To the Occidental tourist or traveler who visits Japan, one of the more noticeable features of the trip is the attentiveness of the Immigration Inspectors at the airport who, after carefully examining your passport, will notify you—verbally as well as printing it in your passport—that you have 45 days to remain in the country. Truth be told, unlike their US counterparts, they are serious about that requirement.
I've recently returned from a one month visit To "The Land Of The Rising Sun," and the first thing I noticed about Japan is that it is very Japanese; in fact, it's at least 95% (or more) homogeneous. There are Chinese and US tour groups, as well as individual visitors, but all are acutely aware of Japan's immigration policy: don't overstay your welcome, for unless you are Japanese, you are not a potential immigrant, legal or otherwise. If you do overstay, the Japanese reaction can be summed up, albeit dealing with another issue, in what was written on a street sign near the US Embassy compound: "Do not throw your garbage in the streets. If you do, you will be punished." Despite a decline in their population, Japan is unwilling to allow its culture to be diluted by "gaijin" or foreigners.
Aside from the order and courtesy that attend their encounters with strangers, one cannot but be impressed by the Japanese desire to keep Japan outside the sphere of "multi-culturalism," which has plagued the West. One cannot miss the importance of the national unity which permeates their way of life, something absent in the US, for the elements of Japanese society are united in keeping the country with one heritage.
Can Japan remain...Japanese? Unlike the U.S. and other countries in the West, the Japanese recognize the importance of their historical and cultural roots, as do their politicians. I have no doubt that they will.
Chiarello is a retired Foreign Service Officer whose tours included U.S. embassies in Latin America and Europe. See Vincent Chiarello`s previous letters to VDARE.com.