It is not so much the rise of terrorism as the ‘rise of Islam’ that Japan sees as a problem, and the distinction between Islam and extremist organisations such as Isis is often missed altogether
Earlier last month I was strolling through a park in downtown Tokyo, when a child suddenly caught sight of me and screamed – “Daddy, daddy! It’s a gaijin!” – running to his father in abject terror. Many living in Tokyo can report similar episodes. Living here, you just take it for granted that quite a few people are going to treat you very differently because you don’t look Japanese.