I think that what exactly is being criticized is important to look at first. I believe that the issue of culture is fair ground to be discussed amongst any human being. We all have valid opinions based on our own cultures looking at a different culture. Being informed helps of course and someone bashing a culture they are ignorant of is not going to result in any decent ground for discussion and/or further debate. That problem will take care of itself. Living in Japan myself, the problem I have is of foreigners who bash Japanese *people.* They are criticized for being less than honest, not very forward with their feelings, for being ethnocentric... the list goes on and on. The problem that I have is that most of the foreigners that do this criticizing cannot speak Japanese very well or at all. They rely on conversations in English to judge the Japanese people around them. I want to put them to the test... present yourself as honestly and as much as you can in Japanese (or any other language that you cannot speak very well for that matter) and be judged yourself. I find it very disturbing that people can judge someone based on conversations outside of their mother language. They need to make more of an effort to communicate in a way more comfortable to who they are speaking to to elicit a more realistic and honest answer.