The Brave Cherry Blossoms
I did a post last night covering the Japanese team with score predictions and @gooddeam made a comment so I thought I would do a post highlighting Japan as having to be treated slightly differently from other Nations. We know most Nations candy coat figures and I wouldn't be surprised if Japan is actually further down the curve than most might think.
The Japanese rugby team is more like an international mix of all sorts. The Japanese nation has embraced the team though as every player speaks their language and respects their customs. The 31 man squad is comprised of a Korean, South Africans,Australians,New Zealanders,Samoans, Tongans and of course Japanese players.
8th in the World rankings now.
The Japanese have come to realise that in today's modern society they need to welcome as many foreigners to their country as they have a population in decline. The population is out of balance and top heavy with older people versus the young generations. at the beginning of 2019 Japan had 124.78 million Japanese nationals which is a drop of nearly half a million from the year before.
Huge population growth and then a massive decline. It has left tens of thousands of unwanted properties and something the Japanese need to live with.
Non Nationals coming to live and work in Japan rose by over 160 000 taking the number to over 2,6 Million which is over 2% of the population. The highest it has ever been in Japan's history. The people of Japan understand for Japan to carry on being the nation they are they need to attract foreigners from all walks of life. I think 20 years ago this rugby team wouldn't have been so openly accepted so it shows times are changing.
Japan is a proud nation and the simple things have won over the harshest critics. The players sing the National Anthem with pride and it shows the public that they are playing for them. I think what has won over the people is that these players aren't just representing Japan, but have taken on the role of being Japanese. I haven't tried it, but I don't think Japanese is an easy language to learn and knowing their customs would also be tricky. The commitment to do all those things I think has earned them the right to be in the team. They are definitely contributing positively to the Japanese society.
Some of the older Japanese see it similar to the days between 1930 and 1945 where Japan invaded other countries in the Asian region and had "volunteers" join the Japanese Army. The big plus for Korea Japanese relations is the one Korean player in the squad as it is like having Korea in the World Cup as well.
This must have been hard for the Japanese to accept at first and hope the Japanese make it to the Quarter Finals at least. I wouldn't like to see this repeated in a host of other countries as I don't think it is overly right. I think this though is different and could be good for the game overall as it may inspire a new generation of Japanese rugby players.