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I wasn’t in Japan for long – only five days – but it was enough to appreciate the essence of the place. The country, as I had expected to discover, is a marvel; remarkable, thrilling, inspiring and blessed with so many natural advantages that it leaves one feeling furiously envious. The people I met were beautiful and ultra-civilised – if also slightly robotic. The climate was milder than I expected (having previously visited unbearably humid South Korea). The natural environment (and especially the trees) I found dazzlingly attractive. And though I am not a ‘weeaboo’ by any stretch of the imagination, I did come away with a newfound appreciation for manga and J-Pop (especially the bizarre girl-group AKB48 – seriously look them up).

I have, of course, always understood the Western fetish for East Asia and for Japan in particular. The appeal of homogenous, orderly and affluent societies to those stranded in multiculturalised urban jungles is perfectly obvious. Japan is a dream of faultlessness; a magical perfectionland, where the girls are thin and pretty, the IQs are through the roof and crime and disorder are almost entirely absent. Who could fail to be attracted to that?

It is revealing that many of the leading luminaries of the Western far-right have had personal experience of Japan. The current leader of the white nationalist British National Party (BNP) Adam Walker, for example, spent many years  there teaching English to children. Jared Taylor, leader of the neo-segregationist website American Renaissance, also spent many years living in the country and speaks the language fluently. This makes a lot of sense to me.

A Western citizen exposed to Japan for a considerable period of time will inevitably come to resent the fact that his or her own country has gone down such a different, self-destructive path. Why can’t England be like Japan? Why can’t London be like Tokyo? Exposure to Japan can by itself turn a liberal into a reactionary.

Of course, there is no new shift in policy available to us that can make England into Japan or London into Tokyo, and any effort to bring such changes about will be a failure (and a bloody one at that). This is because Japan has dodged the bullet of decline for reasons that are inherently Japanese.

First, Japan has always been insular. Indeed, prior to the Meiji restoration, Japan maintained the strictest policy of cultural isolation in human history, even at times forbidding its citizenry the right to leave the archipelago on pain of death. Second, Japanese people are, on average, smarter than Europeans by two to three IQ points. This is not an insignificant difference and it has real-world consequences. Finally, Japanese men have lower levels of testosterone than Europeans, meaning that libertinism, crimes of aggression (and increasingly even reproduction) are much rarer there than in other parts of the world.

Given that Europeans cannot become Japanese simply by changing national policy, those who (like Jared Taylor and Adam Walker) dream of importing Japanese advantages into the West are sadly deluded. The best we can do is envy them quietly and try not to get too depressed.