To Youngsters

I went to go to a famous pizza restaurant in Azabujyuban called Savoy the other day with my niece.  We kept saying, “Very tasteful!” with every dish that we ordered.  For those who had not been there, I recommend to try at least once.  However, you might want to make a reservation to keep the seats as the place is quite small.


My niece became a sophomore of a university this April and I felt that she became more mature since I last saw her more than a year ago.  Has she been study hard?  Well, unfortunately, I did not feel that way.  This is something that I have been thinking for a long time but why students at Japanese universities do not study hard and this has been the “norm” of university students in Japan for quite some time: Even my time, when I was a student at a college in Japan, people tend to say that university is not a place to study but to learn about the social world.  Is that so?  It looks like many of them are simply playing around spending their parents’ money.  Is playing the means to learn about social world?  I don’t think so.  I advice her “Study first. If you have some more time, then enjoy the time with your friends”.


There is an entire world out there, youngsters.  Have you ever thought about the positioning of your own country?  When I said this, my niece, quietly listening what I had been talking, asked me suddenly.  “Auntie, why did President Obama come to visit Japan?”

Good question!


She did understand that President Obama came to Japan not for sightseeing.  As a matter of fact, I was relieved to hear this question from her.  Am I too optimistic about my own niece?  Related to the question, I talked to her in a simple way about 1) Importance of Japan-U.S. Security Agreements related to recent frictions among China, Korea and Japan, 2) Japanese economy after the economic bubble bust and Abenomics, 3) TPP negotiations, 4) Foreign investors’ dominance of Japanese stock market, 5) Yasukuni Shrine issues, and so on.  Gradually, a smile from her face was faded away.  I, myself, was a bit surprised to reconfirm that Japan never had come back from the bubble burst EVEN before my niece was born!  I felt miserable to face this fact again.


Youngsters in20’s and 30’s, have you ever discussed with your friends at least one single issue from the above 5 items?


“Study English harder,” I said to my niece.  “Please find out the position of your own country and become a person who can discuss constructively with people from abroad.”  I am not sure if she understood what I mean but she suddenly said, “Auntie, I would like to go to a book store to buy books about how to learn English” at a bar in Grand Hyatt Hotel drinking non-alcohol cocktail close to 10 p.m..  Fortunately, as we were in Roppongi area, there is one book store open until almost midnight near the Roppongi Cross Road.  Once we purchased what she selected, we hop on the bus heading toward Shibuya.  She was immediately started to read the book.  I was quite happy seeing her reading it so enthusiastically.  Hope she continues to read it.


This is not the message that I want to transmit to my own niece but to all youngsters who will build this country in the future.  I strongly request youngsters to think your own ways to protect our beautiful country with full of marvelous culture and tradition, by appropriately picking up the right information, without being defeated by any types of pressure from abroad and without being misunderstood by other countries in the world.

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