Sunday, May 4, 2008

Opening and Closing

One country is ready to open it's doors, while another fights to get them closed. Japan is passing a new law that will make it easier to get a long-term visa for certain professionals and people that have a high level of Japanese language proficiency. The hope is that they will be able to increase the number of foreigners that come into the country based on current economic and cultural trends. (ie: the lack of births happening recently in Japan.)

South Korea, on the other hand, is fighting against their own government to close the door in the face of the United States. Not all of it, however. The South Korean government has made moves to re-open trade of United States beef, after it banned the importation of it in 2003 after mad-cow disease struck the US. The general public of S. Korea is protesting against this change, over irrational fear that this will cause unnecessary grief and illness to the people of South Korea. The U.S. government is starting to get involved and are releasing statements on the strict health codes that beef must go through internationally. While the S. Korean government is trying to get the people on their side. The entire incident threatens to create anti-American feelings in much of the country.

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