I'm a native Japanese. I was born and raised in this country and lived here for most of my thirty something years of life.
There is one very sad story: I don't like Japan.
Typical Japanese people like unity and similarity whereas I like independent-minded people and individual differences. There are more reasons why I don't like my own country but I will not talk about them here.
"I like Japan" is a common reply when international artists are asked about their impression of Japan in an interview. They think they can impress Japanese fans by saying so.
Two things come up to my mind.
Firstly, I feel some kind of uneasiness because I don’t like my country. Also because the artists undoubtedly believe everybody loves their own country, which I think is wrong. Am I a bad person because I cannot like my country? Maybe so. But I cannot change who I am.
Secondly, do artists really know Japan? They are busy. Many of them just stay here for few days. Of course, there are some artists who extend their stay and do sightseeing or whatever they are interested in. However, most of them know nothing about how people live and work in this stressful country. I think Japan is not a comfortable and fulfilling place for passionate and curious artists like them.
Do they really like Japan?
Or, they say it only to please the fans?
Well, most of the fans are probably pleased with it, but I’m not.
However, I do appreciate it if the artists learned both good things and bad things about Japan and said they still like Japan. I feel even happy because they found a country they really like, whatever that country may be.
Even though I cannot like my own country, I want people from other countries (not only the artists but also tourists and expats) to enjoy Japan as much as they can. If they started liking this country, then that is great. Go for it. Learn more and experience more.
Saying "I like Japan" cannot make me happy but thank you very much for coming all the way to Japan and performing great music for us. Whatever you say, I still love you!!