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  1. Career
    1. My One and Only
    2. Interning at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo
    3. S. Takata Memorial Research Library and My Research Theme
    4. Building a Career in Japan - Don't let the Japanese people beat you in linguistic skills and cultural comprehension -
    5. 67 years after World War II
    6. What is a life plan? From the National Bar Exam to becoming a painter
    7. Job-hunting experience note -Receiving a job offer from the first-choice company is not a dream-
    8. Job-hunting experience note -Self-analysis is about "Constructing one-self"-
    9. The skill-levels of world-class top talents are extremely high. That is why, in order to compete against the world, ambition and aspiration is necessary.
    10. Japan's passport did not come falling from the skies. Fight now for the respect of the future Japanese.
    11. OECD Internship Report
    12. Settling down in Waseda
    13. Be true to yourself, boldly step forward into the things that excite you!
    14. Job Hunting experience notes
    15. In Finland, as an Artist and a Researcher
    16. Using My experiences from Waseda,
    17. Waseda:An everlasting bond
    18. Recent report from Denmark
    19. Submission from WiN member (Recent Report)
    20. Memories of Waseda
    21. My experience at Waseda
    22. My time at Waseda University
    23. Teaching Position at Korea University
  1. Event Reports
    1. C21 Tokyo Challenge
    2. Enjoying a taste of South-East Asia: Vietnamese Bánh Mì Sandwiches and Milo
    3. Looking Back on the "Go Global Japan" English Presentation Contest
    4. Student Visa Day at the American Embassy
    5. 3rd Place Finish in the "Hong Kong Cup"
    6. Students' Day at the American Embassy
    7. ASIAN STUDENTS ENVIRONMENT PLATFORM 2012: Environmental field studies by students from Japan, China, and Korea
    8. Reflections on the Universitas21 Undergraduate Research Conference 2012 Part 2: Non-academic conference learning
    9. Reflections on the Universitas21 Undergraduate Research Conference 2012 Part 1: Academic conference learning
    10. The 7th Foreigner's Traditional Japanese Dance Exhibition: Waseda University student performers' questionnaire interview
    11. [Event] Universitas 21 Undergraduate Research Conference 2012 at Waseda University - ended in a great success!
  1. Gourmet
    1. What Do You Do With a Major in Ramen?
  1. Others
    1. "Ship for South East Asian and Japanese Youth Program (SSEAYP)"
    2. Exchange Students from US Reunite at Waseda after 30 years
    3. "Like" WiN on Facebook!
    4. WiN Blog starts
  1. Sports
    1. Learning How "To Think" Through Waseda University's Track & Field
    2. Participating in the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships
    3. "Participating in the XXV Winter Universiade Games (2011/Erzurum)"
    4. My experience with Waseda's American Football Bukatsu
  1. Study Abroad
    1. Shifting Cultivation and the Challenge of Sustainability in Mopungchuket Village, India
    2. Building the TOMODACHI Generation
    3. Kakehashi Project Report
    4. The Double Degree Program at Peking University
    5. Camping and Snowshoeing in Canada
    6. An Encouragement of two-stages approach to study abroad
    7. Studying abroad in Brisbane, Australia
    8. A new kind of Study Abroad
    9. 14-Day Short term Study Abroad Program in Chowgule College, Goa - "What can I do? What can they do? What can you do?"
    10. From Tsugaru strait to the African highest peak Kilimanjaro
    11. PIANO LINE -Seattle Study Abroad Chronicles-
    12. In Finland, as an Artist and a Researcher
    13. What I learned about China through Shanghai Fudan University
    14. Why are those who've experienced study abroad programs a little different? -Full Japanese SILS student reveals the whole story of studying abroad -
    15. China, The Neighboring Country You Do Not Know ~ My Encounter at Peking University ~
    16. Study Abroad Experience Notes
    17. C'est la vie! This is life! Work hard, Play hard.
    18. Study abroad @ Taiwan
    19. Study abroad @ Beijing
  1. Study in Japan
    1. Visiting the Prime Minister's Residene
    2. IPS Summer School 2016: Culture Meets Culture
    3. The World is Smaller than We Think
    4. Waseda Summer 2016
    5. The Opportunity of a Lifetime
    6. Experiencing Village Life at Kijimadaira
    7. A Fantastic Opportunity
    8. A Rewarding Experience
    9. An Amazing Experience
    10. Take Me Wonder by Wonder
    11. I Couldn't Ask for More
    12. Another Kokusaibu Story
    13. SAKURA Exchange Program in Science
    14. I Want to Go Again!
    15. More than Good Sushi
    16. Immersive Experience into the Japanese Culture
    17. 40 Years of Memories in a Photo
    18. Experiencing Everything First Hand
    19. Waseda Summer Session wasn't like any other Summer Camp
    20. Looking Forward to the Past
    21. Weeding a Rice Paddy ~Field Trip to Niigata~
    22. Japan Study Students to Waseda: A message from the class of 1983-84
    23. Developing Medical and Welfare Robots ~The Challenges of Kabe Laboratory, Faculty of Human Sciences~
    24. Recollecting experiences of Exchange Programme at Waseda
    25. Kuroda Kazuo Interview: About Studying in Japan
  1. Volunteer Activity
    1. Taking the first step in volunteering
    2. "Volunteer experience in earthquake-hit area Natori"
    3. "The Great East Japan Earthquake Reconstruction Volunteering"
    4. How my perspective changed through volunteering
    5. Tohoku Volunteer
    6. Great East Japan Earthquake    "Fumbaro East Japan Support Project"

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Blog

Japan's passport did not come falling from the skies. Fight now for the respect of the future Japanese.

ICC webmagazine

Profile
Name:Yoshikazu Kato
Columnist for the British Financial Times, Chinese version.
Commentator for Hong Kong’s Phoenix TV.

Born in 1984 in Shizuoka Prefecture.
After graduating high school in 2003, he went to study abroad in Beijing University, where he graduated from the masters program of the Graduate School of International Studies. He is a columnist for the British Financial Times, Chinese version; Researcher at Beijing University; and commentator for Hong Kong’s Phoenix TV. He receives over 300 interviews a year, and writes more than 200 columns. His newest books are, “What the Chinese Are Thinking Now,” and “A Message From North Korean Super Elites to the Japanese.”


“If it’s important, say it in one minute.”
What is your intention behind your business card?
 I’m Yoshikazu Kato, so it says “Yoshikazu Kato.” In performing global activities, a name is more of a “sufficient condition” than a “necessary condition.” In Japan, you are judged by your title or company. For example, if someone is a general manager or a section chief, that alone defines whether that person is incredible or not. Overseas, this is completely meaningless. 
 I participated in a conference in Singapore two days ago. I used this same business card. My title was completely irrelevant. From this, I felt that insight was more important than a business card (laughing). On the other hand, a name is very important. A name is something you receive from your parents, so it is only natural to treat it with respect. Competing thoroughly with your name is the best way to be a dutiful son or daughter.

Besides business cards, what else do you keep in mind for self introductions?
 Here is an example from two days ago. Everyone I met, as I shook their hand, I would explain what I was doing in Singapore, why I came, what is troubling me, and why I want to communicate with them. That is everything. If you prepare yourself to always be ready to give a one-minute presentation, you can compete in the global market. 
 In Japan, in places like Nagatacho or Kasumigaseki, people just hand out their business cards and leave. This is a waste of natural resources. What I want to suggest to Japanese schools is to teach the students to be able to give one minute presentations about themselves. In first grade elementary school, be able to do it in Japanese. As a freshman in high school: in English. And as an adult: a second foreign language, preferably Chinese. As you grow, the contents are constantly updated. Whether public or private school, I think this should be practiced during the homeroom period.

When did you start thinking globally?
 I think I learned the word “global” in the past 10 years, but I have always had the world on my mind, even as a child. My hobby as a five-year-old was looking at the world map. I would spin the globe as I ponder things like, “Why is the capital of Sri Lanka such a long name?” or “Why are there so many people of different nationalities living in France?”
I began looking at the world map to rebel, rather than going into it naturally. I was born in a very conservative region. A feeling of entrapment was always present, and I would wonder why people always tried to crush my actions.
 In order to find an answer, I had to view things in an objective, relative way. I would first go to another city within Japan. This did not help, since Japan is a homogenized society.
I already wanted to go abroad at this point, but in order to accomplish something, we need three things: a purpose, the ability, and the conditions. Without all three of these, it is difficult. I think I had the purpose and the ability, but it took a while for the conditions to materialize. I did not get to go abroad until I was 18.


A crisis is a chance. The language lesson with a street vendor lady
How did you learn Chinese?
 When I was studying at Beijing University, all classes closed due of the spread of SARS. The current Japanese Embassy in Beijing was recommending a forced return home. I stayed, of course, but all other Japanese around me had left. But a crisis is a chance. I decided to figure out a way to communicate with the people around me and learn Chinese.
 I became friends with an older lady, a street vendor at the West Gate of Beijing University. That lady taught me Chinese. I began by buying ice cream from her and shaking her hand. From then on, I visited her every day. We would talk continuously for 8 hours a day. It was difficult trying to find topics for conversations.
 An average day would begin by waking up at 4:30am, studying the dictionary, jogging while listening to the radio, and a simple breakfast after returning home. I was with the vendor lady by 8am, and we would talk until around 4pm. As we would talk, all sorts of people would come and enter the conversations. The vendor lady’s network was amazing.

Through socializing with people there, what did you learn besides the Chinese language?
 In my opinion, the Chinese are advanced in the fields of networking and intelligence. They are able to create a Chinatown in every country. Can the Japanese do such thing? We cannot. There is a distinct difference between hanging out with only Japanese folks abroad, and the formation of a community followed by participation in the foreign country’s economy.
 The Chinese society is a society of mutual distrust. When they communicate with a stranger, it always starts with distrust. The Japanese society adopts a belief that human nature is fundamentally good; more so than any other society in the world. Distrust of strangers and being able to see things in a critical way; this way of thinking is important. My impression is that the Chinese, overall, are good at throwing a curve, no matter what they are doing. They have a sense of humor too. I realized that politeness alone is not productive.
 I learned various things besides the Chinese language from the vendor lady. I learned that you cannot trust strangers easily like the Japanese do. It is important to have your own approach to information. You cannot gobble up information. For me, I think information is trustworthy only if newspapers across more than two borders say the same thing. You must construct your own way of approaching correct perception and correct information. This, you must work on every day. This is extremely important in all fields, whether you are a journalist, a scholar, or a businessman.
 
How were you able to establish a personal network?
 It began with an interpretation job. I had figured that translation was the most intellectual part-time job, and studied hard for it. I got a good score in a test called “HSK,” so I was able to begin translating three months after arriving in China. A year later, I was able to perform consecutive interpretation, and 6 months after that, simultaneous interpretation.
 I did not end it there, as simply an interpreter. I went to various places. For example, I met heavyweight politicians at the Great Hall of the People; the Japanese equivalent of a national assembly. I participated in the conference as an interpreter. First, I would perform the job thoroughly. During break time, I would observe the political leaders. I would then try “accidentally” running into them in the bathroom. Sometimes, I may drop their jackets from chairs, saying, “Oh, excuse me, you dropped this,” and pick it up for them. They would reply, “Thank you. You’re a nice guy.”
I created my own opportunities for communication. I expanded my network creatively and actively.


Going abroad is “low-risk, high-return,” and even “low cost”
What sorts of things did you feel from living abroad?
 My love for Japan grew. I also realized that, to the locals abroad, I represent the country of Japan. Through communicating with people of various nationalities in China, my awareness of my Japanese identity became stronger. I disliked Japan from when I was very little. But it frustrated me when people in China misunderstood or criticized Japan. I thought I disliked Japan, but those things still bothered me. I believe this is a healthy type of patriotism.
 Also, when I would say my own personal opinion, it is interpreted by a foreigner as the opinion of Japan as a whole. This comes with an incredible amount of responsibility. Therefore, it is important to study the position and history of Japan in the international society. In an international society, it is very embarrassing not being able to answer a direct question regarding Japan.

Please give a word of advice to the students.

 It is important to realize how privileged you are. You have access to much more information than students in other countries. If you have a Japanese passport, you can literally go anywhere. In addition, the yen is strong right now. If you don’t go abroad now, when are you ever going to go?
In China, the Chinese Yuan has not been revalued yet, and a visa is required everywhere you go. In order to obtain an American visa in Beijing, you must get in a 500 meter-long line in front of the American Embassy. That is how bad they want to go.
 I do not intend to vaguely tell you to go abroad. I am sure that students are wondering whether to get employed, go to graduate school, or study abroad. This is my advice to you: First, expand your options. Second, expand your field of view so that you can choose the right option. The reason you want to do something new is because you are dissatisfied with the current situation. It is extremely important to look at yourself from a different viewpoint and location, asking yourself who you are and what you really want to do.
 In addition, going abroad while you are a student is “low-risk, high-return.” It is even low-cost. If you are lost and you want a new perception, go study abroad, or travel abroad. Take yourself to an unfamiliar place.
 The reason it is easy for the Japanese to go abroad is because our predecessors worked extremely hard for it. That is why we have the current passport. It did not come falling from the skies. The future of the Japanese passport depends on each and every one of us. Our actions abroad link directly to our future passport, and how much the future Japanese are respected in the international society. This awareness is important. This creates a feeling of tension. When we humans feel tension, we are able to become serious.



Editorial note
During the interview, Mr. Kato answered the questions with an outpour of enthusiasm. I was overwhelmed. From each word, I felt a depth that derives from experience. I believe there was a time for him when things were very difficult, and very painful. His persuasiveness must derive from what he saw after his resistance to the hard times and pain.
The words, “Our passports did not come falling from the skies,” left a big impression in my heart. We wonder whether or not to travel abroad or study abroad, but we must be thankful for the fact that we even have an option. I believe we must continue building on the roads that our predecessors created for us, for the next generation.
Ryo Aihara (Graduate School of Fundamental Science and Engineering, Freshman)

 

 ICC webmagazine (Japanese only)

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