Re: A news item and subject which I just want to check out (115) December 1, 2023

It is December already from today. It is a time when I suddenly feel hectic. And looking back over this year that is about to pass, all the things left to do come to mind.
By the way, when I see the water that is half left in the glass, it becomes choice between “glass half full” and “glass half empty”, and I think I would choose the latter. This may be called negative thinking or pessimism.
Regarding mindset and a way of thinking, there was a writing called “life changes with the way you think” on top of a commemorative bottle of whisky received as some celebration from the late Minoru Yamada, chairman of Daikin Industries, Ltd., who is the origin of the founding family quite a long time ago. I like this word. To put it differently, if you just don’t look at a thing from one side and change the angle and look at it from a different perspective, you will see a completely different world and idea. There are times when the worries of this and that are dispersed.

■■What I have thought recently:
■Major elections in the world and U.S. presidential election to be held next year:
Major elections in the world to be held next year are as follows. ①presidential election in the Republic of China in January ②presidential election in Indonesia in February ③presidential election in Russia in March ④presidential election of Mexico in June ⑤presidential election in the United States to be voted on in November.
In Japan, Prime Minster Kishida’s term of office for the president of the Liberal Democratic Party will expire in September next year and the term of office for the current members of the House of Representatives will expire in October 2025. Therefore, by then, elections for the members of the House of the Representatives will be held and the new Prime Minister will be elected. The reappointment of Prime Minister Kishida remains uncertain.
By the way, in the United States, campaigning for primary election selecting the presidential candidates for both the Democratic and Republican parties towards the presidential election in November next year has already started. For the time being, it looks like a one-on-one battle between current President Biden of the Democratic Party and former President Trump of the Republican Party. Frankly speaking, both candidates have their own serious problem, and many Americans express the sentiment that they don’t want to vote for either candidate.
By the way, there has been recently the potential to change significantly. Americans are looking for the third person being neither Biden nor Trump who combines the principles of the Democratic Party and the Republican Party and divides by 2. And as a candidate close to that, former ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley (Republican) has been in the spotlight recently. She is 51 years old much younger than other candidates and has topicality that she might be the first female president in the United States. She has had a political career as a governor of South Carolina and ambassador to the United Nations. As a presidential candidate of the Republican Party, former President Trump is the top at present and she and DeSantis, governor of Florida, are fighting for second place. In U. S. presidential election, financial power decides the fate, and in this regard, it seems that powerful financial supporters are rapidly increasing to assist her. Through such movement and my experience residing in the United States, I realize again that the United States is “a country where twists and turns and hustle and bustle debates boil over sometimes, but finally, a sense of balance based on democracy works by the principle of a pendulum without running to the extreme”.
Certainly, the United States has a lot of problem such as severe racism, about 48,000 deaths by gun in 2021, drug problems, income inequality and so on. When looking at U.S. society partially, you may think “Japan is better”. But when overlooking from the perspective of the “nation”, I feel that there is a big difference between the United States and Japan, more than the difference between “adult and child”. I don’t feel Japan has underlying strength creating advanced technology like the United States and dynamism of democratic capitalism in terms of economic power. In fact, Japan is showing the aspect of socialist capitalism now. I think this arises from differences in social systems including education and differences in social norms about “self-responsibility”.

■In China, respiratory diseases have increased rapidly, particularly among children:
According to World Health Organization (WHO) and Chinese media, respiratory diseases are prevalent in Beijing, Shanghai, Liaoning Province, Guangdong Province, Fujian Province and so on, and patients are swarming into the hospital. It is said that weakened immune system in people by “Zero-COVID policy” is one reason for inspection spread. For the time being, it seems that symptoms are not very serious, but the thing that China is as strong as ever in concealment multiplies the fears.
In China, it is said that the total number of people travelling within the country was 826 million during 8 consecutive holidays with the National Holiday and the Mid-Autumn Festival from September 29 to October 6 this year, increased by 4.1 % compared to before corona infection spread. Traveling abroad is also recovering in the world. As people move around, virus infections can rapidly spread. Human beings were finally released from new coronavirus lasted more than three years, but this is not the end of the story. It is important to prepare for the next pandemic that we never know when it will come again in peacetime.

■High-rise buildings in the world:
When looking at locations of the top 50 tallest super high-rise buildings classified as “finished” in the world as of 2023 by country and region, not surprisingly, China including Hong Kong has the highest number of 25, and far ahead of 8 in the United States and 4 in The United Arab Emirates (UAE). Japan ranks below 100th. Azabudai Hills Mori JP Tower (325m) opened on November 24 this year ranks 131st and Abeno Harukas (300m completed in 2014) ranks 216th. Incidentally, “Torch Tower” in front of Tokyo station scheduled to be completed in March 2028 is a building with a height of 385m. At present, the world’s tallest building is Burj Khalifa with a height of 828m completed in 2010 in Dubai, UAE. But I have not visited it yet. The pioneer of high-rise building (taller than 100m) in Japan is Kasumigaseki Building with a height of 147m completed in 1968. Now it is just an ordinary and inconspicuous building, but when I first reached the top floor on 36th level in my youth, I remember being amazed at “how tall it was”, because there were no buildings to compare in the neighborhood.

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