Re: My thoughts on the 100th issue of the blog streaming (100) July 21, 2023

 Severe heat continues every day and how are you doing? The Meteorological Agency has added “an extremely hot day” with the temperature of 35 degrees Celsius or higher to “weather forecast terminology” in addition to “a hot summer day” with the highest temperature of 30 degrees Celsius or higher since April 2007. According to statistics for 13 locations across the country, average annual days of extremely hot days per location over 30 years from 1993 to 2022 is 2.7 days, increased by about 3.5 times compared with from 1910 to 1939. Global warming is becoming increasingly serious now.

By the way, I retired and left Konoike Transport Co., Ltd. where I had served as chairman and president for 32 years at the general meeting of shareholders held in June 2021, and resigned from all positions in logistics. And I established “Tsuji Business Support Office” on July 1 of the same year, and it has already been two years. I started the blog streaming on every Friday once a week in principle at the same time, and this article marks the 100th anniversary.

My motive for setting up “Tsuji Business Support Office” two years ago at the age of 78 in the first place is that I want to pass my knowledge and experience gained through business practice in Japan and abroad over 50 years and what I learned from my connections to the younger generation. I don’t know to what extent this goal is being achieved, but I am in good health right now. It was a fulfilling two years for me. For instance, I have accepted an outside director position and so on from several companies, and served as a lecturer on various occasions, and contributed poor writing and so on.

Incidentally, as a support role of my office, there are Mr. S who is a former colleague of Konoike Transport Co., Ltd. and serving as a senior assistant, and Mr. I who is in charge of English translation of the blog.

Mr. S is handling all the general affairs work and as I mentioned in the previous issue, he became a senior citizen two years ago, but does not neglect blood donation every year and seems to continue until he is eligible to 69 years old. And he is checking manuscript of the blog made by me, and sometimes discuss expressions and terms heatedly.
And Mr. I who is undertaking English translation of the blog had joined Konoike Trasport Co., Ltd. from a banker, and has plenty of overseas experience and his English ability is outstanding.
He had translated my letters into English and interpreted between me and very important persons for a long time and had assisted my duty of Honorary Consul of the Kingdom of Bhutan in Osaka for 11 years. He conveys subtle nuances well in a flowing manner. He finishes English translation of the blog which I would struggle all day in the blink of an eye. He is living freely in Tokyo and cooperating in the form of telework.

By the way, looking back at the last two years, we have experienced two major events that happen “once in 100 years” or so. Needless to say, these are spread of the new coronavirus and Russia’s invasion into Ukraine.
Differences between countries about the response to the corona disaster were striking. And the weakness of digitalization delay has been exposed in Japan. Japan is still suffering from this problem as an aftereffect, and it also affects on the Cabinet’s approval rating, coupled with “a national character that is strict about failure”, and hindering full-scale implementation of my number system that can be said to be the basis of administrative reform. In the midst of facing the problem of declining birthrate and aging population and labor shortage, and while productivity is essential, it is extremely worrying.

And Russia’s unilateral invasion into Ukraine was also shocking. This incident was something that can’t be thought of as someone else’s problem geopolitically for Japanese that has been indulging in “one country pacifism” such as “water and safety are free” and was s shock similar to “the arrival of the black ships”. We can safely say that Russia leaves a stain on human history everlastingly. It gave us that there is a risk of appearing a crazy fascist like Putin even in modern times being similar to Hitler in Nazi Germany, in other words, “history repeats itself” and the commandment that “preparation for it is essential”.

And the invasion by Russia brought more serious “fragmentation” than East-West Cold War structure to the world economy and society. The world is multi-polarized and the ratio of an absolute monarchy is surpassing democratic countries. And the United Nations that has played a coordinator role in the past is dysfunctional. On the other hand, the world economy that has developed against the background of globalization is stagnating and protectionism is on the rise. And global environment problems are also becoming more serious, and abnormal weather is reported in many parts of the world.

When I saw humans landing on the moon for the first time and the earth in space on a TV screen in 1969, I seriously thought that this would change the world view of humanity and there would be no more boring conflicts on this tiny earth. However, conflict over state system, race, religion, and territory is still not resolved. I think that human “habits” that don’t follow the teachings and warnings of our ancestors and fall into “arrogance and pride” without noticing are at the root of this.

On the other hand, the present situation in Japan is stuck in low growth mocked as “the lost 30 years” and is becoming a great and ancient nation with the declining birthrate and aging population, and there is a sense of stagnation in society as a whole. And according to indicators published by international organizations, Japan’s position or competitiveness in the world has declined significantly. How can we overcome this situation and restore power? I think that “a change in the consciousness of our people”, “administrative and institutional reform of the government” and “structural reform of economy and business sector” are necessary. There is no magic bullet to change, and long-term commitment or vision such as “it takes the same amount of time to improve constitution that took 80 years to improve after the defeat” is essential. And for Japan that does not have any particular resource, I think that the root of national power is “human resources”, and that is why “human resource development”, namely “education” is very important.

My office is still in the stage of trial and error, but we will continue to do our best. I would like to thank you very much for all your help until today, and I sincerely hope you will give me   further guidance, encouragement and scolding in the future.

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