There's an interesting post on Japanese culture by Thomas Lifson at The American Thinker - an answer to Ed West's question "why is there no looting in Japan?" (about 3,400 comments and still rising - must be some sort of record). The author, who has lived in Japan, is not writing a piece about immigration, but this passage struck me :
"There is little urban anonymity. When I first lived in Japan on a work visa and had my own apartment in a residential neighborhood of Tokyo, in 1971, I was paid a friendly visit by a local policeman. It was a completely routine matter: police are required to keep track of every resident of their beats, and they want to know the basics, such as your work, your age, and your living circumstances. In my circumstances, immigration papers were also of concern, but for Japanese, it would be the koseki, a mandatory official family record kept on a household basis, reporting births, acknowledgements of paternity, adoptions, disruptions of adoptions, deaths, marriages and divorces. Every Japanese is not just an individual, he or she is officially is a member of a household (ie), and the state keeps track."First of all, imagine the police in London, Bradford or Birmingham doing this ? I can't, either. They'd need backup.
Secondly, imagine keeping this kind of household record for the UK underclass, with the serial partners and fathers. Imagine the Copper or Inspector Gadget doing the interview and getting the whole tale of who did what to whom.
Not that I want to live in a society like that, mind. But the beauty of antediluvian Britain was that we didn't need the officer's clipboard to police ourselves. But "the fewer internal controls, the more external control there will be". Britain's internal, unspoken controls aren't what they were.
Remember, this is a huge capital city, a financial and industrial hub, not a small town. Another anecdote :
"Following the gathering of my information, the policeman no doubt returned to his local substation (koban), which are found every few blocks in urban areas, to record the information for his colleagues. To an American it seemed quite extraordinary, a violation of privacy. But in Japan a lack of anonymity is the norm.
Soon after the beat cop's visit to me, local merchants began nodding to me as I walked to and from the train station, as if they knew me and acknowledged me. I was fairly certain the word had gone out via omawari san (literally, the honorable gentleman who walks around, a polite colloquial euphemism for the police) that I was a Japanese-speaking American in Japan on legitimate, respectable grounds. For a year or so, I was a member of the community."
Again, you could imagine that in the low-crime Golden Age That Never Was. But now ? The police would never have the time and would probably think you were taking the mick.
"... most contemporary Japanese have internalized a deep respect for private property, that is manifested in a ritual of modern life for children, one which we might do well to emulate. When a child finds a small item belonging to another person, even a one yen coin, a parent takes the child to the local koban and reports lost property. As chronicled by T.R. Reid in his wonderful book about living in Tokyo, Confucius Lives Next Door, the police do not resent this as a waste of time but rather see it as part of moral education, solemnly filling out the appropriate forms, thanking the child and telling him or her if the owner does not appear to claim the item, it will revert to the finder after a certain period of time."
We had, once, the happy state where internal social controls (conscience, shame, self-esteem - 'we just don't do that') were so strong that external controls were not terribly visible or terribly intrusive. Japan make assurance doubly sure with strong internal AND external controls.
"Perhaps more successfully than any other people of the world, the Japanese have evolved a social system capable of ensuring order and good behaviour."