What Does Japan Think about the Election?
I want to talk about a hot topic
today. The election results. Many Americans are excited about the results
and can't wait for Trump to begin his days as a president, while others are
absolutely furious. They couldn't be
more livid. People are taking off work
to mourn, taking to YouTube and Facebook to vent their feelings and talking
about this "racist" America that Trump is creating. People are rioting and protesting in the
streets in predominantly blue states, ironically. Americans are angry and they are hurt, and
they want to be heard. Is their outcry
being heard correctly? Is their
protesting painting a picture of what America truly is? Or have they forgotten that they aren't the
only people in the world? I want to talk
about what Japan thinks about the election, and what the Japanese people think
about the Americans rioting and protesting the results in the street. I asked quite a few people. Some I knew, and some I never met before, and
here are the collective findings of my interviews.
For starters, Japan is most
conservative. I know that their dominate
party is called the liberal democratic party, but that doesn't mean they are
democrats or liberals. The LDP is
actually pretty far right winged. That
being said, there are still many people who do not agree with the LDP and are desperately
seeking for the current prime minister (Shinzo Abe) to leave office. I know because they drive around in their
campaign cars and their megaphones quite often as they spew their reasoning
behind their distaste for Abe. They don't
throw anything, they just peacefully drive by, wave, and tell you what they
think Abe is doing wrong and how he should fix things. More than half the people I talked to claimed
to identify with the LDP.
Second, the only news sources that
Japanese tend to receive on political matters of the US are CNN and MSNBC. Very rarely do they get news broadcasted from
NHK World, which is also a very liberal news source. Their newspapers tend to be more conservative
I have found but for the most part, unless they are speaking with an American
who is conservative, they are only getting one side of the argument. Most of them get that.
On the day of the election, I watched
it closely. I could hardly take my eyes
off the screen. It was causing me so
much anxiety. Everyone I work with knew
who I was rooting for so when the results came that Trump had officially won
the presidency I was congratulated many times.
I was stunned. Shocked. I couldn't believe my eyes. Trump, actually WON?! How did this happen? I thought for sure Hillary was going to win. I thought for sure that she was going to be
the first woman president and that all the Americans would be jumping for
joy. That is not the case. Apparently, America is annoyed with liberals
running the country and are desperately seeking a change. Clearly they want something different from
the white house.
No sooner had the results been posted
had the ALTs (from various countries) displayed their dismay on Facebook. I expected as much. They lost.
This was probably their first election that they had lost too. So it was understandable that they would take
to Facebook to be upset. I think most
people expected that to happen. However,
it started going a bit too far. Rather
than just accept defeat and move on, the foreigners took to whining and
complaining. They acted like cry
babies. It is one thing to cry about it
silently at home, have a drinking fit at home, alone, it is another to involve
people in your whining. That is exactly
what the ALTs did in Japan. They whined,
they cried, they drank, they threw mourning parties, and they took time off
work. Who does that? Who actually does that? It is not a death in the family or a close
friend, this is simply the presidential election which takes place every 4
years. Have they forgotten that annually
there are state elections? Have they
forgotten that? Not only are they taking
time off of work, IN JAPAN, but back in the states, people are taking time off
school! They are needing time to "process
and mourn the results." Really? Just
because you didn't get your way? REALLY!?
In the wake of these events, I decided
to ask Japanese what they think of Americans and their reaction to the election
results. I was very surprised with what
many of them had to say.
They started off by saying that taking
time off of work because of results not going your way is ridiculous. They found it absolutely childish and
rude. They couldn't believe that people
would even consider doing such a thing. Your
job will continue to be there after 4 years.
The president will change. It is
not that big of a deal. The Japanese
that don't like Trump, don't hate him.
They know that it is really none of their business who is and isn't our
president. One pointed out that the ALTs
are in Japan, and not in America. And
taking time off work to mourn for a country that doesn't directly affect the
one you are living in is uncalled for.
Most of the Japanese have lost respect for the foreigners in their
When news hit here that Americans were
rioting and protesting in the streets.
Do you know what the Japanese did?
They laughed. They laughed at
Americans. They laughed because they
were too appalled to do anything else.
They couldn't believe what they were hearing and seeing. All of them said that "that is not how your
protest." Also, "this is not something
worth protesting. You already
voted. Accept what happened and move on."
One video in particular made it viral
in Japan, and that was of a group of people beating up a Trump supporter. They were proud of beating him senseless and
stealing his car!!! Who does
that!!? 2 of my coworkers were planning
a vacation to the US during the winter vacation. They were going to go to Hawaii and
California. After seeing the protests,
riots, and beatings going on in America, in BLUE STATES I must add, they
canceled their trips. Those 2 in
particular, said that they have lost all interest in going to America and never
want to meet another American again.
The people whom I had just met when I
interviewed them, said that they will think twice now before they approach a
foreigner because they don't know if they are a violent American or someone
from Australia who is friendly. They
told me that they believe "all Americans are selfish children. Don't bother coming to Japan." The ones who work with other ALTs said that
they were told there is going to be a WWIII.
I had to console an entire class at one of my schools because they were
being told that America will abandon Japan now, and they will be nuked by North
Korea. These lies are really having an
impact on how Americans are viewed and the stereotype has really been affected
in a majorly negative way.
These are horrible statements made by
very peaceful Japanese. It is very hard
to upset or offend the Japanese because of the zen society. Congratulations America, you managed to piss
off Japan. To the rioters and
protestors, I hope you really sit and think about what it is that you have done
to the peaceful Americans in the world.
You have tarnished the reputation of America. You have made prejudice and racism a much
larger issue in Japan. Since the
election, my encounters with racism and prejudice have doubled. All because you weren't thinking about
others, you were only thinking about yourself.
You are all selfish, and you are all to blame for the stereotyping you
have put upon us. This is YOUR
fault. And this is YOUR doing. YOU are only to blame for this. YOU and YOU alone. I hope you are happy with yourselves. I hope you are proud for what you have
done. You have successfully made the
world hate you and be afraid to even talk to you. Japanese are now afraid to come near
you. You have some SERIOUS apologizing
Great job America. Great freaking job.