Society | Discuss Japan-Japan Foreign Policy Forum - パート 6
Discuss Japan > Society

Archives : Society

Society, No.29  Dec. 22, 2015

“Palliative Medicine” rather than “Life-Prolonging Medicine” for Elderly People in the Terminal Stage of Life

Kojima Akira, Member, Board of Trustees, and Adjunct Professor, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Trustee, Chairman of the World Trade Center Tokyo

Mark Twain said with humor, “The only two certainties in life are death and taxes.” However, few people attempt to look straight at this undoubted reality, especially the latter. With the technological development of life-prolonging medicine, only “life prolongation” comes to the fore, and it is said that old people are abused in terms of terminal medicine in the name of medicine. I had the opportunity to listen to reports about terminal medicine from two experts on medicine for the elderly at a trustees’ meeting of the Japan Productivity Center that was held in late September 2015. The trustees who attended the meeting showed keen interest in their vivid explanations about reality. The lecturers were Hokkaido Chuo Rosai Hospital Director Miyamoto Kenji and Sakuradai Koujinkai Hospital Comprehensive Dementia Support Center Director Miyamoto Reiko. They are husband and wife, and established the Association for Studying ... ... [Read more]

Society, No.29  Dec. 16, 2015

What Is True Internationalization? – Nurturing Creative Leaders –

YAMAGIWA Juichi, President of Kyoto University

How do we nurture people who can act internationally? What do we mean when we talk about the internationalization of universities? In my view, education and research are two separate problem areas. From the perspective of education, the current focus is on educating global human resources, but what is the ideal image of people who are able to act internationally? To start with, they have the fundamentals of education. They are also able to use the languages of international communication. Another important point is whether they are able to form unique ideas and to express themselves. This is a very difficult point because no matter how much knowledge you cram into your head, it does not follow that you acquire the ability to think and make your own decisions. How to nurture this ability is a major issue. We live in the IT age. ... ... [Read more]

Discussions, Society, No.28  Oct. 13, 2015

A New Era of Michi-no-eki Takes Off! – Ever-evolving community hubs for local rejuvenation –

Women create vitality and confidence in the region. Michi-no-eki, Den-en Plaza Kawaba (Kawaba Village, Gunma Prefecture)

Michi-no-eki or the roadside station system was launched in 1993, and has since expanded nationwide to a total of 1,040 locations, with annual sales reaching 210 billion yen (as of fiscal year 2012). This nationwide initiative continues evolving as a spearhead for local rejuvenation efforts promoted by the government. The following article reports on the program’s current status and outlook based on discussions held between Ishida Haruo, professor of the Department of Social Systems and Management at the University of Tsukuba, and Hashimoto Goro, Specail editorial board member at the Yomiuri shimbun. (The discussions were held at the Imperial Hotel, Tokyo.) The Michi-no-eki of the Ritsuryo period are reborn Hashimoto Goro: It has been twenty-two years since the start of the project to install Michi-no-eki, or roadside stations. These are rest areas located along standard roads. They have become very popular spots, and there ... ... [Read more]

Society, No.28  Aug. 4, 2015

Postman’s Persistence Reunites a Japanese Teacher with Students from Eighty Years Ago

A letter was sent from Japan to an address in Taichung, in the middle of Taiwan, that did not exist anymore. The letter was sent by a 106-year-old Japanese woman who used to be a teacher at an elementary school there during the period of Japanese rule. A young Taiwanese mailman searched for clues to find the “student” to whom the letter from his Japanese teacher was addressed. The mailman’s persistence has reunited the friendship between the Japanese woman and her students, who are around 90 now. The letter was sent by Ms. Takagi Namie, who lives in Tamana City, Kumamoto Prefecture. Her father was a police officer when she was an elementary school pupil in the Taisho period (1912–1926). Her family moved to live in Taiwan when her father was transferred there and they lived in Taiwan for about thirty years. For the ... ... [Read more]

Society, No.26  Jun. 3, 2015

A Second Home in Japan— What comes next after the visitor boom is semi-residence

The attraction is the cheapness of commodity prices and land prices in Japan’s regional cities.

The number of Chinese people visiting Japan is increasing at an explosive rate. In addition to the weak yen, the relaxation of requirements for visa issuance is also providing a boost. There is an increasing trend amongst the high-income classes of wanting to own a home in Japan, too. Chinese tourist visits to Japan are showing an unprecedented upsurge. Last year 2.4 million Chinese tourists came to Japan: an increase of 80% on the previous year. From January 19, a new “five-year multi” visa was introduced which allows holders to come to Japan an unlimited number of times during a five-year period, with up to a ninety-day period of stay being authorized for each visit, and with this momentum the interest of Chinese people towards Japan seems set to heighten even further still. ]]> ... [Read more]

Society, No.23  Sept. 17, 2014

Former Self-Defense Forces Members Volunteering in Mine Clearance Overseas: They see it as, “Work only we can do.” — An international contribution using a developed skill

... [Read more]

Discussions, Society, No.21  Apr. 13, 2014

The Modern-Day Family Without Tora-san

From Otoko wa Tsurai yo (It’s tough being a man) to his latest Chiisai Ouchi (The little house), movie director Yamada Yoji has continued to portray the Japanese family for more than half a century. What has the Japanese family in the Heisei period lost from Showa?   BAISHO Chieko: I heard that with your latest, Chiisai Ouchi (The Little House), it’s already been fifty years since Shitamachi no Taiyo (The Sunshine Girl, 1963), which we worked on together. We’ve come a long way, haven’t we?    YAMADA Yoji: The movie Otoko wa Tsurai yo was started in 1969. Baisho: Torajiro Kurenai no Hana, which was the last of the Otoko wa Tsurai yo series was released in 1995, so it lasted twenty-six years. Yamada: Looking back, the Kurumas in that series was a collapsed family. I mean, Tora-san (main character of the series), ... ... [Read more]

Society, No.21  Apr. 3, 2014

Working to Restore the Scenic View of Onomichi — TOYOTA Masako, Representative Director of the Onomichi Vacant House Restoration Project

“Many people help me. I have no skills but I am good at involving people around me,” says Toyota with a smile. Photo: YOSHIDA Akihito

Located between the Seto Inland Sea and the mountains, Onomichi in Hiroshima Prefecture is a small city with an approximate population of 150,000. It is a city of slopes and boats. It has narrow streets intricately entangled on slanting land. It is a place where ferry boats sail to and from nearby islands. Its unique taste has grabbed the hearts of remarkable novelists and movie directors and the city has provided the setting for many literary and cinematographic works. This scenic city of Onomichi is now at risk. TOYOTA Masako noticed the change in her hometown when she returned to live there after eight years of working in Osaka. “I worked as an overseas tour conductor. As I visited Europe many times, I was fascinated by the views of European towns. All these towns take advantage of local buildings that have survived hundreds of years ... ... [Read more]

Society, No.21  Apr. 3, 2014

Hoping to Save as Many Lives on Mountains as Possible — OHSHIRO Kazue, Diploma in Mountain Medicine

“My biggest goal is to prevent mountain climbers from suffering accidents,” Ohshiro says. Photo: KAWAMURA Isao

In May 2013, adventurer Miura Yuichiro stood atop the 8,848-meter-high Mt. Everest. Ohshiro Kazue, a medical doctor, had stayed behind at the base camp at an altitude of 5,300 meters. Amid the jubilation after Miura, at eighty, had become the oldest man to climb the mountain in recorded history, she was concerned with the changes in his physical condition. Miura, having removed his oxygen mask at the summit, lost more stamina than expected. When he began to descend, his legs failed him and he could not get enough energy to propel them. “At the sight of his safe return to the base camp, I was afraid that he would break if I hugged him as I usually do to fellow climbers rejoining me on a mountain. He looked so brave in his weakness and so adorable,” Ohshiro recalls. At that moment she became both ... ... [Read more]

Society, No.21  Apr. 3, 2014

Treasuring This Current Moment with My Family — TAKEKAWA Yoichi, Toy Importer

In front of his home is the Biei wheat field, a characteristic view of Hokkaido. Photo: KAWAMURA Isao

Toy Store of the Biei Hills stands facing a vast Hokkaido field that is among Japan’s most beautiful scenery is where the. This store is only open until 3 p.m., at which time it turns into a playground open to the local children. This is because Takekawa Yoichi, who moved here in 2010 from Saitama Prefecture, aims not to make money but rather to develop family time amid Mother Nature. The four years it took to get this started were not easy. “When you read stories of people who moved to Hokkaido, you get the impression that they all made the transition so smoothly,” Takekawa reflects. “I’ve often wondered why we had to have it so tough.”   It all began with the death of his father, who hand-built the current toy store building. His father was running a think tank in Yokohama, but ... ... [Read more]