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Monday, April 4, 2011

The New Face(s) of a New Japan

                                             "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed,
                                    for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; 
                                    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand".  
                                                                                             - Isaiah 41:10 NIV

Our collective hearts go out to the Japanese people as they continue to deal with triple blows of disasters: a 9.0 earthquake, tsunami and a nuclear crisis. The world has never seen a more disciplined and calmer population in the midst of chaos; no looting of the stores, people patiently waiting in lines for food, water and radiation scanning, friends and strangers helping each other find lost loved ones. The heroism of those nuclear plant workers are especially appreciated, working 24/7, sacrifing their own health and safety to save the country and quite possibly other parts of the world, from contamination and potential nuclear explosion.

Japan may not be a Christian nation but devastations do not distinguish from borders, faiths or cultures . We offer them our heartfelt prayers of support and encouragement. From ashes and debris, the Land of the Rising Sun will no doubt rebuild. A new Japan will emerge, better and stronger. Many changes will take place. I do hope, though, that on national affairs, immigration will be among their priorities. They will need to have a more open and more lenient immigration policy. Right now, Japan probably has one of the world's strictest immigration policies. It is not uncommon for police officers to stop foreigners on the street and demand for their passports and legal documents. The US is vibrant because of its diversity. So long as the migration is done legally, the policy enforced fairly and the immigrants are not subjected as pawns to political posturings, foreigners are positive contributors to their host nation. Japan has an ageing population and they need new and fresh workers to rebuild their economy. Immigrants can provide the energy and manpower they need right now. Indeed, the new face of a new Japan will need to  have many colors.

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