Re: International exchanges May 13, 2022 

In addition to working experience in the United States, I have worked together with various persons from foreign countries, mainly Asian countries such as China, India, and Vietnam. There were successful cases, but on the other hand, there were not successful matters. And while I was in great trouble, I sometimes drank a strong alcohol like Baijiu in China and fell flat, and talked with them about a life and shared human emotions. What I feel through these experiences is that the way to exchange with foreign people smoothly is nothing special, but is basically equal to between Japanese. I think that we find out where the differences in way of thinking or viewpoint of each other lie, and appreciate and accept the differences.

Of course, just to be able to speak a foreign language is not necessary nor sufficient as a true internationally-minded person. And if either one is going to adjust the other by force, the exchange does not last long. Even if race, religion, language, or political system is different, they understand each other once they frankly open their mind, in other words, with open-hearted mind. And the important thing is that they take off their armor, regardless of their position or rank. As fellow-men, open relationship is important.

Fortunately, I have had an opportunity to meet persons called worldwide rich men including head of state, such as the King, the chief of state, and the President. There are persons with whom I had a close relationship beyond their position. This is my treasure in my life. I sometimes felt their unapproachable atmosphere like an aura that I don’t have the word to describe, because I might be aware of invisible barrier named their status or authority. But once I get through something like their veils, the real image fond of human nature very much comes out in sight, and I notice that they are the same human beings anew. And such persons  always seek a time to communicate with persons other than daily followers.

Incidentally, I have had a close relationship with worldwide rich men, but you have not to compete with such persons in the way of money. Of course, it is impossible, and their mind is no longer aiming money. The important thing is, for instance, in case of present it should be a decent one even if it is humble. In other words, detailed consideration and sincerity for the other party. Expensive presents are not necessary, and it all depends on the intension. I think that half-way rich men tend to stick to monetary value.

In the United States, I had a very close relationship with an owner of frozen/chilled warehouse company both in business and personally. He spent his time in his principal residence in Omaha, Nebraska in summer, and in his second house in near Phoenix, Arizona where it is warm in winter, and between these houses he came and went by his private jet. I stayed at either house several times when I went to the United States. And he always grilled a steak for me by himself during my stay. I also played a golf with him at a golf course full of deserts and cactuses, and he happily showed me his vaunted guns collection too. He passed away several years ago, but his “thoughtful hospitality” is irreplaceable, and my happy memory I will never forget in my life.

I think that the important thing in regard to exchange with foreign persons is that without feeling various differences I dare to gain the other person’s trust in any case. There is nothing like speaking a language well, but even if you use body language you try to convey your feeling. Incidentally, I had served as an Honorary Consul of the Kingdom of Bhutan in Osaka for ten years until last July, but the necessary thing for Japan in the future is to deepen the exchange with foreign countries at the private level. If possible, I ask each Japanese to promote grass-roots international exchange more as if he becomes a real diplomat.

(P.S.) In Japan, an aging society with a low birthrate and declining population can’t stop.

According to Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, its population including 2.72 million foreigners was estimated to be 125.5 million, about 0.84 million lower compared to the previous year as of October 1, 2021. The decrease was 11 years in a row, and the decrease in width was a record high. And the percentage share of people aged 65 or older was 28.9 % which was a record high. On the other hand, the percentage share of children aged 15 or younger was a record low 11.8%. And working-age population aged from 15 to 64 was 74.5 million, and the percentage share was a record low 59.4%. Compared to 69.8% in 1992 at the peak, its percentage share was 10.4% lower, and labor shortage in the future can’t be avoided. And the number of births was about 0.83 million, 0.04 million lower compared to the previous year. By the way, in neighbor’s China declining birth rates also continues, but its number of births was about 10.62 million, 12.6 times larger than Japan, and in the United States it was about 3.6 million. This difference becomes obvious in future as the difference of national strength and economic power. Declining birth rates beyond our imagination will decrease the supporting population for social security system in future, and may shake the basis of burden and benefits. We can afford no further delay in countermeasures to the falling birth rat

Other blogs