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I’m starting to write a paper on foreign labour in Japan and the research has gotten me thinking about my experience as a foreigner in Japan. I remembered going to Fukuoka for the 2nd time (but a first in landing there) and how the treatment was a rather interesting experience. I told friends that it was like “Welcome to Japan. When will you be going back?” I had to show my return air ticket twice upon landing!! Thank goodness I had the good sense to print out my air ticket although it was an e-ticket. Anyway, it was also quite funny when I recall the immigration officer’s facial expression when he saw that I had written a residential address on the immigration card. He was nicer to me once he realised that I spoke a little Japanese too. The customs officer is another character. He was so nosey. When he found out that I was in Fukuoka to visit friends, he asked me whether I had bought souvenirs for them. (-_-;) Seriously…talk about nosey. And I’m sure he could speak English…but he just went on speaking in Japanese once he realised that I could speak some Japanese. Again…and he was soooo nosey. Of course, the whole return air-ticket thing popped up. I’m really not willing to be an illegal worker in Japan, ok? I’m going to be a uni-grad. I’m not willing to do all the sai-gang (shit work) in Japan. The exchange rate isn’t like the sterling pound to the SGD. Gee…lighten up.

Another thought: why is crime always linked to foreign labour and why is it that foreign labour is always linked to unskilled labour? Hmm…it’s the same problem over here in Singapore, I think. Except that we’re more peeved about skilled foreign labour. Hmm….food for thought. I wonder whether my paper is too cliched. I think it is. Political economy of Japan. How can I link labour to politics??? Gimme idea people!! Arigatou ne!

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