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It is OK to Love Your Country

The other day I met a new friend. My friend said that they went to Canada a few years ago. They said that they LOVED Canada. They said that Canada was the best country in the whole world. They loved everything about Canada. They loved the maple syrup. They loved the ice hockey. They loved the Rocky Mountains. They loved all of it.

I was very surprised. Of course because I am a Canadian I love my country. I think that maple syrup is ok on pancakes. I like ice hockey too. But I don’t love winter. I don’t love the long hard terrible cold winters of Canada. I don’t love some of the trouble we have in Canada too. Sometimes I think that maybe I forgot a little about why Canada is a good place.

And also recently I met a friend who said that Japan was not good. They said that Japan was a bad place, that Japan was not international-minded, that Japan was slow and not cool.

It was my turn to be excited about Japan and to explain why I think Japan is great and why I love to live in Japan. Many foreigners who come to Japan feel the same way.

Here are TWENTY reasons why Japan is super cool.

One: You have the Shinkansen. In English we call them bullet trains. We don’t have these in Canada.
Two: Japanese manners are great. People are so super polite.
Three: Japanese food is delicious, and healthy. You have great rice.
Four: People around the world love Japanese games. Japan is the game center of the world.
Five: Hiroshima. Hiroshima is a great memorial to the world that we must never have nuclear war ever again.
Six: Cherry Blossoms. Everyone loves cherry blossoms.
Seven: Kyoto. Kyoto is one of the greatest cities in the world. Full of history and culture. It’s amazing.
Eight: Japanese anime is popular all over the world and growing bigger every day.
Nine: Onsen. Everyone loves to sit in a beautiful warm onsen. It is like sitting in heaven. Wonderful.
Ten: Japan is super clean. In Canada we can see garbage all over the street. Not Japan. It is so clean here.
Eleven: Japanese temples and shrines are beautiful. The architecture is amazing. The systems of Shinto and Buddhism are also very interesting.
Twelve: UNESCO world heritage sites. Japan has many, many UNESCO World Heritage Sites. I hope to see all of them.
Thirteen: Sumo. Sumo is incredible. There is no sport like it in the world. Foreigners love to watch sumo.
Fourteen: Kabuki. There is no kind of drama in the world like Kabuki. Amazing.
Fifteen: Japan has a very, very low crime rate. Many people feel very safe to live and visit Japan.
Sixteen: Hokkaido. Hokkaido has great cheese, milk, and cookies. It is a wonderful open space to experience winter sports.
Seventeen: Okinawa. The culture and food and beaches of Okinawa are wonderful. Also Okinawa’s sanshin is a wonderful sound.
Eighteen: Manga. Japanese manga are unique in style and stories and characters.
Nineteen: Education. Japan is highly ranked in the world for excellent education. Japanese students are smart.
Twenty: People. Japanese people from the eyes of foreigners like me are very kind, and gentle, and cool. Everyone I know in Canada wants to have a Japanese friend. It’s true.

So, there you have it. Twenty reasons why your country is wonderful. Of course, no place is perfect. No country is perfect. But maybe you for Japan and me for Canada should do our best to save and protect our good parts in our countries and share them with the world. Love your country. It is the only one you have, and it is yours.