Maritime trade had shifted from general cargo to containerization in early nineties. Container terminals were being built all over the world. Although an effort was made by PQA to build a container terminal at port Qasim through private sector but it couldn’t take off due to technical reasons. I was selected for training on containerization in Japan in 1993. This opportunity provided me with an insight of Japan and its people. Japanese are the unique band of people who are fond of working and can be labeled as workaholic in real sense of the word. Interestingly, there was a debate going on in Japanese print media during those days. Japanese women hated their male counterparts as they were not faithful husbands and they preferred to stay late at their work places and didn’t have time to spend with their wives and their families. This was height of their addiction to work, which may seemingly appear as a positive sign but the researchers had discovered negative impact of it. They were of the opinion that since Japanese men didn’t take enough rest essential for revitalization of their brain and other vital organs of their body, their intelligence level (IQ) and their creativity had dropped down to an alarming level. To overcome the situation, they had recommended compulsory leave at the end of every year. But the Japanese were not interested to go on leave and preferred to work instead. This was a climax of their tendency and dedication to their work with no parallel anywhere in the world.
As opposed to that, Pakistanis were interested more in their wives than the work, and compared with Japanese people they were standing at opposite end of the pole, as an anticlimax to Japanese men.
There were a number of Pakistanis who had come to Tokyo, the capital city of Japan, for training on various subjects offered by JICA (Japan international cooperation agency). My old friend Sardar Jung from PQA was also undergoing training on the subject of hydrography. All of us used to live in a hostel situated near railway station by the name of Hatagaya. I have now heard that they have shifted their center to Chiyoda. In the evening we used to have cup of tea together. There couldn’t have been a better topic than the one, which was hot in print media and on tv networks during those days. Sardar Jung was an innocent religious and shy type of a person hailing from a Pakhtoon family. We would tell him that Japanese women were fond of men who were interested in their wives and not in work. And with that yardstick in hindsight, Pakistani men were ideally suited to Japanese girls. Out of humour we would tease Sardar Jung and tell him:
“You place your hand on any Japanese girl whom you like. And we will propose a marriage plan to her parents and seek her hand for you.”
My friend Sardar Jung would blush and would attempt to hide his face. And we never understood whether his silence was in agreement with our proposal or otherwise. Although he was already married and had three children, but who cares, as Muslims are permitted to keep four wives at a time. While I write these lines, I recall those glorious days in Japan full of fun and excitement.
One of my old acquaintance and my namesake Abdul Razzaq Memon from Hala, Sindh, had married a Japanese girl and he would often say that Japanese women were proven as the most faithful wives in the world. There is a famous phrase that the taste of pudding lies in eating it, but we refrained from eating the pudding. Pudding is welcome but its aftershocks are horrifying.
Besides being workaholic, Japanese people are studded with sterling qualities of being most humble, sincere and honest. These are the qualities embedded in religion of Islam. Sadly, Muslims have lost their virtues and as a result they have fallen down from grace to the lowest ebb of humanity. The Japanese depict the true face of Islam although they are far away from any religion.
If you happen to have dropped your wallet or your valuables on the roadside or a public place in Tokyo or anywhere in Japan, you need not worry about it. You can always go back to the place where you think you may have lost your valuables, and in all probability, you will find your belongings intact and untouched. But if you don’t get them there, you still need not worry as someone may have deposited these with the nearest police station, and you can get them from there without going through a big hassle of the type we encounter at our police stations in Pakistan.
This actually happened to one of our course mates. We were almost at the end of our training programme and had started our last-minute shopping spree. Our Muslim friend Hassan from Algeria, me and two other friends went to Akihabara, a place in Tokyo famous for shopping of electronic goods. Hassan spent all savings that he had made during the tour, in one go. I too had purchased a Gameboy, a new version of the type of Nintendo games, as demanded by my son Sikandar Razzaq. We were on our way back to our hostel and had to change the train at Shinjuku junction, the biggest and busiest railway station of Tokyo. As our train reached the platform, we boarded the train. Hassan was a bit late and when we asked him to be quick before the doors were closed, he too hurriedly boarded the train. As the train left the platform, he realized that he had left all his belongings at the station. We were all saddened and decided to take another train from next station and return to Shinjuku. On our return we didn’t find the shopping bags at the place where Hassan had left them. As a last resort we went to their “lost and found” section, and lodged our report. The officer in-charge noted the telephone number of our hostel and assured us that we will soon be informed of our lost baggage, and he was sure that the baggage would be recovered unless it was picked up by any Iranian.
It is a pity that Iranians were engaged in notorious activities in Japan and the Japanese people had hatred for Iranians in particular, and Muslims in general. We are to blame ourselves for such a situation and our bad deeds have brought bad name to our religion. The Iranians were a real menace and had posed a threat to law-and-order situation of Tokyo city.
After lodging our complaint, we returned to our hostel only to find a message at the reception desk that Hassan’s baggage had been found. And when Hassan checked his bag, he found out that everything was intact and there was nothing missing. Such is the character of Japanese nation. Through their hard work, dedication, sincerity and honesty, this nation, which was devastated by atom bombs in world war two, is economically on top of the world. They have invaded the world market in electronic goods and automobiles through their hard earned labour and their unique qualities of honesty, sincerity of purpose and dedication to work.