Nationalist Kishida of Japan insists tourists need guides, insurance, and face masks

Nationalist Kishida of Japan insists tourists need guides, insurance, and face masks

Kanako Mita, Sawako Utsumi, and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida of Japan is avidly anti-Russia beyond logic – and now his nationalist credentials are being enhanced by how he treats foreign tourists. Thus, if tourists don’t mind “fake smiles” while paying for tour guides, keeping face masks on, and obtaining insurance – in other words, being treated like a second-class citizen and feeling extremely unwelcome, then “welcome to Kishida’s Japan.” 

Also, to add insult to injury for the “unwanted tourist” concerning the coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis – apart from the economic angle because the land of high technology is the most indebted nation in the world concerning the ratio of debt – then tourists should avoid busy places (hmm!). Yes, the guidelines specify that travel agencies should avoid taking foreign tourists to crowded areas and – just in case they are not so hygienic – selected tourist destinations must implement thorough antivirus measures. 

Kishida is implying the “us” and “them” mentality that dominates vast spaces of society that are welcomed by the ruling elites of the LDP. For example, foreign nationals – irrespective of male or female – rarely win cases concerning child custody in Japan when the other partner is Japanese. 

Bloomberg (Kanoko Matsuyama) reports, “Tourists visiting Japan may be sent home if they fail to abide by rules requiring them to wear masks, sanitize their hands thoroughly and buy private health insurance, according to guidelines set by the government ahead of the cautious, gradual reopening of Japan’s border.”

Ironically – Japan is witnessing an upsurge in the sexual disease called syphilis. Thankfully, for foreign nationals in Japan – and international tourists – this happened before tourists were allowed back in the country. However, it highlights the mass hypocrisy of the ruling elites. After all, time after time, many coronavirus outbreaks took place in areas where the sex trade thrives in parts of Hokkaido, Osaka, Tokyo, and other cities. 

The Daily Mainichi reports, “Cases of syphilis are surging across Japan, with the number of patients so far this year up 1.6 times compared to the same period in 2021 — a year that saw record-high case figures — prompting medical specialists to warn that it has become a “common” sexually transmitted disease.”

Also, while Japan was closed to tourists in 2021, this year witnessed a new high in syphilis in recent history. Of course, this is lost on the ruling elites in the LDP and mass media in general in Japan.

The current ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) is beset by latent nationalism where anti-China and anti-Russia statements are part of the course. Throw in disdain toward South Korea in recent years – then the Meiji Period is back in town under the ruling party. 

Equally depressing, a new party in town with its power base in Osaka is also nationalist despite the foreign population being minor in Japan. Hence, it is difficult to understand why Japanese nationalism remains potent related to the low number of foreign nationals in this country – and the fact that Japan invaded China, Korea, and other nations, and not the other way around. Therefore, why is petty nationalism – to outright nationalism – so popular among the ruling elites?

Tourism will eventually return to normal because the Japanese economy is weak – and the coronavirus will eventually be reduced in potency related to medical advancements and immunity. However, the lasting memory of “us” and “them” – when tourism returns to normal – will remain in the memory for a long time related to foreign nationals who reside in this country. 

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