The Land of the Rising Sun: My Trip to Japan

Dr. Thomas Sowell has mentioned Japan and Scotland as miracles numerous times in his works, so I thought I will visit it. And was he correct, Japan really is a miracle. From a poor, backward fishing nation for hundreds of years, Japan opened the port in 1856 and realised just how backward it was and immediately adapted the Western ideas and technologies, now Japan is one of the world leaders outshining many of the Western countries. Here are just some of the things I’ve noticed:

  • There are no rubbish bins around yet there is no littering-After the terrorist attack in 1995, rubbish bins in public were mostly removed, with few new transparent bins and shape specific bins installed. Despite the lack of rubbish bins, littering was almost non-existent.
  • Alcohol and Tobacco are cheap-In New Zealand there are heavy sin taxes against alcohol and tobacco but in Japan, there is no penalty, you can even buy strong liquor in the convenience store. A high level of social cohesion and low level of penalty actually decreases the chances of drink driving.
  • Everything is user-pay-From transportation to museums, almost all is privatised. This actually made everything a lot cheaper relatively. People can ride bikes without helmets on the streets whereas due to socialised medicine, we can’t ride bikes without having a full set of gear.
  • Every building is different-Modernist and Futurist architecture dominate the big cities, bridges, skyscrapers, towers, apartments, etc all have different designs showing individuality.
  • Everything is gorgeous-Competition is extremely strong in Japan, decor is the key ingredient for a successful restaurant, Towns have mascots, products have good advertising. Capitalism beautifully works in Japan with its low tax rates, high productivity and low poverty were the results.
  • There are almost no homelessness in Japan-Walking along Queen Street, Auckland, you can see the welfare leeches everywhere due to the socialist nature of New Zealand, but there were almost no homelessness in all of Tokyo. There are jobs for everyone.
  • Being prompt is the goal-the Japanese are extremely prompt, everything has a time and a place, this is the Japanese way of life, and it makes things a lot easier when everyone knows exactly when and where to go to catch the train, to the cinema, to have dinner, etc. Something many backward non-East Asian and non-European cultures do not value.

Japan is a wonderful country demonstrating what a high level of uncontrolled market can do, I am glad there are still places like this on Earth. Capitalism is love and I do love Japan.

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