Uncomfortable Facts About Japan

There’s some common misconceptions I see thrown around about Japan, but I lived there for 11 years, so I’m a bit more cynical.

  1. Japanese people aren’t actually friendly, they’re polite. The only Japanese people I got along with were ones that spent time overseas.
  2. Japan is an openly racist country. There are bars and clubs that won’t let you in unless you’re Japanese, and they don’t even sugar coat it.
  3. Rape and sexual assault are very common in Japan, and it’s barely considered a crime. It’s difficult, in the Japanese language, to simply say no, so it’s common for women to have sex against their will because they’re afraid of being impolite.
  4. The legal system is downright scary. There’s a 99% conviction rate and Japanese police will compel you into confessing to a crime you didn’t commit, just to keep the conviction rate high. They’re not nice about it either. They can legally detain you for 23 days without even officially charging you with a crime.
  5. You’re often not a Japanese person’s “friend”, you’re their foreign friend. This is true even after years of friendship and it can be heartbreaking.

Don’t get it misconstrued, I love Japan and consider Yokosuka, Japan to be my hometown, but many people view it as a magical place without any flaws, and this simply isn’t true.

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