Re: A news item and subject which I just want to check out (67) November 11, 2022

Today November 11, when I stream this Blog, is a good pun, and then after looking up whether today might be any anniversary, there were several things. For instance, “a day of healing” because it is “a good day”, “a day of battery” because of making battery+-look like “eleven in Japanese”, and so on. I did not know that, but in Japan not only “flower language and birthday flower” but also various “anniversaries” are set up every day. And if even for companies, organizations and individuals apply to “Japan Anniversary Association”, they can register unique anniversaries.
Incidentally, my birthday October 3 is “a mountain climbing day”. It is not my hobby, but I accepted that “I see” because of a good pun. I guess that it is interesting if you look up what your birthday is any anniversary on one occasion.

■■I had thoughts about various events and subjects this week, too.
■Attending the 2022 general meeting of “Institute for International Studies and Training”:
52 years ago, in October 1970, I was dispatched to “Institute for International Studies and Training (IIST)” as the second term trainee from the company where I used to work. It is located in Kamiide, Fujinomiya, Shizuoka Prefecture, and at an altitude of 900m. Under the purpose of nurturing “internationally-minded persons”, 120 persons dispatched from the public service, the business world, and the media had literally lived under the same roof for one year. Training facilities and the surrounding environment were splendid, and there was a famous place called “Shiraito Falls” and ruins of “Boys Tank Soldier School” during the Pacific War nearby. My life in which I watched Mt. Fuji changing its appearance from time to time up close every day was a lifetime unforgettable experience.
The contents of the training were study of languages, which were English and the second foreign language, and international economics. English teachers were mainly American companions working at the American pavilion of Japan World Exposition, Osaka1970. At that time, it was new for Japanese to contact with foreigners closely and to learn from native English speakers. And in the first two months, I was thoroughly trained by exposing myself to an English environment from morning till night until I could “talk in English in my sleep”.
After intensive English training, there was training of the second language for three months, and there were the courses of Russian, Spanish, French, and Chinese. It was before the normalization of diplomatic ties between Japan and China in 1972, and trainees were not interested in Chinese which I chose, and Chinese class was a small size of about 10 trainees. However, during the training period, since dramatic visit to China by Mr. Kissinger under president Nixon, so called Ping-pong diplomacy, in other words, US-China détente had started. It was very shocking for Japanese government because of “diplomacy of negotiating directly”. Because of that, it seems that trainees who chose Chinese increased by 3 times next year. I learned basic pronunciation and grammar, but I could not continue, because I was posted to the United States after that. It was a shame when I think back on it now.
By the way, during the training period, after visiting World Jamboree held in Gotenba in August 1971, the Crown Prince and Princess, the emperor emeritus and the empress emeritus at present, stopped by to observe the institute. At that time, I had an opportunity to exchange words directly with them about 5 minutes by chance, and it was featured extensively in the next day’s Shizuoka newspaper with a photo. It is also a nostalgic memory for me.
And as a conclusion of the training, there was overseas on-the-job training divided into several courses. I visited Europe and the United States. I remember that in New York, a small group of about five people was invited to lunch from RockefellerⅢ, and I tried hard to have a conversation in order to test the results of the training, but I felt strongly that “practically, I still have a long way to go”.
After that, this training institute closed, but not only “nurturing internationally-minded persons for globalization” which is the original purpose of the training but also a meaning of “exchange among different industries” gathered from various industries and companies and “improving through competition” were irreplaceable. When I see a decline in influence and a feeling of despair in Japan right now, I think that we need such horizontal connection or cooperation beyond the business in order to enhance the overall strength of the country.
22 people including me attended at the general meeting held in Tokyo on November 9. Most trainees with an average age of 28 at that time have been over 80 years old now. There are 18 people who have already passed away. I am really looking forward to that the meeting of the second term trainees will last for many years to come.

■The results of the U.S. midterm elections:
According to advance forecast, it was reported that the Republican Party predominated in both the Senate and the House of Representatives, but the Republican Party has no momentum predicted in advance, just because stressing the crisis of “democracy” by the Democratic Party in the final stage worked well. There are strong supporters of Ex-President Trump, and at the same time, it seems that “hidden anti-Trump” who does not appear on the surface is deeply rooted. In other words, there are people who support the Republican Party against the Democratic Party, but “do not like Trump”. For the above reasons, it seems to need more time to know the final results. In particular, in the Senate election in Georgia, both candidates fall short of 50 %, and by the rule, a decisive ballot will be held on December 6, and depending on the case, it is possible that the results of the elections will be decided after that.

≪P.S.≫ The infections of new coronavirus are increasing again, and a point of view that it is approaching “  the entrance of the eighth wave” is expanding. In Hokkaido, the number of cases became record high exceeding the seventh wave. The number of serious cases has been also increasing since late October. The infection is expanding from young people. On the other hand, the vaccination which is the key to reduce infection is not progressing.
Japanese government does not request restrictions on behavior and business restraint even if the infection will expand from now on, and the policy is centered on basic infection control measures such as wearing a mask, ventilation and so on.
At any rate, the coronavirus is persistent. Moreover, the flu epidemic is also a cause for concern. Considering the inconvenience and nuisance of being affected, the attitude of “protecting yourself” is important. Please take good care of yourself.

Other blogs