The end of globalisation

When I started my career in the late 1990s, my employer encouraged us to have a global mind to cope with Japan’s recession so-called “the lost decade”. By 2000, the words “global” and “globalisation” were used as the keywords — and sometimes buzzwords — for surviving the upcoming new millennium, followed by the dot-com bubble. My coworkers and I were pressured to raise TOEIC scores, to learn SWOT analysis, MECE, and other terms of logical thinking, to abandon obsolete Japanese work style and get accustomed to global — in many cases American — way of thinking. 

In 2006, those ideas were changed. Seeing the Livedoor scandals and accompanying downfall of dot-com millionaires, Japanese people found out that the American way did not work. Instead, they began taking a second look at their own country and reviewing the good things of it. The company I worked for focused on the products for domestic customers rather than overseas ones, with “the Japan quality” as its corporate philosophy.

Starting 2010s, people’s inward-oriented views were changing into global again. Japanese enterprises were going out overseas, not only to the United States at that time but to the Third World such as India, China, Russia, Brazil and Southeast Asian and African countries. I had more and more opportunities to get involved in the services offered to such customers going to those countries in order to meet their needs and demands.

The first half of 2010s was the years of transportation. Low cost carriers helped people fly abroad at low air fares. Everywhere you can see people travelling to and from all over the world on a regular basis.

Yet you see that people’s favour of the global-oriented mind or the local-oriented one swings from side to side every five or six years. That being the case, such a globalised world will come to an end shortly. The event that happened this week in the United Kingdom showed that the most symbolically. The referendum determined the UK to leave the European Union it had joined in 1973. Other European countries like France, Italy and Spain begin the preparation of such referendum whether they should leave or remain the EU by some people tired of enormous numbers of immigrants from the Middle East and accompanying terrorist attacks occurring inside Europe. 

Likewise, in the United States, Donald Trump, saying that a wall should be built on the border to shut out Mexicans and Muslims, has the enthusiastic support by the conservative and relatively poor American population. Even Hillary Clinton, one of the rival candidates of Trump, says that she is against the US to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership. In Japan, some nationalistic extremists carrying patriotic flags with them are making a hate speech on the street, saying that the people from neighbouring countries should get out of Japan and go back to their own country.

I think that now is the turning point of the era and there will be no more “globalised World” from now on. People of each country will pay attention only inside their own country. A dispute or, in some cases, an armed clash may begin between some countries. Such an era will last five or six years, at least Trump or Clinton’s presidential term. What we can do right now might be to look on such the World and to have as many options as possible to be able to cope with the future fluctuation of circumstances.

Paju English Village

Market Street
Visiting England is one of the things I want to do in the future. I planned a trip there in the middle of September. I purchased air tickets to and from London, and booked hotels there. To my sorrow, however, I was forced to cancel all of the reservations because of hectic work I had for almost two years. The British Hills is one of its alternatives, but I get tired of it as I visited there many times. One day I heard that there was such a place in South Korea mocking English streets. That’s why I visited South Korea this month, though I don’t understand Korean at all.
Continue reading “Paju English Village”

May peace prevail on Earth – September 11

Today is one of unforgettable days in world history. Nine years ago the terrorist attacks changed not only America but everything in the world. Since that day freedom of our activities in the U.S. and other countries including Japan has been strictly limited.

Amateur 9/11 Footages
I hope political leaders of the world to take actions altogether to bring back peace. And I hope them to let us do anything we want, go anywhere with less restrictions, save and invest money in banks anywhere, and buy anything in any stores worldwide.

The new age for change

Congratulations, Barack, on your inauguration to become a new US President today, and on having a chance to create a new, powerful, cheerful and great era for the United States, and for the rest of the world!
Barack, I want you to make the best efforts to create a more peaceful country not only for American citizens but also for the people of the other countries. I urge you to open the door so that we have easier access to the United States and so that foreigners who love America can have more chances to study at a school or to get a job there. And, as a netizen, I also hope you to make the internet world as free, exciting, and open to many people, Americans or foreign people, as in the era of Bill Clinton.
May America keep being good friends with Japan, one of the strong allied countries.

Fever in Obama

From CNN:

They may well get excited, because they can earn a great deal of money from visitors to Obama City for at least four years from now. This might be one of Japan’s national benefits Obama Administration will bring to us.

What will Obama do for Japan?

This afternoon media announced that Barack Obama had made history. He’s going to be the first Black US President in American history, as well as the President from the Democratic Party which has not sent the President for eight years.
Whichever will become the next US President, Obama or McCain, as a Japanese citizen our big concern is whether the new President will treat us well or not. We are afraid that Japan’s national benefit might be somewhat impaired by the Democratic administration. Unlike Republicans, governors and congresspersons from the Democratic Party have treated Japan coldly in the past. We are anxious about the so-called “Japan passing” attitude coming up again. We’ll never forget that, when the former President Bill Clinton visited China in 1996, he “ignored” to see Japan and returned home without dropping in.
Our national security is also an important issue. There are several countries of which we need to be cautious, including China and North Korea. The current President Bush, apart from his other policies, has been playing an important role together with Japan’s Prime Ministers to keep the Asia-Pacific area still safe and secured, with great influence over those countries. On the other hand, seeing that the Democrats will be dominant in American government and congress, we wonder how much the United States will help us to protect our country from those “dangerous” countries. How much will Obama Administration be cooperative to save abducted people out of North Korea?
Nevertheless, however much we feel uneasy about Obama’s policies, Japan can’t live without the United States. We have no other options but to keep up with America’s way. All Japan has to do is to keep good relationships with the US, and, more than that, to make its best efforts not to be “ignored” by America and the other countries in the rest of the world.

US presidential election has begun

Now people are lining up to vote for America’s next presidential candidate in every state. If Barack Obama wins, he will be the first African-American US President. If John McCain wins, Sarah Palin will be the first female US Vice President.
I can’t poll because I don’t have US citizenships, but it’s my big concern which will win the race, because Japan’s future depends a great deal on how the new President will handle the United States.
The first polls will close in less than an hour. Hope no troubles will occur in the vote.

Election of Osaka Prefecture’s governor

Today people of Osaka Prefecture are voting a candidate of the governor of Osaka Prefecture. The candidates include Toru Hashimoto, an attorney, Sadatoshi Kumagai, an ex-professor of Osaka University, and Shoji Umeda, an attorney.
Hashimoto seems to be of great advantage to others because he often appears on TV and is the most well-known to people. But, in my personal feelings, I want Kumagai to win the election, because I had his “circuit theory” seminar when I was a university student 15 years ago and I’m familiar with him very much.
Actually anybody is ok as I’m not an Osaka resident and I don’t have the right to vote.