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What do Japanese college students think about U.S.?

64 Comments
By KK Miller

World opinion of the United States goes up and down like a giant see-saw. Sometimes the U.S. is seen as a world leader in economics, science and technology; yet there is no denying the fact that around the globe, there are some groups that harbor negative feelings towards Americans.

Post WWII, there has been an incredibly strong bond between the U.S. and Japan, but has public opinion been swayed in recent years? If this small sampling of college students is representative of how the youth of Japan feel about the U.S., relations between the two countries will continue to be solid.

A husband and wife team of YouTubers (Rachel & Jun) are beginning a series of “What Japanese think of (insert country)” and they’ve started with the good 'ol US of A. Seems like a logical place to start, most Japanese people are familiar with America in some way, and America (the country) always wants to know what other people think about it.

Here’s what the students had to say:

1. What comes to mind when you think about America?

“Big!” “Freedom!” “Dunkin’ Donuts!”

The most common answer to this question though was, “There are many people from many different countries that live in America.” Due to this diversity, the Japanese students thought Americans were generally more cheerful and friendly, not shy like they usually are.

Some people also remarked on the size of portions in the U.S. (this will come up again later), and apparently the only thing that Americans eat are hamburgers.

2. What are the good and bad stereotypes that Japanese have of Americans?

Almost everyone said that Americans are “open and friendly”, that they are “sociable and not shy”. Some mentioned how Americans are very accepting, perhaps because there are many people from different countries who live in the U.S.

While many mentioned other “good stereotypes,” there were some major “bad stereotypes” that they brought up as well, particularly weight and gun crimes. The overweight stereotype is no surprise since if food portions are bigger, there will be more calories. Gun crime seems like an obvious one as well, as all anyone needs to do is turn on the news to hear about the latest gun-related death in America.

3. Would you like to go to America? (Specifically, where?)

Perhaps it’s a sign of the changing times for the Japanese, but most of these college students have already visited the United States at least once. Their trip was memorable enough that many of them want to go back soon. Common places they wanted to visit were New York, California, Boston and of course, Disneyland.

4. Pop quiz!

The final segment asked some general knowledge questions about the U.S. With the United States being such a huge world player and the fact that Japan can receive U.S. television channels via satellite, even college students in Japan can answer questions like:

“Name a famous person from America.”

“Who is the leader of America?”

“What is the capital of America?”

Each person was able to correctly answer the questions without much trouble. Maybe the only amusing moments were how many people seemed awkwardly stumped by the second question after they already said “Barack Obama” for the first question.

What started as a potentially embarrassing video for either the United States or Japan, turned out to be a nice sit down love-fest. We’d would love to see this kind of video done in reverse: What do Americans think about Japan?

Source: YouTube

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- Adam Smith or Aerosmith? 21 tweets from Japanese university economics students -- Freshman facepalms: Japanese college students struggle to answer basic astronomy questions -- Our Japanese reporter’s encounter with American school lunch

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64 Comments
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First-off, the interviewer is clearly a foreigner, presumably an American, so naturally the comments are almost all positive. It would be pretty rude and insensitive of the students (in Japanese culture) to rip into the USA in front of someone from there. What you're seeing here isn't what they think, it is what they think the interviewer wants to hear. I'm surprised he got any negative comments at all.

Secondly, these are young people who are just out of their government-controlled education where for 12 years they were force-fed textbooks full of positive images of the USA. They know next to nothing about the world apart from their 12 years of indoctrination.

Frankly I'd be surprised if this interview went any other way given the cultural and educational variables.

11 ( +24 / -15 )

American obesity and excessive gun crimes are NOT stereotypes. They are fact.

That said, that was a fun interview.

23 ( +31 / -7 )

I've heard pretty similar comments from Japanese people regarding the US. The Japanese people I knew who stayed in the US had generally positive comments. As pointed out, guns are often the things which give the US a bad image in Japan. A pity. A pity the US has so many guns, that is.

5 ( +10 / -4 )

Hmmm would've like something a bit more "hard-hitting".

"Who is the leader of America?". Come on.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

'What started as a potentially embarrassing video for either the United States or Japan, turned out to be a nice sit down love-fest. We’d would love to see this kind of video done in reverse: What do Americans think about Japan?'

I wonder how many Americans could name Japan's leader?

3 ( +7 / -3 )

"First-off, the interviewer is clearly a foreigner, presumably an American, so naturally the comments are almost all positive."

Rachel is American, her husband Jun is Japanese.

"It would be pretty rude and insensitive of the students (in Japanese culture) to rip into the USA in front of someone from there." "What you're seeing here isn't what they think, it is what they think the interviewer wants to hear. I'm surprised he got any negative comments at all."

Why do you assume that positive comments are not be believed and only negative comments honest?

4 ( +10 / -6 )

Very uninformative if you already live in japan, as frungy said, it is the 'textbook' definition of U.S (probably was a test question; name four words that describe the U.S. - big, friendly, fat, guns)

2 ( +5 / -3 )

@frungy

First-off, the interviewer is clearly a foreigner, presumably an American, so naturally the comments are almost all positive. It would be pretty rude and insensitive of the students (in Japanese culture) to rip into the USA in front of someone from there.

You just can't stand it, if someone says something good about the US. Dude, you need to stop with the hate, there are people that like the US and some that don't. The Japanese that like it, good for them, the ones that don't, they are more than welcome to go somewhere else.

What you're seeing here isn't what they think, it is what they think the interviewer wants to hear. I'm surprised he got any negative comments at all.

So you are now insulting Japanese as if you are the one that knows what they think?? You are amazing. I have lived in Japan for over 15 years and when would sit and ask Japanese people how they feel about the US, NOT one person said anything to my face in order to make me feel good, some people loved it, some hated it, some in between just like with any other place, NO ONE said anything to appease my personal feelings. Stop making accusatory accusations that the Japanese are mindless, spineless cowards and are just totally shy to say what they think, you may be surprised how sometimes direct they can be given the circumstances and conditions, also if you are a good interviewer, it helps.

Secondly, these are young people who are just out of their government-controlled education where for 12 years they were force-fed textbooks full of positive images of the USA.

Growing up in Europe half of my life I was force fed a lot of things, but by the 12th grade and before the Internet, we had these facilities called "libraries" and guess what, I was able to find a ton of information in this wonderful, but now almost forgotten quiet sanctuary. Methinks with the Internet and as much gaming as these kids do, in some aspects, they are better informed then we are.

They know next to nothing about the world apart from their 12 years of indoctrination.

Sad to say, most people don't know about the world or about the US to spout such hatred....or jealousy.

Frankly I'd be surprised if this interview went any other way given the cultural and educational variables.

I know, it just sticks in your craw. lol

@jim

I've heard pretty similar comments from Japanese people regarding the US. The Japanese people I knew who stayed in the US had generally positive comments. As pointed out, guns are often the things which give the US a bad image in Japan. A pity. A pity the US has so many guns, that is.

Fair enough point. I get this question constantly from Japanese and we have very good conversations about it. Most don't agree with me as far as owning a gun, I understand, but the conversation is respectful and no one spews mindless vitriol. It's ok to disagree on issues.

@paul

Because some people have only anger and jealousy inside them and when people go against the grain of what they loath they they are shocked to hear people saying the opposite.

1 ( +16 / -14 )

A drive through an inner city war zone, or a place burned down recently like Ferguson, would alter some opinions I believe.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

On the YouTube page of this video, Rachel & Jun write:

As always this is just for fun, so don't take it too seriously

This video pretty much sums up the cliches you will often hear from Japanese people around their age.

The content is not meant to spur hard-hitting discussion, but it would be quite worthwhile for people who know little about Japan and want to get a general feel for prevailing attitudes and opinions in Japan about the U.S. Also, it reveals some cultural mannerisms and style of interaction that might be interesting to someone who knows little of Japan — in particular the "lets all answer together" thing that they do, and the two girls somewhat apart from the boys, giggling at what they have to say.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to seeing more videos in this light-hearted series.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Most of those students have already been to the U.S.

Obviously they like it - that's why they chose to go there.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I think you'll find that the older generation would be more inclined to dislike the US while pretty much everyone in the younger generation would like the US. I've heard a lot complaints from older Japanese about the US as terrible food, terrible Japanese food, poor transport, dirty hotels and streets, etc. - mainly my work colleagues after business trips, etc.

I tend to find that the younger Japanese people I speak to would almost rather live in the US

2 ( +2 / -1 )

America.

The country forced into most homes across the world because of its products like Coke, McD's, and Apple, it's pop culture, its size, wealth, and its perceived influence. People either get their info about America from friends or country govt's with a bias against America, or by people with a idealistic fascination of America through pop culture. But I find most people don't know America.

You can visit the States, or study at a college in the states, but you're only going to get an impression of the States. It's too big and too varied to know it through a visit. Texas isn't NYC, Colorado is hardly Miami, and so on. Knowing a famous person, the prez's name, and the capital is a fine start, but please don't say you know the states because of a visit. Don't assume everyone is a gun-toting fatty with a craving for donuts.

Just like any country, knowing facts and or statistics about a place and visiting it's landmarks is nice, and maybe you had a good trip or a bad trip, it's unfair to label a country on limited knowledge. Next time someone asks someone what do you think about a country you visited once, a better answer is I'm still getting to know it.

...Oh, and yes, most Americans probably don't know the Prime Minister of Japan compared to the Japanese knowing the Prez of the US because the PM of Japan has a much higher turnover rate than a Prez. You can get two PMs a year, or 3 in 5 years, a Prez, well, like him or love you're stuck for at least 4 years.

12 ( +13 / -2 )

Seen these vids. Its always surprising to hear Japanese say things about the US. Despite what they say, they are pretty much infatuated with the country. Theyll complain about it yet still go there on a holiday or homestay. They are quite ignorant to any other place on the planet.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

Texas isn't NYC, Colorado is hardly Miami, and so on

So most Americans don't know America. Yup, I agree. I've lived in 2 states, visited 35, but most of my friends in the US have lived in 1 city all of their lives.

2 ( +5 / -2 )

paulinusaDEC. 01, 2014 - 10:24AM JST

"It would be pretty rude and insensitive of the students (in Japanese culture) to rip into the USA in front of someone from there." "What you're seeing here isn't what they think, it is what they think the interviewer wants to hear. I'm surprised he got any negative comments at all."

Why do you assume that positive comments are not be believed and only negative comments honest?

That is your assumption, not mine.

I was quite reasonably pointing out experimental bias.

You are engaging in ad hominem attacks.

One of us is being exercising reasonable scientific caution, and it isn't you.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

@pointofview

"Theyll complain about it yet still go there "

Perhaps you should watch the video before you comment. There was very few negative comments toward the US

6 ( +6 / -0 )

So most Americans don't know America. Yup, I agree. I've lived in 2 states, visited 35, but most of my friends in the US have lived in 1 city all of their lives.

Oh, I know. I have met a lot of people as well in Japan, Korea and Europe that don't know their own country and lived in not only just one city, but one village their entire lives. Some people are happy and content with where they live. Even for me growing up in California or Southern California to be exact, when I drive to Northern California it's like a totally different country for me, even though it's the same state. It's that alien.

@frungy

That is your assumption, not mine.

Given your past historical rhetoric about America, it's safe to assume you do.

I was quite reasonably pointing out experimental bias.

Actually, NO. You were being cynical and mocking people, millions of people that do love the US.

You are engaging in ad hominem attacks.

Question, when was the last time you said anything and I mean, anything positive about the US or more importantly, say anything positive to people that love the US? No Ad Hom attacks, just a simple question.

One of us is being exercising reasonable scientific caution, and it isn't you. But it's you? Riiiiight. Lol

-4 ( +7 / -12 )

I knew some resident Japanese in the US before, and all they had to say about it was negative things and how great Nippon was. They seemed to be very homesick and never felt/wanted to assimilate. One lady even was being nostalgic about samarui dramas, something I have never heard any japanese in Japan care about. I think it depends on where you ask. Many Japanese that I have asked their opinion about the US in Japan usually give me the lecture about all the falings of the US government medical system and military etc and their Nipon superiority, but others seem to have an obsesion with the cowboy image of the US. Anyway, I think its the same for naive gaijin types who have a fuzzy image of Japan.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

Why do you assume that positive comments are not be believed and only negative comments honest?

You are engaging in ad hominem attacks.

So why is my question a "ad hominem attack"?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

As a 45 year old born and bred American I would like to say thank you for your kind opinion, I find Japanese people to be friendly and respectful. Would like that in a neighbor, there is plenty of America to be had in Idaho. Horse riding, fishing, camping, boating, skiing, hunting, and much more, including clean fresh air to breath. Have a visit or set up home, life will slow down.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

@Hide Suzuki,

Seen it many times. They are on camera. Been here long enough to know that this doesn`t speak for all. And they are still ignorant of other places.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

The Japanese are gullible enough to swallow whatever they hear, read, and see about America.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

I have heard very similar as well as:

"Dangerous" "Lots of natural beauty and amazing National Parks" "Americans are friendly but like to keep the relationship shallow" "Americans are expressive emotionally, you can easily tell how they feel" "Customer service is bad" "Americans are flexible with schedules" (politese for "not punctual"?) "There is no difference between men and women and women are not feminine"

I really enjoy seeing my own country through others' perception. Always makes for fun conversation.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@pointofview

"Been here long enough to know that this doesn`t speak for all. And they are still ignorant of other places."

You don't speak for all either and you are as ignorant as they are.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I wonder how often some of the well-travelled and culturally aware posters on JT speak to people who don't have those qualities or experiences. I'm not sure the supposed insular Japanese are any more insular than the people of the countries I've lived in. I can remember being asked by a Brit ( university graduate ) if it was difficult to learn Chinese, the language of Japan, and if Japan is a Communist country. I was asked by one Texan if the UK shares a border with Russia and another if UK people are okay with the idea of a monarch making decisions about the laws of the land and the lives of her subjects. I'm pretty sure I would have made a few ignorant or cringeworthy comments 20 years ago.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

"Dangerous" "Lots of natural beauty and amazing National Parks" "Americans are friendly but like to keep the relationship shallow" "Americans are expressive emotionally, you can easily tell how they feel" "Customer service is bad" "Americans are flexible with schedules" (politese for "not punctual"?) "There is no difference between men and women and women are not feminine"

I'm American and I would agree with all of these things.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Opinions I often hear from teenage English students:

"If America is world policeman, how come they always start wars? Shouldn't they be stopping them?"

"Americans are very shallow. It's very easy to make friends with them, but the friendship doesn't mean very much."

"It's a very dangerous country. I wouldn't like to go there."

"When are they going to leave? (Okinawan students).

-7 ( +3 / -9 )

"Americans are very shallow. It's very easy to make friends with them, but the friendship doesn't mean very much."

Good grief! I've heard this countless times in Japan. Throw away the "manual" they give you in junior-high school would you? You know, the manual that tells you how to answer every question and quandary faced by Japanese people. "Americans are very shallow and insincere in their friendship", "Gaikoku doesn't have four seasons" etc etc. I could go on. It's pure laziness. Try living your life forming your own opinions through your own experiences and you may find that your results may vary from what society tells you.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Shallow Americans? I guess there is some truth to that if your an outsider, and I could see where they are coming from, but thats because its human nature not to befriend everybody you meet, and it takes time to share common experiences to bond . Friendships can be very sincere once they are made. Ive never had a friendship with a Japanese, Honestly I dont think its possible for a foriegner to do so, I gave up on it. If others have cracked that one (and Im sure many will say they have) good on you but I would have to witness it before I believed it. Ive seen foriegners say some Japanese was their friend, then that Japanese said all sorts of bad things about them to others. For those foriengers I got the impression they were begging for the crumbs from the table of acceptance in Japan, kind of sad really. Ive also had the same expeience, sort of a hit below the gut feeling when they latter turn on you.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

BertieWoosterDec. 01, 2014 - 06:17PM JST "If America is world policeman, how come they always start wars? Shouldn't they be stopping them?"

Shhh!! Stop asking reasonable questions or you'll be branded "anti-American" like I have been.

"Americans are very shallow. It's very easy to make friends with them, but the friendship doesn't mean very much."

Yes, no, maybe. The USA is a big place (and America is even bigger). I've found this with some people from the USA, but with others they're legitimate about their friendships.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Ive never had a friendship with a Japanese, Honestly I dont think its possible for a foriegner to do so....If others have cracked that one (and Im sure many will say they have) good on you but I would have to witness it before I believed it

A cracker to go with your whine?

Really, you have never witnessed happily married mixed couples? You think all those Japanese who choose to marry non-Japanese are saying all sorts of bad things about their spouses to others? I don't think I'm alone in thinking - knowing - that my husband is my best friend.

its human nature not to befriend everybody you meet, and it takes time to share common experiences to bond

You're right there, but I don't think you've got the whole story. From what I've witnessed, the reason some Japanese find some Americans shallow is that they misinterpret the 'hey buddy' attitude; they feel that the American is acting like their best friend, then find out s/he acts like that to everyone, it's just a way of breaking the ice, while Japanese tend to be much more reserved until they've learned a bit more about you.

6 ( +7 / -2 )

As I said, some will disagree

Because you're wrong. Kind of sad, really.

-3 ( +3 / -5 )

In my experience I've found it hard to make friends with Japanese guys due to a lack of commonality, but not impossible. I have two male Japanese friends that I've been friends with - near brothers - for years. Doesn't sound like much, but I only have a few more foreign friends. Again due to the lack of commonality. Not many people here as long as myself.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

What I find amazing is that many people will work themselves into a frenzy and call you a Japan hater, but when those same people point out "truths" about the US and other countries...well, we must all clap hands and join in with the criticism. That one sided approach feels disgusting and dishonest to me Of course I know there are many things wrong with the US and other countries and will admit it. I just dont feel Japan is the answer as it has enough problems of its own.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

"Dangerous" "Lots of natural beauty and amazing National Parks" "Americans are friendly but like to keep the relationship shallow"

Depends on the individual and also the region. I consider myself to be a well traveled person, been to 39 states and all have their own unique individualality. People from the South are usually very inviting, most hospitable and use Sir and Ma'am a lot, very kind and thought worthy. People on the East Coast are more abrasive, in your face direct and often have a short fuse, hardcore, but once you established a true friendship, it's solid like a diamond through and through, they have your back. Midwesterners are similar to Southerners in many ways, they're really hard working and extremely family oriented and kind. That just leaves us with the West Coast. Californians in particular for the most part are often shallow, fake and care about being someone else rather than themselves, a lot of plastic surgery and a lot of cash floating around. Relationships come and go and often if you want to move up the ladder in almost any profession, it's good to have strong connections.

I know this is a broad generalization, but a bigger somewhat more slightly accurate portrayal of the various colors and textures of the American society.

"Americans are expressive emotionally, you can easily tell how they feel"

Which is not necessarily a bad thing.

"Customer service is bad"

Actually, for her most part, not true. Now you do have jerk customers that is very ture, but overall, customer service is one of the best. At least, I can get my food cooked at least the way I want and how I want.

Americans are flexible with schedules" (politese for "not punctual"?) "There is no difference between men and women and women are not feminine.

The last part is a bit of a sexist statement. Again it depends on the kind of woman you meet. Some women are feminine and some direct in your face. I prefer a strong woman myself, but each to his own.

Opinions I often hear from teenage English students: "If America is world policeman, how come they always start wars? Shouldn't they be stopping them?"

Been to Okinawa 11 times, I heard that kind of comment only twice, not saying there aren't kids who would say that, but unless you are on a bashing trip, I find it hard to believe that there are that many, a few, could be, not disputing anything but the story reeks a a bit....

"Americans are very shallow. It's very easy to make friends with them, but the friendship doesn't mean very much."

Ok, now you're doing the same digging Yabits and Frungy are doing. Lol Maybe I was lucky and met some really, really good people there.

"It's a very dangerous country. I wouldn't like to go there."

How can they say that if they were never there? But as a smart man, I have not doubt you educated them properly and explained to them that most of America is like every other country, it has its good sides and its bad sides and if they really want to get a good understanding of American culture, they should visit, see and judge for them selves.

"When are they going to leave? (Okinawan students).

Probably never or at least NOT in the foreseeable future.

@frungy

Shhh!! Stop asking reasonable questions or you'll be branded "anti-American" like I have been.

Define reasonable. You and Bertie are always bashing the US for anything and I mean, Anything, which personally makes me smile. It's kind of like that pebble in your shoe and no matter how many times you think you got it out, it's there to annoy you. ROFL.

@cleo

You're right there, but I don't think you've got the whole story. From what I've witnessed, the reason some Japanese find some Americans shallow is that they misinterpret the 'hey buddy' attitude; they feel that the American is acting like their best friend, then find out s/he acts like that to everyone, it's just a way of breaking the ice, while Japanese tend to be much more reserved until they've learned a bit more about you

That misinterpretation goes both ways. I don't think the approach is bad, it just depends on which fence you are sitting on.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

bass4funkDec. 01, 2014 - 09:19PM JST

@frungy

Shhh!! Stop asking reasonable questions or you'll be branded "anti-American" like I have been.

Define reasonable. You and Bertie are always bashing the US for anything and I mean, Anything, which personally makes me smile. It's kind of like that pebble in your shoe and no matter how many times you think you got it out, it's there to annoy you. ROFL.

Well, I'm glad I make you smile. I'd much rather make you think though... however I begin to suspect that I will have to limit myself to the realm of the possible and settle for smiles.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Frungy, you were right. I have been accused of America-bashing.

Ho hum!

When students tell me how dangerous the US is - and I wish I had ten yen for every time I've been told that by a Japanese student - I tell them a story.

One day I was stopped at a red light when a woman started across the road. Suddenly, she collapsed and fell. Her back arched and she had an epileptic fit. The guy walking behind her stepped over her body and carried on to the other side of the street. He must have noticed her because he stepped over her. He just didn't want to get involved. People after him helped her and she was OK, but it was very shocking to see someone ignore someone in distress like this.

This wouldn't happen in the U.S.A.

And I explain to students who are going to visit the U.S.A. that if they get in trouble and make a noise about it, someone will come to help. In that sense the U.S.A. is safer than Japan.

On the other hand, there are the pysch related crimes. People on psych drugs or in the middle of mental "treatment" shooting up a bunch of people and then topping themselves.

But people are individuals. There are really kind people and real bastards in any country.

I have been accused of hating America before, yet I don't.

I work with Americans and have many American friends and even a few American relatives.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

"Americans are very shallow. It's very easy to make friends with them, but the friendship doesn't mean very much."

On the Contrary, you've never met ME.

I would, on the other hand, say EXACTLY this, stereotypically, of the average Japanese ( although I DO know PLENTY of people that would fit into this category ).

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Well, I'm glad I make you smile. I'd much rather make you think though... however I begin to suspect that I will have to limit myself to the realm of the possible and settle for smiles.

ROFL, keep telling yourself that.

Frungy, you were right. I have been accused of America-bashing.

If the shoe fits....

Ho hum!

I feel the exact same way.

When students tell me how dangerous the US is - and I wish I had ten yen for every time I've been told that by a Japanese student - I tell them a story.

And for every Japanese or even Asian person that lives and moves to California, Hawaii and New York, I feel like my hometown and University is a little Asia, more and more are coming and funny thing is, if the US were so dangerous as you falsely claim it to be (Remember, the US is a very big country) most Asians wouldn't go. Go to Little Tokyo, Torrance and Santa Monica, Garden Grove, Alhambra, Irvine, El Toro, La Puente, Pasadena, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, San Diego and you would find out...Oh and that's just Southern California, I didn't even mention Northern California, Vegas, NY, Oregon and the rest.

One day I was stopped at a red light when a woman started across the road. Suddenly, she collapsed and fell. Her back arched and she had an epileptic fit. The guy walking behind her stepped over her body and carried on to the other side of the street. He must have noticed her because he stepped over her. He just didn't want to get involved. People after him helped her and she was OK, but it was very shocking to see someone ignore someone in distress like this.

I sincerely hope you knocked that guy to the curb for doing that.

And I explain to students who are going to visit the U.S.A. that if they get in trouble and make a noise about it, someone will come to help. In that sense the U.S.A. is safer than Japan.

I think this is the first time to hear you say anything positive about the US, I'm stunned and I'm not trying to be cynical about it.

On the other hand, there are the pysch related crimes. People on psych drugs or in the middle of mental "treatment" shooting up a bunch of people and then topping themselves.

Well that happens in a lot of countries. You should see the Scandinavian countries when it comes to drugs.

But people are individuals. There are really kind people and real bastards in any country.

I completely agree.

I have been accused of hating America before, yet I don't.

So then why are you bashing it on every post.....almost every post. Anyone that knows you would never think that, least of all me.

I work with Americans and have many American friends and even a few American relatives.

Like I said, I am completely shell shocked. But good to hear.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

I think many Americans and most people in the world do not know all there is to know about America and so cannot give an informed, knowledgeable opinion. It is such a large and diverse country. So how can you expect young people from a very insular country to offer an accurate assessment. Stereotypes are mostly what you will see expressed. The title should be " What are your stereotypical views of America".

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The US is only the greatest nation on earth. And I'm saying that as a proud European. I mean it's obvious, what other candidates are there? We're all living in an American world.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

@steve

Good point.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Bass4funk, those were just individual opinions, no need to explain them way with anecdotes from your own experience. Most impressions Japanese have about America assume an opposite in Japan--they are comparing. For example Japanese would probably find the average American less punctual than the average Japanese. Everyone's allowed to have their own view, I don't mind.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I wonder how many Americans could name Japan's leader?

Tut tut. Japanese President Jackie Chan is well known in America.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

"One day I was stopped at a red light when a woman started across the road. Suddenly, she collapsed and fell. Her back arched and she had an epileptic fit. The guy walking behind her stepped over her body and carried on to the other side of the street. He must have noticed her because he stepped over her. He just didn't want to get involved. People after him helped her and she was OK, but it was very shocking to see someone ignore someone in distress like this."

I have witnessed on so many occasions Japanese acting with cold indifference to those in need. I wont spill details here, but it convinced me that there is a lack of empathy in this society. Japanese are polite people, but its a cultural obligation they must follow, and it tires them so when nobody is looking they act very cold.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

@fouxdefa

I was doing the same. I just like to accentuate the broader point.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Ive never had a friendship with a Japanese, Honestly I dont think its possible for a foriegner to do so, I gave up on it.

Really sad, 5petals. I can honestly say the vast majority of my friends are Japanese, including a few very deep friendships. I would imagine most long term residents are the same, and there are thousands of very successful marriages between Japanese and non-Japanese.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Really, harmless questions no one has to work too hard to answer. That's ok. Better maybe;

If you could have one wish come true for America, what would that be? Or maybe: How or in what ways would you like to see Americans and Japanese work together for shared goals? Would you ever consider a permanent relocation to the States? If so where? What motion picture best portrays life in America or American ideals? What city best epitomizes America?
0 ( +0 / -0 )

My my... so many anger in this comments... good thing the vid aimed very to be fun and the students showed an overall good review of the US....

Imagine if they were ranting about the US... the comments in here would have been dripping blood....

Some people are sour... some fewer people can donate their blood to the xenomorph aliens (some potential donors in here)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

who where the leaders of America say in the last 15 yrs, most Americans could answer, now who are leaders of Japan in the last 15yrs, id say most Japanese would be stumped.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@wtfjapan

Of course most UStatians will be able to answer... in the last 15 years? there have been only 3 presidents if you are not able to answer that... there is a big problem in the brain memory area.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

On the other hand, there are the pysch related crimes. People on psych drugs or in the middle of mental "treatment" shooting up a bunch of people and then topping themselves.

That could be said of anywhere, including here in Japan where a girl recently beheaded a classmate in my city. Or a cat owning man cutting up a little girl etc etc. There may not be lots of gun crimes in Japan but the brutality of some of the murders is insane. Those issues are word wide though and don't fit into any specific "oh this wouldn't happen there argument"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You can't deny that people from the US are very friendly.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@pandabelle,

Oh, Ive had J "friends" but nothing like in my home country. I have befriended many Japanese, but when they got in their circle and I was standing there and something "gai" came up, that "friend", without fail, would let the compulsorily need to conform overwhelm him/her and join in. Deep and personal? Sorry cant buy it, no matter how you package it. Its the same in other countries if you reverse it; many caucasins might have an Asian "friend" but when other caucasins come around and start talking about something they "experienced" in Asia, well things get uncomfortable.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@5petals Japanese people in general are not the easiest people to get to know and nor are they particularly good at accepting foreigners. They are renowned for this. However, I'm not sure what kind of company you are keeping here. I realized pretty early in that you can write off a large percentage of Japanese, even if you speak the language, if you want to have a normal conversation or friendship. They aren't capable of it with a non-Japanese. Perfectly nice people but not for me. In my experience of living in other countries the number you write off is probably lower but I don't see the problem. I have good Japanese friends here and all of them have lived abroad and speak very good English. Some foreigners here love the attention from the locals and holding court in the local izakaya while others seem to take pleasure in self-pity and paranoia.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

and no one mind the USA imperialism, haha

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Jimizo Very true. For me, its just take it or leave it, either they accept me or dont. I dont need to make any stressful jump through hoop efforts for somebody who is closed minded. I have found that effort to be a waste of time when I could of used that time for something more productive for myself, except at work where you must do it. The fake attention some crave that you speak of I dont seek or need, I find it annoying.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@5petals and Jimizo

Congratulations you have found the usual way to interact in a society and develop an adult relation!

Bravo guys!!! bit too late though, but good for you.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@5petals Your assumptions are absolutely ridiculous. Japanese people as a whole are not cold. i have Japanese family and friends, and I can be honest with all of them (and vice versa). Cleo already mentioned it earlier, there are a plenty of mixed marriages between Japanese and non-Japanese in Japan and overseas. It is just funny how a lot of people use this site as a place to vent about things not going their way. It's not constructive at all.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

That is certainly true that many japanese college students have stereotype image like american people do't shy, friendly. but maybe american people have stereotype image to japanese people i think. almost college students do not have a lot of money so they can't go to abroad and they watch TV and get image to another country including me.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"World opinion of the United States goes up and down like a giant see-saw"

But United States foreign aid to other countries never seems to go down...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Native Americans are Friends for life. Real America is a melting pot Company of all Nations. When you speak of shallow people, you speak of yourself... Judge a person by their heart, not their Nation. I love Japan, it's culture, is similar to ours...p.s. Natives Americans prefer to be called Native Indians...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I am Japanese and I live in Okinawa. There are many big issues between Okinawa and the U.S. army. We have many U.S. military bases in Okinawa and they are going to make another new base in Henoko which has very beautiful ocean. They want to reclaim that ocean. But the Okinawan people do not agree with it and many Okinawan people especially old ages taking part in anti-base demonstration there. But interestingly, there are also many people especially young ages (include me) who like American people like this video. I think we are kind of longing for the Americans. They are positive and friendly but we are shy. In fact, I don’t agree to make a new base but I can’t hate the American people.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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