Fourth day at China

I will update the rest of the pictures in a separate entry.

When returned to Narita airport today, I noticed two different immigration gates – “Japanese” passsport and “Foreign” passport. Sure, it’s not the first time I see it, but after being in Beijing and working as a “foreigner” there although we look very alike in appearance, I felt something is totally wrong here. In Beijing, nobody described me as a foreigner(laowai老外), and everybody used “Where are you from?”, not “Which country are you from?” when asking me after listening to my poor Mandarin…. Are they going to punish non-Japanese here? If I were from another country, I will take this sign as such.

What is the definition of “foreigner”? It doesn’t mean anything, except showing a very narrow, subjective point of view from native locals saying “You are different”. We do have a lot of Japanese whose origins are in Brazil, Korea, China, US,… and anybody who says they want to live in a peaceful, unified country with no “foreigner”, well, I can say, why don’t you crawl back to your mother’s womb?

I believe eliminating this usage of “foreigner”(and any other insensible words) has 3 times more positive effect on people visiting Japan from elsewhere, than showing off “Yokoso JAPAN” campaign ad(which is ubiquitous in the Narita airport building).

I get a bit overreacting on this issue, since I was always an “outsider” as a kid – when in Taiwan and Malta and after returning to Japan. And I remembered an acquaintance from England told me ‘You cannot say “foreigner” in England – people will regard you as a very narrow-minded person. We have English coming from everywhere in the world. Just take a look at the Premier league football game. How many of them are white, even as “English”?’.