Two Countries Of Paradox – Japan and Jamaica

I couldn’t help but notice the many paradoxes between Jamaica and Japan. The only two countries that I’ve ever lived in. Lets start with Japan.

The Japan Paradox 

Low Crime / High Suicide Rate

Japan is one of the most peaceful countries in the world with an extremely low crime rate. But on the flip side, for over 14 years now, the suicide rate has been steady at over 30,000 suicides per year.

Hi Technology / Ancient Buildings

When you are talking about technology, you are talking about Japan. Many name brand electronic/technology companies are right here (Toshiba, Sharp, Panasonic, Nintendo,
Sony – which are all having trouble by the way). BUT, try going into a bank to set up an account and you will notice the amount of paper work involved. You would think that because of the hi-technology, paper would be minimized. Nope, more papers. Also, 2 steps away from any modern looking sky scraper, you can find a castle, shrine or temple that has been around since the ancient Egyptians were searching for the stones to build the sphinx.

Shy / but not so shy

Japanese tend to be terribly shy about speaking of love and stuff like that. But love hotels (places to go and have sex secretly at a price) are quite abundant. Especially in the Tokyo area. And No I’ve never been to one.

Shy Japanese
Love Hotels – Who are using them???

Love foreigners / Hate foreigners

There is a big love/hate thing going on with Japan and other foreign countries, especially the US. Some Japanese are really excited to see and talk with a foreigner. While on the flip side, some hate our guts. Leave it to Japan to put your self-esteem in check. The hyper xenophobia is everywhere. Just step out of your apartment and you will see stares in abundance. Most times not friendly stares. If you don’t have a strong mind and will, this alone can drive you nuts.

The Jamaica Paradox

Most Churches per Square Mile / Most bars per square mile

Stand anywhere in Jamaica, and you can be sure that a church is not too far away. But at the same time there is always a bar not too far away either. We have the most churches per square mile in the world, as well as the most bars per square mile.

With that type of coverage — an estimated 2.75 churches for every square mile of Jamaica, according to The Guiness Book of World Records — you would think we would be a country that vibrated on a high moral frequency, where respect and love for our fellow man were the order of the day.
Sadly, that is not the case, for we are also #87 out of 180 on Transparency International’s Corruption Index of 2010, a ranking of countries according to the degree to which politicians and public officials are perceived to be corrupt.

Out of many one people / Black, Green and Gold Flag

We have a motto in Jamaica which is also written on our coat of arms, saying “Out of many one people

It means basically that we have many races of people living in Jamaica, but we are all one. We have Chinese, Africans, Syrians, Jews, Indians,Whites and any other race you probably can think of. But the vast majority of us are of African decent and mostly dark skinned or black!!. Hence the black in the Jamaican flag. Why did they use only black in the flag if the motto is “out of many one people“?

Christian Country/ High Murder rate

Jamaica is said to be a Christian country. Well when compared to other religions, Christianity is indeed the dominant religion. If there are so many churches, then why is the crime in Jamaica so high? Even though the crime is concentrated in certain “hot” areas, it is still too much for comfort. There are 2 possible takes on this:

1) The church is not doing enough (which is the stance most people looking on has taken)

2) If the church wasn’t around, then the crime would be 10 times worse. (This I don’t want to imagine)

The Poor buy the most expensive stuff

Some persons living in the most poverty stricken areas in Jamaica, wear the most expensive, name brand clothes etc. Then at times, these same guys/girls are asking for money.

Contributed by Dave Collymore: Visit his blog at:

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