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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

HAVE YOUR SAY

On nikkei 'golden parachutes'


By ANDREAS KOLB
Vienna

Re: Debito Arudou's April 7 Just Be Cause column " 'Golden parachutes' mark failure of race-based policy":

Once again I have to disagree with Mr. Arudou. It's not the government or the country's responsibility to give foreign workers training and language education.

If I want to work in a foreign country, I have to do my utmost to learn that language. That's my own responsibility. Mr. Arudou's "idea" has been used in Germany for years, and it is not working. The German government is spending millions of euros every year on so-called integration programs — millions that are needed elsewhere.

The whole idea in Germany is failing because some people don't want to learn the language and don't want to be part of the country, yet they have moved there and live off the welfare money provided by German and foreign taxpayers.

Arnold Schwarzenegger didn't become a star in the U.S. because the American government funded everything he did. No, he went to the U.S. and studied hard. He spent hours and hours learning English. He did it himself. He showed responsibility.

Immigrants too have responsibilities. Those responsibilities include doing their best to become part of the society in the country they choose to live and work in. That's my responsibility as an immigrant. I can't count on the government to do that for me. In fact, I must not count on the government to do that for me.

As for the government, it is first and foremost responsible for the Japanese people. Period. It's the Japanese citizens who "hire" the government, not the foreign workers.

I find this "the government has to do this and that" sentiment that seems to be spreading everywhere quite disturbing. Mr Arudou's attempts to bring American-style socialism to Japan are somewhat scary (just like his "crusade" against racism, which is putting us foreigners into a bad light in general).

Do we really want a socialist system where the government plays nanny for all of us and tells us what we have to do, when and how? Or do we want freedom, which comes with oh-so-evil responsibility?

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