For argument's sake, let us suppose that we were recruiting foreigners to teach their native language to us: what criteria would we maintain under the circumstances? Would we look at their educational backgrounds, their teaching experience and how suited their personalities are to dealing with our student groups, or would we base our choice primarily on their having blond hair and blue eyes, as is all too common in East Asia? If we followed the latter course of action, should we be in the least surprised if a disproportionate share of the people we recruit seem to be the dregs of the societies from which they originate? What about the tens of millions of Europeans who have blond hair and blue eyes but don't speak a word of English? To understand how nutcases like John Mark Karr can make viable careers out of teaching English in East Asia, one need look no further for an explanation than such peculiar recruiting criteria.
To be fair, from what I gather, nowadays Japan is by no means as bad as certain of its neighbors in terms of racist hiring in the teaching sector - at least if you're black and not, say, American of Chinese descent - and the very fact that this makes the news at all says something in itself, as "blond hair and blue eyes" is so common a requirement in certain countries I shall not name as to be completely unnewsworthy. Still, having said this much, incidents like this do speak to a widespread and deep-seated inferiority complex in Japan and the rest of that part of the world which I would find deeply embarassing if I were Japanese: 日本人にとって、こんなに白人を崇拝するのは恥ずかしくない？「金髪なら、誰でも良い」の考え方はただ人類差別じゃなくてむしろ日本人の劣等感「いわゆる白人コンプレックス」の印です。You see evidence of this complex everywhere you look in Japan, from ads packed with foreign stars paid millions to do work they would never permit to be seen at home (a tendency lampooned in "Lost in Translation"), to mannequins with blond hair and blue eyes (and never any other non-Japanese color), to fashion magazines plastered with the faces of white men even at the expense of native Japanese males, to stupid women looking for any white guy to knock them up so they can have "haafu" babies ("choo kawaii!"), to desperados eager to tell any Western heffer with a dye job that she's the most beautiful thing they've ever laid eyes on in their lives - on and on and on it goes. It would be one thing if this were a third world country we were talking about, but what makes it particularly dismaying is that Japan is now richer than many of the nations it spent so long trying to catch up to, and yet the inferiority complex shows no evidence of vanishing. If having the second or third largest economy in the world makes no difference to such thinking, I don't see how anything will, and as long as this mentality pervades ESL teaching in Japan, English learning in Japanese schools will continue to be a joke, while establishments like Nova will never be anything more than glorified meeting places for horny Western layabouts/performing monkeys and Japanese women looking for gaijin boyfriends.