proudgaijin comments

Posted in: Why did those foreigners who decided to leave Japan in the aftermath of the March 11 disaster come in for so much derision from some people who labeled them with words like 'flyjin?' See in context

As a Foreigner who has lived here for 5 years and loves this country, I want to give a view based upon the practical reality of the situation for many people who are in the same situation as me.

When the Earthquake and Tsunami hit, we also got affected. At that point, we don't just say "hey, things are bad, better get out of here". We have family members calling us, worried about us, and asking us to return. They only see and hear what is reported in their own countries, and given the distance, and the fact that we don't want our families to worry, we needed to make a choice. It is a reality that most Foreigners living in Japan are here by themselves, with their families being overseas. So for these Foreigners (and I fit into this category), it is very unfair to blame them for leaving the country so they can make their families feel more relieved. For those who have families in Japan, most that I know, have chosen to stay, or have sent their family members home until things stabilize.

To our Japanese friends posting on these comments board, do you think it is right to blame us for making these choices? What would you do if you were us?

For me, I chose to stay in Japan, and I know many others who did the same. I can't speak for the others, but I tell you, the decision to leave or stay is not that easy. The reality is that most Foreigners are here for a short time, and when these things happen, they need to play a game of balancing their priorities, deciding if they should risk their health and live in a situation where most have no long term security, or did not have long term plans to stay here anyway. This is the reality of the situation, not only of foreigners working in Japan, but also of Japanese working overseas. You go there for a short term, and if things get difficult, you need to answer to your family and look at your long term interests.

Please note that most people in Japan work hard, and pay their taxes. Us Foreigners do the same, even though we know that we won't be getting most of the pension contribution back. So please be fair and look at this situation objectively.

As a last note, regarding those Foreigners who left without paying their rent or giving a decent courtesy to their Employers, that is another issue so please keep that seperate. I am sure that most of us "Gaijins" are as equally disgusted towards those actions as our Japanese friends are.

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