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This is currently one of the Japan Times most popular articles. It’s a recommended read.
via Viewed through a religious lens, Japan makes more sense | The Japan Times.
Simply, the article tries to justify Japan’s more extreme political behavior in terms of religion and sociology.
Personally, I disagree with any justification for the extreme comments cited at the beginning of the article. Japan is a democracy and her citizens must decide her future. I am troubled with the policies and views of the more right-wing politicians in Japan, like Prime Minister, Abe.
Japan must decide whether it wishes to be isolated and preserve the ‘old ways’, or to benefit from being a powerful member of the world community. It is important to remember that Japan has still not fully recognized WWII atrocities, and accordingly continues to offend countries like China. Since WWII, Japan has benefited from US defensive protection. Japanese multi-nationals have aggressively exploited worldwide export markets for consumer goods and consumer durables. On the other hand, many domestic industries, especially services are still heavily protected against global competition.
On a practical level, Japan urgently needs immigration to preserve growth because of her aging population. How Japan deals with immigration or guest workers will be critical for Japan’s future. She can readily look to the different degrees of success of countries like Saudi Arabia, Germany, Sweden or the US.
Also in a geopolitical sense, Japan needs to be careful that she does not become the pawn of the US against an increasingly powerful China.