Because we live in an island country, I think in Japan people don’t normally see foreigners especially outside Tokyo and Kyoto area. This situation makes them conspicuous. As a result, even they commit a crime less than Japanese do, people feels like they are committing a crime more than Japanese do. We think they are dangerous. Therefore, putting some kind of billboard is essential for them. On the other hand, I strongly doubt that telling that message can stop them from doing suspicious behavior.
In general, people in need of money cause criminals. For instance, they steal money or break into someone’s house. From this point of view, they have no reason to care such a billboard. They just need money and are desperate. However, foreigners coming Japan don’t know the fact that Japanese people differ from other people in that they don’t see foreigners often. No wonder that they don’t feel welcome. To change this situation, we can use an example of EU and the United States. However, sometimes people say that learning other culture or language is easy to say but in Japan we don’t have such a precious opportunity. I think that Government should make a plan. In fact, Japanese people have a kind of allergy when they talk to foreigners. We know better than anyone else. So, I show you two examples. Students in EU are recommended to learn at least 2 languages other than their native languages. There are 27 countries in EU now. In addition, there are a lot of races. A lot of races mean that they have their own culture and perspectives. We can say that making EU work is very difficult. So, people need to know each other. In Japan, we don’t have many race or chance to meet and talk to them. Unlike the United States and EU, people tend to stay Japan and don’t go abroad.
Therefore, we don’t care much about foreigners. In the United States, there are many races in a class. People discuss a lot of things together and talk about their own culture. They gradually understand and make friends. In Japan we live in an island, so we don’t have opportunity to do things as I said above. People can go abroad to learn other cultures or languages or take classes that many nationalities are in. I really think that people need to make chances themselves.
Your blog reminded me of my recent trip to Tokyo Disney. As you wait in line they show video clips of inappropriate behavior like eating on the ride, pushing in front of other people, being noisy etc. The trouble maker was always a big white American guy and the polite people were always Japanese!! Stereotyping!!