The longer you live in Japan the more quirky the country seems. Even after 12 years here i still get surprised by unwritten social rules and traditions.
But i still feel more comfortable here than I do back in the UK where people are totally screwed over by the government and big corporations. I just been back for a visit and cannot believe how people survive on such crap wages with zero hours contracts. Every country is the world is being squeezed by the digital economy and big corporations maximising profits at the expense of their employees. If you think its bad now just wait 50 years till the true nano tech boom arrives and everyone loses their jobs
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As a Brit who has lived in Japan for over 10 years I have to say that the best part of living in Japan is that it has not lost its cultural identity as my home land has. I would hate to see Japan copy Europe and America and let in hordes of Emigrants who take over districts and whole towns and change the character of the country.
I find Japan very child friendly but it needs to make changes to the system to encourage couples t0 want to have larger families. Tax breaks and more help with higher education expenses.
Okinawa does not have a population problem, families seem much closer and grandparents play a much bigger part in looking after kids than they do in the mainland. Having lived in Okinawa for the first half of my time in Japan i notice a big difference. But having said that the smaller islands have a similar problem to the mainland.
But if Japan needs labour from overseas then it should learn from the mistakes made in the west and put a time limit on residency.
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I lived in Japan for 12 years, admittedly im 6 feet tall Gaijin with a shaved head and my Japanese wife says i look evil if i don't smile but in all that time living in Naha and now Beppu plus travelling around the country I have never seen any street crime. I see a few bikes dumped in the river which im guessing were stolen to get home from a night out but as far as im concerned Japan is very quiet compared with my home town in England. And so far I have yet to find an area in Japan where I felt uncomfortable walking at night.
Japanese perceptions of crime is very different from western and other Asian countries. When I moved to Okinawa I had heard complaints about the behaviour of US servicemen but I found them extremely well behaved, yes there was the odd incident but I know for a fact that a crime committed by a local would hardly receive any attention in the media compared to someone off the base. At Japanese airports there are signs warning to be aware of terrorists infiltrating the country but again look at the facts. The only terrorists to have launched attacks in Japan have been domestic ones.
I would love to take a few Japanese cops back to England and let them have a few nights on patrol, they would certainly return with a very different perception of what real crime is and our cops don't even carry guns.
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I often watch houses being built here in Beppu and im always amazed that they concentrait on Solar Panels on the roof and ignor all the free energy a few meters under the ground and only use it for Onsens.
Japan should copy Iceland they could be self sufficient in Geothermal energy within a few years and seal the Tepco management up in Fukushima for eternity
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I flew from Naha to Narita on a JAL flight and I always pay extra for the better seats as i have long legs, but once there was a giant Polynesian sumo wrestler on my flight who had to overflow into two seats.
My Japanese wife who is very petite and loves shopping when she comes home with me looked at him and started complaing to me that on her flight back from UK, JAL would limit her baggage allowance or charge her extra even though her total wieght including her baggage would be no where near as much as some passengers.
I think all passengers should be wieghed along with their luggage and charged by the kilo. The airline could charge a price for a specific weight and you get a refund if your below it or its up to you to pay the extra lard allowence.
People accept it at the post office when they go to send an overseas parcel so why not their flight ticket
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As a Brit who has lived in Japan for over 10 years and loves the country i would say please ignore comments like this. So called politically correct ideas are what have ruined the charactor of my homeland.
Whats great about Japan is that it is Japanese, when I return home there is no longer any English culture. its been swamped. I visited Paris last year and the suburbs in some areas are almost no go areas where gangs of eastern europeans roam around at will ignoring the law. If Japan needs to import labour for its Industry then please dont allow settlement and lose your cultural identity as England has done. I would never call myself a racist but when i hear that schools in certain areas of England are not allowed to have Christmas Nativity plays as they might upset Muslim children or their parents then It shows that diversity has gone very very wrong
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Japan sits on multiple megawatts of volcanic geothermal energy but does not seem to use much of it for electricity production. In Beppu where i live its almost all used for Onsen,
Almost everyone could have a ground heat pump here under their house if it was designed properly when it was built. Even the storm channels in many hilly towns could have micro hydro generators. Japan has no need for nuclear, its a country built on a geothermal hotspot and could be just like iceland which is 100 percent self sufficiant. Imagine how many billions of Yen would stay at home every year instead of leaving the country to pay for oil and gas
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Japan could be self sufficiant in geothermal energy if the government were not blind to what is underneath its feet. Iceland produces 100 percent of its electricity from geothemal. I live in Beppu and i look around me and see abundent natural energy which is only used for bathing and a little cooking.
Imagine how much money the country would save if they didnt have to import fossel fuels or maintain nuclear power stations. The savings in importation of oil would make a massive dent in Japans national debt but for some reason the country seems blind to the fact its sitting on free energy.
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