Japan was the world’s only really different country

Tuesday, October 1st, 2019

One can fly to Japan from anywhere, Edward Luttwak says, but from Japan one can only fly to the Third World:

[I]t hardly matters whether one lands in Kinshasa, London, New York or Zurich: they are all places where one must be constantly watchful and distrustful, where one cannot leave a suitcase unattended even for ten minutes, where women strolling home through town at 3 a.m. are deemed imprudent, where the universal business model is not to underpromise and overdeliver but if anything the other way round, where city streets are clogged at rush hour because municipal authorities mysteriously fail to provide ubiquitous, fast and comfortable public transport, where shops need watchful staff or cameras against thieving customers, and where one cannot even get beer and liquor from vending machines that require no protection from vandalism. Japan was the world’s only really different country when I first visited forty years ago, and it remains so now, despite many misguided attempts to internationalise its ways to join the rest of the world.

(Hat tip to our Slovenian guest.)


  1. Adar says:

    And let us hope Japan always stays that way. Spain at one time used to be the ultimate safe spot too for tourists. I think no more. If your bicycle was stolen the Guardia Civil in very short order would only not find and return your bicycle but the culprit would be apprehended and be facing a long term in a hard prison.

  2. Kirk says:

    The thing I love about all these “Japan is GREAT!!” things is that nobody ever talks about the downside to how all that “great stuff” about Japan happens.

    Japan is, for the moment, a successful country. However, comma… There’s a lot of stuff going on with it that clearly indicates that there’s a huge price to be paid for a lot of it. The below-replacement birth rate issue is only the tip of the iceberg, and a symptom that there’s something fairly wrong with some significant things. The suicide rate? The whole Hikikomari phenomenon? These are not signs of a healthy country, despite all those other lovely things about Japan.

    There’s more to the issue than the various Japanophiles see or grasp. You look at a lot of Japanese cultural features, and you really have to wonder how long it can go on, before the whole thing collapses. Japan is facing an agricultural dark age, as most of their farmers are now senior citizens, and nobody wants to live in the rural areas and replace them. The whole picture shows a very different state of affairs than what you get by flying into an airport, staying in the cities, and flying out. The underpinnings of it all are literally dying out and not being replaced.

  3. McChuck says:

    Japan is one of the last surviving advanced monocultures. They are Japanese, not Hispanic and African and Muslim and …

  4. Christopher says:

    Japan was reeducated after the War, violent tendencies suppressed, traditions eradicated. In this they share a curse with many advanced countries. Suicide, loneliness, personal isolation and technological addiction: these are features of the Postmodern West.

    Civilization must be renewed every generation. The forms and appearances continue on while the underpinnings are gutted, if traditions are not passed on and made living practices.

    Japan seems to have avoided the colonization and Americanization that has infected the world, and turned Europe into a museum. Or have they?

  5. Albion says:

    The issue with all societies is not so much one of failure to provide good transportation or even vending machines, but how are you going to protect your citizens — and I mean *your* citizens, not people who have been dragged in from semi-savage environments, and who are only there for the freebies. People who, so long as the free stuff is provided, will not cause trouble.

    An effective and secure society would protect its own people first and foremost and see to their welfare as a primary concern. I cannot speak for Japan but the evidence in the west is to have politicians who are so desperate to virtue-signal they happily consign their own people to a lower status than those who have no roots, and no sympathy, with the society they have joined. I would imagine Japan doesn’t do that so much, but only those who have been there will know for certain.

  6. CVLR says:

    The engineered dissolution continues apace, but the fact that in its core institutions it nevertheless continues to resist so profoundly pronounces the absolute superiority of the Japanese race.

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