Monthly Archives

January 2024

Osaka Castle’s Plum Grove

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Today, I want to share this beautiful picture from the plum grove of Osaka Castle. Every year, the plums here begin to bloom in late January, heralding the approach of spring.

While in Europe, a rose in full bloom is considered beautiful, in Japan, beauty is かoften found in the melancholy of falling cherry blossoms. However, personally, I find the very first blossoms of the plum trees at Osaka Castle the most beautiful.

As someone who works in pruning garden trees, I believe the condition of a garden reflects the character of its owner. The plum trees of Osaka Castle were planted by students from the prestigious Kitano High School, embodying their high caliber.

In Japan, we have a tradition of “Hanakotoba,” meaning flower language, where white plum blossoms signify the purity of a woman.

The white plums blooming earnestly in the quiet cold of winter are my favorite flowers in Japan.

#OsakaCastle #PlumGrove #JapaneseBeauty #Hanakotoba #GardenBeauty #WinterFlowers #JapaneseCulture #OsakaCharm #KitanoHighSchool #NatureBeauty #TraditionMeetsModern #SakuraBeauty #TreePruning #GardenEnthusiast #WinterGreeting #SymbolOfPurity #WhitePlum #JapaneseWinter #NatureMagic #ColdBeauty #PlumSeason #TraditionalAesthetics #WinterCharmsOfOsaka #NaturalBeautyOfJapan

Reflecting on Japan’s Tradition of Hereditary Leadership in Business and Politics

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In Japan, there exists a unique tradition where leadership roles within the realms of business and politics are often passed down within families. This practice stands in contrast to the norms observed in other parts of the world, such as Europe.

This phenomenon is not limited to family businesses but extends to large corporations like Toyota and is deeply rooted in the political structure.

For instance, about 40% of the members of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) are hereditary politicians. This percentage increases further when broader family connections are considered.

Many of Japan’s Prime Ministers, including current PM Fumio Kishida, former PM Shinzo Abe, and former PM Taro Aso, have been a part of this hereditary tradition.

Recently, PM Kishida’s son, Shota Kishida, faced controversies over using official vehicles for tourism and playing inside the official residence, reported as scandals by the media.

In my view, the specific incidents involving PM Kishida’s son are less critical.

What’s more concerning is the lack of societal challenge in Japan to the practice of inheriting positions of power.

This acceptance of hereditary succession in leadership roles may make it difficult for truly meritorious leaders to emerge in Japan.

#Leadership #Japan #JapanesePolitics #LiberalDemocraticParty #HereditaryPolitics #PoliticalDynamics #GlobalLeadership #Innovation #FumioKishida #ShinzoAbe #TaroAso #CorporateJapan #FamilyBusiness #LeadershipDiversity #SocietalChange #Governance #PoliticalDebate #TraditionVsInnovation

Celebrating Global Connections: Embracing the Spirit of Osaka Expo 2025

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Today, while walking from Osaka Station towards Midosuji, a piece of handwritten note caught my eye on a utility pole. It was a message written by a little girl about the upcoming Osaka Expo 2025.

The note in Japanese

“Through the Expo, I want to make foreign friends! ”
Name: Caramel.”

Despite the prevalent negative media about the Expo, actually I am genuinely excited about the Osaka Expo 2025 like this girl.

I believe it will be a platform where new friendships are forged among people from all around the world.

Even my employees echo the sentiment, saying, “I am looking forward to it.”

#OsakaExpo2025 #GlobalFriendship #Unity #WorldExpo #CulturalExchange #Community #GlobalUnity #NewBeginnings #Excitement #LookingForward #ChildrensPerspective #InspirationalThoughts #ConnectingWorlds #ExpoCountdown #CulturalDiversity

Reflecting on the Noto Peninsula Earthquake: A Call for Immediate Action and Support

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On January 1st, an earthquake struck the Noto Peninsula in Ishikawa Prefecture. Our company, Dios, considered volunteering from Osaka to the affected area on January 5th.

However, due to a notice on the Ishikawa Prefecture’s website advising against volunteer visits to prevent traffic congestion, we had to abandon our plans to enter the disaster zone.

The Governor of Ishikawa, who advised against volunteer visits, has yet to visit the affected area of Wajima as of January 14th.

Prime Minister Kishida postponed his visit to the disaster site due to bad weather and only made his first appearance there today, January 14th.

Meanwhile, victims in the disaster area are desperately calling for help.

The Self-Defense Forces are doing their utmost on the ground, but without direct orders from the government, they are unable to take autonomous action.

Furthermore, it has been discovered that more than half of Shika Nuclear Power Plant’s power sources are damaged, putting it in an extremely perilous state.

#IshikawaEarthquake #JapanDisasterResponse #VolunteerSupport #DisasterZone #NotoPeninsula #ShikaNuclearPower #SelfDefenseForces #GovernmentAccountability #CrisisManagement #CommunitySupport #PublicSafety #EmergencyServices #DisasterRelief #HumanitarianAid #NuclearSafety #EarthquakePreparedness #RiskReduction #InfrastructureDamage #NaturalDisasters #CivicDuty #SolidarityInCrisis #UrgentAssistance #SafetyFirst

Reflecting on the Visionary Efforts of Kochi’s Governor During the 1947 Nankai Trough Earthquake

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In these three photographs, you can witness a historical moment from the 1947 Nankai Trough earthquake, captured in a film produced by Naomi Nishimura, the then-governor of Kochi Prefecture in Japan.

The inscription in Japanese reads, “This film was produced to prepare for a disaster expected to occur about 100 years later. Governor of Kochi Prefecture, Naomi Nishimura 1974 March.”

I believe that Governor Nishimura was a person of remarkable foresight. His intention with this documentary film was likely to reduce the number of casualties in future Nankai Trough earthquakes. Essentially, it serves as a message to us in the present day.

His proactive approach to disaster preparedness and his commitment to educating future generations showcase a remarkable level of responsibility and foresight. This film not only serves as a crucial historical record but also as a timeless reminder of the importance of preparedness for natural disasters.

#NankaiTroughEarthquake #DisasterPreparedness #HistoricalDocumentary #Foresight #Legacy #KochiPrefecture #GovernorNaoyoshiNishimura #EarthquakeAwareness #PublicSafety #CommunityResilience

Taiwan’s Heartwarming Response to Noto Peninsula Earthquake

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On January 1st, following the Noto Peninsula earthquake, the Taiwan government offered to send an international rescue team to the affected areas in Japan. This offer was declined by the Japanese government, a response that might normally cause disappointment.

However, what happened next was truly remarkable. Many Taiwanese citizens started donating relief funds through convenience store ATMs. Astoundingly, the total amount has reached approximately 480 million yen and continues to grow.

As a resident of Japan, I am deeply moved by the leadership shown by Taiwanese officials. It would be challenging even within Japan to raise such a significant amount so rapidly.

Importantly, this funding did not come from the Taiwanese government but was a collection of small contributions from ordinary Taiwanese citizens. This act of generosity speaks volumes about the spirit of the Taiwanese people.

President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan sent a heartwarming message saying, “Japan’s crisis is Taiwan’s crisis. Taiwan and Japan are like family, always supporting each other.
Stay strong, Japan!”

#TaiwanSupport #JapanRelief #NotoPeninsulaEarthquake #Solidarity #InternationalAid #CommunitySupport #Compassion #Leadership #TsaiIngWen #StayStrongJapan

Understanding and Preparing for Earthquake Risks in Japan: The Recent Seismic Activities

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On January 9th at 17:59, a magnitude 6.0 earthquake struck the Chuetsu area of Niigata Prefecture. This event occurred near the location of the January 1st earthquake off the Noto Peninsula but originated from a different active fault.

Currently, a series of swarm earthquakes are being observed in Niigata Prefecture. Experts indicate that movement in one active fault can trigger activity in another nearby fault. In fact, the Noto Peninsula has been experiencing these swarm earthquakes for the past three years. Therefore, experts had anticipated the possibility of a significant earthquake occurring in this region.

The pattern of seismic activities suggests a high likelihood of a major earthquake occurring in the Niigata area soon. Historical data and analysis often show that an increase in small swarm earthquakes can be a precursor to a larger seismic event, suggesting that major earthquakes can, to some extent, be predictable.

The recent seismic activities along the coast of the Sea of Japan are geographically distant from Osaka, presenting no direct issues for the region.

However, it is crucial to note that Osaka is expected to be affected by the “Nankai Trough Earthquake” within the next decade (around 2030-2040). This earthquake is scientifically predicted to occur and could happen at any time. It is anticipated to be of the same magnitude as the Great East Japan Earthquake, including significant tsunamis. Being in a highly urbanized area of Japan (including Osaka, Nagoya, and the Kanto region), the potential damage from this earthquake could be catastrophic.

#EarthquakePreparedness #SeismicActivity #JapanEarthquakes #Niigata #NankaiTrough #NaturalDisasters #CommunitySafety #RiskReduction #CivicAwareness #DisasterPreparedness

Innovative Paper Architecture by Shigeru Ban: A Sustainable Solution for Privacy in Shelters

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Renowned Japanese architect, Shigeru Ban, is pioneering the construction of buildings not from wood, but paper. His paper structures are robust enough to support three-story buildings, meeting the requirements of Japan’s Building Standard Law Article 38.

The use of paper in architecture is not only cost-effective but also safer due to its light weight compared to heavy roofing materials. In the current situation in the Noto Peninsula disaster zone, the lack of partitions in shelters has raised significant privacy concerns, particularly for young women.

Ban’s innovative approach is not limited to building structures but extends to creating partitions in shelters, offering a much-needed solution for maintaining privacy.

For those interested in experiencing Ban’s paper architecture firsthand, I recommend visiting his paper-based restaurant on Awaji Island. I think it could be a unique experience to understand the practicality and ingenuity behind this sustainable architectural approach.

#ShigeruBan #SustainableArchitecture #Innovation #DisasterRelief #PaperArchitecture #BuildingStandards #CostEffective #SafetyInDesign #PrivacyInShelters #ArchitecturalSolutions #EcoFriendlyConstruction #JapaneseArchitecture #AwajiIsland


Reflecting on the Recent Earthquake Near Shika Nuclear Power Plant

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On January 6th at 23:20, Seismic Intensity of 6 earthquake struck Ishikawa Prefecture’s Shika town, home to the Shika Nuclear Power Plant. Unlike the real-time coverage during the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, there has been a concerning lack of media reporting on the Shika Nuclear Power Plant in this instance.

Currently, the Shika Nuclear Power Plant, which has been inactive since the Fukushima incident, is deemed safer than operational plants. However, even in its dormant state, the cooling of nuclear fuel rods remains crucial. Due to the disruption of access roads, the status of the plant is unclear, and recovery operations in case of an incident seem challenging.

Recent movements have been pushing for the reactivation of the Shika plant. The operator, Hokuriku Electric Power Company, has claimed, “There are no active faults here,” despite the presence of numerous active faults in the surrounding region. Moreover, the Chairman of Keidanren (also the organizer of Expo 2025) recently inspected the plant and advocated for its immediate reactivation, citing its ‘absolute safety’.

The Japanese public is left in a state of disappointment and darkness.

However, I hold hope that Expo 2025 will bring a ray of light. The German Pavilion, for instance, is expected to showcase Europe’s latest energy technologies and policies through Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action.

Furthermore, as reported on TV, the Dutch Pavilion plans to introduce advanced renewable energy technologies from the Netherlands.

The Japanese people are currently shrouded in darkness, uninformed and disillusioned.

Through Expo 2025, we eagerly anticipate that Europe’s innovative technologies and progressive policies will educate not only Japan’s ignorant and arrogant government and academia but also enlighten the uninformed Japanese public.

#Expo2025 #IshikawaEarthquake #NuclearSafety #RenewableEnergy #SustainableFuture #GlobalAwareness #Japan #ShikaNuclearPowerPlant #EuropeanInnovation #EnvironmentalPolicy #PublicEnlightenment #ErdbebenJapan #KernkraftwerkShika #Sicherheit #Umweltschutz #Energiepolitik #Japan #DeutschesPavillon #Expo2025Osaka #ErneuerbareEnergie #Deutschland #Niederlande #Nachhaltigkeit #Technologie #Klimaschutz #Energieinnovation #Umwelttechnik #DeutscheTechnologie #JapanischePolitik #Kernenergie #Notfallmanagement #Krisenbewältigung #Energiezukunft #InternationaleZusammenarbeit #Umweltbewusstsein #Energiewende

Celebrating the Professionalism and Dedication of JAL Cabin Crew

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Today I had the privilege of listening to an enlightening talk by Izumi Egami, a former cabin crew member with 30 years of service at Japan Airlines (JAL). Her insights on the successful emergency evacuation of 379 passengers and crew from an aircraft deeply moved me.

While international media, including British newspapers and The New York Times, hailed this evacuation as a ‘miracle’, Ms. Egami respectfully disagreed. She asserted that this success was not a stroke of luck but the result of rigorous training and a strong commitment to passenger safety.

Ms. Egami outlined the key factors contributing to the successful evacuation:

• Bilingual panic control announcements made by the cabin crew.
• The crew’s independent decision to open emergency exits amid flames.
• Directing passengers to leave their belongings behind for a swift evacuation.

BBC highlighted a comment from a British university professor who noted, “Japan boasts an extraordinary record in transportation safety, and JAL is a global leader in safety.” The professor further observed that this incident showcases the extensive training and efficient management of evacuations by cabin crew.

JAL has experienced its share of challenges, including the world’s deadliest aircraft crash in 1985 and bankruptcy in 2010. It is presumed that these events have led to the implementation of stringent safety measures.

In the past, JAL was the most sought-after employer among female students in Japan, with their cabin crew perceived as highly attractive and aspirational figures.

Today, the veteran cabin crew members of JAL, with their exceptional professionalism and warm smiles, continue to embody the allure and grace that have long been associated with the airline.

#JapanAirlines #JAL #AviationSafety #CabinCrew #EmergencyEvacuation #Professionalism #AviationIndustry #CrisisManagement #TransportSafety #AirTravel #CustomerServiceExcellence #AviationHistory #JALCrew #SafetyFirst