There was an article in the Asahi Shimbun that caught my attention recently. Here it is:

In this story a Canadian couple came to Japan for a vacation and they had a range of experiences. They came to Shikoku to walk as Ohenro, which is very cool, and enjoyed the local sites and sounds, and then later they went to Tokyo where the gentleman had an epileptic seizure in Shinjuku station and was considerably injured during the episode.

They did not speak Japanese and were far away from home. Nevertheless, many people gathered around them to help, support, and to get the couple the medical attention they needed. The couple returned to Canada and wrote a very nice message of gratitude to those who stepped up and helped. I thought that was quite touching.

Of course people all over the world, in every country, do selfless things for their fellow human creatures. We should celebrate them all. It is what binds us together and gives us a society worth living in.

What I thought was great is that this kind of consideration for others has been lamented as disappearing from today’s society, but here we have a reminder that caring for others is not so alien after all. It gives me hope and encouragement.

Often the subject of safety in Japan comes up when talking about visiting this country. I can only speak from my own experience and for me, and from many I have spoken to, Japan is a relatively safe place to visit. I have had times where I foolishly left my wallet in the front seat of my car with the doors unlocked and it was still there the next day. I have never felt unsafe walking alone at night. I don’t want my kids to do it, but I never thought I would be mugged or assaulted.

Of course one must use common sense when out at night, or in a pub that looks a bit rough, but overall Japan is very safe. Japanese people are very kind. And if you come for a visit to Japan you can probably expect a certain general kindness, thoughtfulness, and consideration that you may not get elsewhere.