A Token of Appreciation to the Japanese People

By Abubakar Kasim
Freelance Writer- Canada

Japan boy
Japanese people always look at the glass as half full instead of half empty and bow down at you out of respect for the little you could do for them.

It is sad to see the calamity befalling on the people of Japan.

I have never seen outstanding, organized, efficient and polite people like the Japanese.

Even when the calamity of unprecedented scale has befallen on them, they did not lose their composure but are coping up with a high level of determination, patience and perseverance.

Dr. Hamid Slimi, a prominent Islamic scholar, has reminded the congregation in his weekly halaqa at the Sayeda Khadija Centre in Mississauga recently that he has been amazed on how polite, organized and well mannered Japanese people are.

"In spite of the calamity that has befallen on them, they did not lose their composure and are dealing with it with utmost level of patience and perseverance," Dr. Slimi stated.

Dr. Slimi who is a chairman of the Canadian Council of Imams and a founder of the newly established Islamic and community center, Sayyida Khadija Center, had explained that a Muslim should not be discriminatory when helping those who are afflicted with calamities.

He should be at the front line when it comes to helping those who are less fortunate irrespective of creed, culture, or faith.


Made in Japan

Products that made in Japan have received a wide acceptance throughout the world. Anything made in that country is known to be second to none when it comes to performance and efficiency.

When you tell anyone even on a remote village in Africa or in the mountains of Afghanistan that a product is made in Japan, the shopper would jump for it without hesitation and without even analyzing the product itself.

As long as it has the label Made in Japan, it is enough for him. He buys it with full trust as he knows that he will never be disappointed.

Their products are known to be lasting, stronger and efficient.

Such high quality products should tell us about the people making them. If their products are in such a high standing caliber, the people designing them would be outstanding and superior humans who are of noble qualities and character.

I usually interact with the Japanese people at the airport and  always look forward to looking after them during their travel. You will never hear them cursing even when things don’t work out in their favor – always with a genuine smile.

They always look at the glass as half full instead of half empty and bow down at you out of respect for the little you could do for them.

I have never seen – in all the years I have been working as a ticketing agent – Japanese travelers going wild in the amount of luggage they carry. They come to the airport well prepared and are never late for their flights.

Their groups are well organized. Each passenger is well groomed with a ticket in his hand and a suitcase that is within the allowable weight limit with him along with his passport.  No tension of whatsoever in the air. The interaction with them is all about friendliness, full cooperation, smile and a gentle bow at the end of the transaction.

I am certain that people of Japan will overcome this tragedy stronger than before with their heads high and with dignity and respect – the Japanese style.

Traveling With a Smile

I always volunteer to handle the Japanese groups whereas when other groups are involved, I am the last one to come forward. I came up with a list of excuses including stomach ache in order to avoid the hassles I have to deal with and the agony associated with.

“What do you mean my bag is overweight,” I need to speak to your supervisor whereas a Japanese passenger is never over the limit.

A passenger will sometimes hand you a doctor’s note demanding a free upgrade to business class seat. It is ironic to see a sane doctor who would write such a medical note. But perhaps the doctor writes it out of frustration in having to deal with such a trouble maker as he would do anything to have the patient leave his clinic and never come back.

Just because you are a tall person or you sleep well when you are in a luxury doesn’t entitle you a first class upgrade.

Japanese passengers never act irrational even when their flights are cancelled. A smile is always with them.

While I lose my hair in dealing with other passengers, I am at peace when checking in and boarding Japanese groups.

They resemble nothing but peace and harmony. They are understanding and patience – two important qualities that are missing in today’s hasty and impatient travelers.

At a ticketing agent, I get to deal with all kinds of people including those who make threats to blow up air planes or threaten to wait for me outside the airport because of flight cancellations or missing their connections.

No matter how difficult the situation might be, Japanese customers always control themselves.

We were told in the training to take a good care of the Japanese passengers. They don’t lose their coolness by yelling and cursing when they are upset as other passengers do.

Passengers who yell and curse usually never do anything besides the yelling. Once they vent out their frustration, they will come back the next day even though they swore that they will never fly with us. Whereas Japanese passengers will bow down at you even when you are nasty towards them   but their actions would speak louder than voice and you will not see them again at your doorstep. They will never compromise their dignity and they would not humiliate themselves.

My portrayal of the Japanese customers is not meant to put down all other communities. There are indeed bad apples in every community. Also, I am not trying to exaggerate about my experience with the Japanese people in order to make them feel them good in the face of the calamity they have to deal with.

It is my honest observation that is based on actual events and not to appease anyone.

I have always found them to be exceptional in their behavior and conducts.

My deepest condolences to people of Japan, to their families, and loved ones!

As they have shown profound superiority in their products and in their characters, I am certain that they will overcome this tragedy stronger than before with their heads high and with dignity and respect – the Japanese style.

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