Wednesday, December 07, 2005
Peruvians in Japan
I thank my lucky stars that Tito is over here in multi-cultural England with me today, rather than still in a Japan which is developing increasingly hostile opinions of the barbaric foreigners in their midst... especially Peruvians, of whom there are many. Peruvian and Japanese cultures are worlds apart - in fact they are pretty much the polar opposite of each other in terms of behaviour and customs. It's easy to see how the expressive and excitable Peruvians can become scapegoats for the ills of modern Japanese society. When I left Tito in Japan in the summer of 2003 I was extremely concerned as I knew that the police had begun to stop visible (non-white) minorities in public places to ask for their 'gaijin' foreigner card - something that Tito didn't have. He had to travel repeatedly down to Tokyo and Yokohama to apply for permission to leave (as an overstayer of over 10 years!) and thankfully had no dealings with the police before leaving in February 2004. However, I feel for his friends who have felt the attitudes of their host culture grow steadily more suspicious due to the flagrant scare-mongering of the media. True, the persecuted Peruvians choose to remain working in Japan of their own free will, but when they are supporting, feeding and educating their families back home, what choice do they have?