by Ewa Nowogorski
People of authority are those in the government and in government positions that give them power to exercise control over you in some way. Of course, this includes politicians and policemen, but this can also extend to people who have some sort of special knowledge, like a doctor or professor. These highly skilled people are a bit different from the average people in society, and I would like to discuss how these people of authority treat people of lower status.
Starting with politicians, I have never met one myself so I cannot say much from personal experience, but according to a poll asking nationals about their confidence in the Japanese government in 2019, it seems that over 90% of people were confident in and trusted ther government. This must mean that people at least trust the government to make decisions that will favor them.
Police in Japan can be strict with certain rules, but they are generally incredibly kind and modest. When they stop you for a violation, no matter how small, they will never blow up at you. They will try to empathize with the reason you may have been breaking the law, and explain to you calmly why you shouldn’t have done what you did. They treat everyone equally, and the way they talk to you may almost sound like the way one talks to a child sometimes.
Doctors and professors in Japan are infamous for being very pompous and authoritative. Doctors expect you to listen to them and to not question their judgements. They supposedly get extremely upset when you try to do so, and they are sometimes dismissive about your symptoms when you go to them for help. Professors are really a hit or miss, but Japanese universities are commonly thought of to be a complete joke. Professors do not really teach too much, and since they also have done a lot of research and probably published many papers and even books, they see themselves as very intelligent and demand respect for their accomplishments. They might sometimes look down on students who are not as accomplished as themselves.