In the following op-ed, Henryk Broder contrasts the bullying behavior of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan with the total decorum of his Japanese counterparts, and explains clearly why there is no danger in Japanese parallel societies as opposed to Turkish ones.
Now the question: Is anyone in the ruling elite reading this?
Many thanks to JLH for the translation from Die Welt online:
Why Japanese Parallel Societies Don’t Bother Anyone
by Henryk M. Broder
Not just Turks, but Japanese as well live in Germany in parallel societies, and they teach their children Japanese first. Nonetheless that makes no one nervous.
This week I was traveling by taxi in Düsseldorf. I was tired; I closed my eyes and went to sleep.
When I woke, I was in Tokyo. Or Kyoto. It could have been Osaka. Anyway, everywhere I saw banks and hotels with Japanese names, Japanese supermarkets and restaurants that were called the Kikaku, MoshMosh, Nippon-Kan and Sushi-Taxi.
It was a few seconds before I realized: I was in Düsseldorf, and in Düsseldorf there is a large Japanese community. Not as big as the Turkish one in Kreuzberg, but not to be overlooked.
I have a nuanced attitude toward Japan. I drive a Japanese car, take pictures with a Japanese camera and watch my DVDs on an apparatus made in Japan. But I can’t stand sushi. I do not understand the enthusiasm for raw fish and soups that taste of sewage.
On the other hand, I do not have one single electronic product from Turkey, and yet I love Turkish cuisine (the only thing I have in common with Claudia Roth). And I find the extroverted and noisy Turks more likable than the uncommunicative and quiet Japanese, whose mood you cannot read by looking at them.
So I wonder why we have a problem with the Turks and no problem with the Japanese, not even in Düsseldorf. Nobody inquires after their birth rate. No authorities are putting interpreters at their disposal. There has not been a summit on Japan — or Asia — with the ministry of the interior. There has been no Christian-Japanese working group on Protestant Church Day. We don’t even know what religion they belong to. They make no secret of it, but they don’t make a big fuss about it either.
There must be other reasons. Could it have something to do with the fact that no Japanese has gone to court to sue for a prayer room in a school? Or that no Japanese has refused to stack drinks in a supermarket, which his religion has forbidden him to drink? Or that the Japanese are under-represented in the ranks of multiple offenders and over-represented among those who have graduated from secondary school? The Japanese, too, live in parallel societies, marry among themselves and teach their children Japanese first and then German.
However — Never has a Japanese minister come to Germany to tell his compatriots what they should do and not do. The government would forbid such a thing as interference in the republic’s internal affairs. Unless it is the Turkish president.