers in jr and sr high schools. They do on average a 2 or 3 year stint here (many of em placed in rural communities) and thereby fill some of the void left by Japanese universities and grad schools in particular which, for whatever reason, fail to draw foreign students the way N American and European universities can.

    Seth: All JET visitors teach English. Sure, the Japanese power structure grasps that English is an important language. They can afford to import people to teach it, yes. I know two people who have been in that program. One did stay in Japan afterwards, although she feels horribly like an outsider.

  2. What I liked about Japan was that it was distinctive. It wasn’t Manilla and it wasn’t one drab apartment building after another, like Seoul. And you can walk the streets of Tokyo at any time of the night. What other major city can that be said about? Maybe the next frontier in happiness research is the benefit of homogeneity. Mangan had a post recently about diversity and heart disease.

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