How do other foreigners feel about the changes to the way in which Japan will handle it's foreign residents? Well, many of the vocal minority appear to be just peachy keen with it. Some think it's a spiffy idea because they believe it'll help keep those awful illegal immigrants under control. You know those hordes of illegals, don't you? They're the smoke and mirrors politicians whip out to distract you from the real problems your culture is having like a tanking economy, rampant unemployment, a lack of social stability from the growing income gap, and the huge national debt.
At any rate, I don't have any qualms necessarily with the foreigners who support more punitive measures against foreigners if they have a sound rationale. Most of them don't, but that's really beside the point. What I'm really interested in is what causes people to support measures that are meant to make life more difficult for people like themselves. What motivates a foreigner to say, "yes, I'd like to see a measure passed where I'd have to fork over a monumental amount of money ($2,000 USD/200,000 yen) for being absent-minded enough to walk out of my house without my foreign resident's card and provoke the police into asking for my I.D. by willfully (and inappropriately) being non-Japanese looking."
This sort of question interests me because anyone who advocates making their own life harder has some interesting psychological issues at play. I know some people will take issue with this, but, frankly, they're being willfully stupid. If you don't believe me, go out and ask your family, neighbors and friends if they'd like to see their lawmakers institute a policy whereby failing to carry a certain kind of I.D. will result in a $2,000 fine.
And, incidentally, make sure you don't say anything about foreigners. We are talking about people advocating people like themselves being fined, not people unlike themselves. I can tell you that not one Japanese person I've discussed this with thinks that it is fair or a good idea to force foreign folks to pay such a fine (or to carry cards with computer chips in them for remote tracking or scanning, for that matter). It's mainly a certain population of foreigners who are fine with this. It's not the Japanese themselves. In fact, at least a handful of Japanese people I've talked to about this have concerns about the slippery slope. That is, they figure once it applies to us, it'll eventually apply to them.
Getting back to the main point, I have some speculation why I think some foreigners think that the proposed changes are fine and dandy like sour candy. My guess is that one or several of these may apply in motivating their "support" of future punitive and potentially highly invasive and insecure measures:
- They want to ingratiate themselves to the Japanese by agreeing with anything they do rather than be seen as "troublemakers".
- They are racist at heart and support racist measures in Japan because they'd like to support similar measures in their own culture.
- They are frozen in Kohlberg's conventional stage of moral development and believe that lawful people will not be unfairly treated or punished. They see themselves as lawful and therefore immune to any sort of negative consequences to changes in the law.
- They are so hopelessly self-centered and their worldview so limited that they believe bad things don't happen to foreigners in Japan because they've never had such experiences. That is, they don't even believe random harassment occurs because they have never been victims of it.
- They hate other foreigners being in "their Japan" and would like to see others driven out. They figure making it more uncomfortable or unpleasant to stay here will weed out some of the riff-raff. These people are overlapping with those who find anyone who teaches English in Japan to be a blight on the country.