Japan's Dream Drain

An expatriate's relationship with the host country is a shifting one, and during my eight years in Western Japan, I have run the whole gamut: Greenhorn-in-Wonderland, hyper critic, "Excuse-me-but-you're-standing-in-my-Japan," culture-intoxicatee. I am returning to the U.K. at the end of March, but, paradoxically, my tie with Japan is due to grow much stronger in mid-May when my wife gives birth and I become the father of an infant Japanese-Briton.

This prospect changes everything. Many long-term western expatriates in Japan inhabit an Edenic state of bourgeois affluence with no strings attached. We enjoy a comfortable lifestyle, yet remain untroubled...

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