Re: What I think about through recent news (59) September 9, 2022 

■Typhoon season has arrived:
It is almost mid-September. The late summer heat in the daytime is severe as before, but in the morning and in the evening, I feel the arrival of autumn. Along with that, typhoon season has arrived. A direct hit to the mainland of Japan by Typhoon No.11 occurred the other day was avoided, but a new intensifying tropical cyclone seems to change typhoon No. 12 shortly. I have a feeling somehow that there will be a lot of typhoons this year.

■A tragedy by a man-made disaster has occurred again:
Typhoon is one of so-called natural disasters. To prevent typhoons from coming is almost impossible. However, quite unfortunately, a man-made disaster that can be avoided has occurred again. It was an accident in which a pre-school child died after leaving behind in the shuttle bus at a kindergarten in Makinohara, Shizuoka on September 5. A similar incident occurred at a preschool in Nakama, Fukuoka about one year ago, and the accident has recurred while that memory has not disappeared yet. It is pointed out that “insufficient confirmation” when getting off the bus was the main reason. A confirmation of numbers of children and in-house inspection could have been done in just a few seconds. But these were neglected. Because of this neglection, a precious life has been taken away. The director of the kindergarten as a driver and another care-taker rode together, and it seems to me that there was an “assumption” that the other would have confirmed to each other. “Human error” is always connected to an accident that can be prevented. And as this background, there is “carelessness by getting into a groove”.
An accident exploits a momentary gap. In the period of my previous job, I received reports of accidents several times. In these cases, I often received reports that sounded like excuses from the person concerned “I had told them to be careful to that extent”. And I admonished that “if you say so and get it out of your system, it is fine. But even if you have said ten thousand times, the instruction is equal to what it does not make any sense, if the person concerned did not follow the instructions when an accident occurred”. In other words, when listening, there were many cases that the person concerned pretends to be listening to the instruction or note. Unfortunately, we have no choice but to stand on “the theory that human nature is fundamentally evil”, in order to prevent accidents. On that condition, it is necessary to “prevent ourselves from getting into a groove” by refreshing ourselves every day and by thinking out by all possible means.

■Mrs. Truss became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom on September 6:
As the successor to Prime Minister Johnson who had announced his resignation, Mrs. Liz Truss, who is a leader of the ruling Conservative Party, became Prime Minister. This is the third birth of a female Prime Minister in the history of the United Kingdom. In Japan, there is no precedent for a female Prime Minister, but in the United Kingdom, it is no longer unusual. I feel like that the United Kingdom is the home of parliamentary democracy after all. The first party leader of the Lower House (the House of Representatives in Japan) is appointed as Prime Minister by the King.
Looking back on the past, Mr. Obama became president of the United States in 2008. During election campaign, a fanatical boom erupted just because he was the first black presidential candidate. And in presidential election 2016, Mrs. Clinton was defeated by Mr. Trump, betraying most expectations. She told that “she was not able to break the ceiling of the glass”.
It was supposed to be exciting because of the first birth of a female president, but the boom did not happen. I visited Washington in spring during election campaign. What I heard at that time was a female voice that “I don’t like Trump but I don’t like Clinton much more” to my surprise. If I follow her opinion, her defeat was not “because she is a woman”, but because American people judged that “she lacks the qualities of president”. In addition, current Vice President is Mrs. Harris who is black. If something unusual happens to President Biden, American people will accept her as President automatically.
Turning to the present state of women’s participation at the national level in Japan, the number of female members at the Lower House is 47 out of 465 total, which is 9.7%. On the other hand, the number of female members at the Upper House is 64 out of 248 total, which is 25.8 %, and it is the largest number ever but still a few. Due to this, according to “Gender Gap Index” report in 2022 published by World Economic Forum, the ranking of Japan in politics is 139th out of 146 countries and lower position. 
In Japan, I wonder if when “being a woman” is not a hot topic but “the qualities of a prime minister” give birth to a female prime minister as a result.

≪P.S.≫ I underwent an annual medical checkup this week. It consists of blood sampling, blood pressure measurement, height and weight measurement, eyesight, hearing, chest X-ray, MRI, CT scan, ultrasound scan, stomach camera, dementia test, and so on. Finishing such a lot of menus in half a day is a little bit tired for me. What I had heart surgery 16 years ago is the cue for me to start a medical checkup. I continue to undergo a medical checkup, and “living a long life ” is not my purpose, just because I want to be healthy as long as I am alive, in other words, extend my “healthy life expectancy”.

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