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RE: Juvenile crime in Japan

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Riki Mintzer

18 Mar 2002
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I am half Japanese (first generation); have a degree in Psychology; have worked as a store manager for a Japanese supermarket (13 years), and have experienced first-hand, the conduct of Japanese children and young adults.
I totally agree with your accessment of this problem, specifically with the lack of discipline and poor examples given by today's Japanese parent. It seems to me that so much value is placed upon the specialness of their children, that it effects the parent's proper treatment of inappropriate behavior.
I have seen many examples of poor behavior of children in my store, and most parents let it go on. Demands for candy (there is even a candy from Japan called "Mama, kore!"); destruction of merchandise; tantrums, all go unpunished! It is as if the child rules the parent, instead of the opposite.

The Japanese teens and young adults that come to the U.S., under the guise that they want an education, say they have come to "party". In Japan, they are exposed to a barage of media reports saying America is all about having a good time: Sex, drugs and rock & roll. Of course, there are many who are here to get an education, but there are too many like I describe above.

I was raised as an "only child", mostly by my Japanese mother, and have been instilled with a healthy sense of compromise; a sense of right and wrong; an ability to empathize with others; and the value placed upon living beings. To me, when I see the rapid demise of the Japanese character and behavior, it seems that we as humans are truly headed towards a bad direction. The Japanese sense of good and bad; their sense of disipline has always been the standard that everyone has always looked to for a shining example of humanity. Things have changed.
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