One month has passed since I returned to Japan. To be honest, I feel much more convenient to live in Japan than in London. Japan has several things superior to the UK.
On the other hand, I noticed that some characteristics were representative suggesting that Japan is behind the UK or other developed countries.
1. Credit card availability
In Japan, most people use the money on shopping. A wallet, and even a purse as well, are necessary to carry whenever you go out. Of course, most adults have a credit card. But, there are still many stores and restaurants not accepting card payment.
In London, I seldom had much money in my pocket. Only 10 GBP or less were contained in my wallet. I did not felt anxious at all. Almost all stores, excepting some Chinese restaurants, accepted the card payment.
My past entry: Chinese Buffet in London
In contrast, the credit card is not available in some stores in Japan. Instead, we can use some kind of digital money such as SUICA or Edy. But they are not adopted in many stores. After all, the money is the only reliable method of payment. I always have over 10,000 JPY in my wallet.
I do not think the credit card is the best way of payment. At the present, however, I prefer to utilize the credit card in every shopping.
2. Attitude against minority
One of the problems in Japan is discrimination against people belonging to minority. Japanese people are very exclusive, regardless they are aware or not.
LGBT is still a matter of being mocked. Only Shibuya ward in Tokyo has made a legislation about the same-sex partnership. I guess not a few people hesitate to come out their sexual interest.
Previously, I wrote an entry about a terrible case in which pregnant nurse was blamed by mothers. It is an extremely shameful act to bully another person, especially he or she has a difficulty to live. Japanese people are intolerant to the situation in which someone has a different opinion or status. I hardly understand this kind of narrow-mind.
My past entry: Blame to a pregnant worker: awful problem in Japan
I am not sure whether foreign people are always kind to others. At least, in the UK, British people are indifferent to other people’s behavior. They seems seldom criticize emotionally others unless they are interrupted. I think the exclusiveness is a big disadvantage of Japanese.
3. Death penalty
This issue is partially related to the previous one. Over 90% of Japanese support the death penalty, whereas the EU is going to dismiss life imprisonment.
My past entry: Life imprisonment is inhuman, ECHR says
In Japan, we frequently say, “He must be executed!” when a horrible criminal case is reported. These words are not serious, but it is sure that many Japanese think that a serious crime should be compensated for his or her own life.
I talked about this issue with some British people. All of them were curious about the fact that Japan keep the scheme of death penalty. It is not true criminals are accepted in the UK. But they have already excluded the idea that wicked criminals are to be executed. It is strange that many Japanese want criminals to be harshly punished, albeit Japan is the safest country of the world, and there is no evidence suggesting that strict punishment would reduce the crime rate.