A Japanese woman once explained why a Japanese would be reluctant to… accommodate a friendship with an expatriate. “If he asks you how long you intend to live in Japan and you say, ‘Ten years,’ you think that’s a really long time. But to him, a new friendship is not worth taking on if he knows you will move away in a decade.
(Michael Zielenziger, Shutting Out the Sun)
This quote really stood out to me recently. If true (and I think is is for many Japanese) it is one major reason long-term missionaries are needed in Japan. And it is a big part of why I am planning to stay here long-term, perhaps the rest of my life. Of course, the fact that I love it here and feel at home definitely helps, too.