Canada: From Asahi ‘Globe’


The Asahi Shinbun has been issuing 8 pages special features twice a month for several years now.  Its contents, topics are quite unique, and I enjoy reading them very much.

As the title shows, each issue analyzes ‘The Globe and Japan’ from different perspectives and from a very large point of view.  They are truly nice special issues.  I imagine that this idea came from the Editor-in-Chief, Mr. Funabashi because it reflects what he has been in various global stages..
What makes this even more impressive is that all articles are available for reading‘On-line’ (in Japanese) After they are printed on the newspapers they will post full articles within several days.

The new April 21st issue focused on ‘Canada’.   I was also interviewed perhaps because I have broad connections with faculties and students of Canadian universities (Ref.1) (Please search by keyword of ‘Canada’ for more columns in this web site).

This feature begins like this; ‘Japan and Canada both has a risk of being overlooked because of the super-powers beside them.  How to cope with this circumstance is our challenge for the 21st century….   In meetings of Japanese and Canadian university faculties such topic was raised…..’  Please read for yourself and find out how it continues.  Canada has a population of about 10% of the U.S.A, and so do Japan which is 10% of China.  The article is of quite interest in discussing how Canada manages to collaborate with the Giant neighbor, U.S.A on one hand and keep one’s identity on the other hand.

Canada is one of my favorite countries, too.  To put it in one sentence, I might describe Canada as ‘a country that inherited the good things of Great Britain and put away with the social classes of the British society.’  ‘The good things of Great Britain’ would be; that with a bit of socialism, its functioning democratic system, quality higher education, has a number of wonderful universities.  Regarding the health care system of Canada which is run as a core public sector as Michael Moore shows in his film, the quality of care is high, co-payments are low for the patients, and is trusted from the people.  The quality of physicians and faculties are also superb.

Canada was the country least affected by the financial crisis in 2008.  The banks stayed outside sub-primes.

I came to Toronto yesterday.  At dinner, I heard that even in Calgary, a city of 1.3 million, large proportion of local residents has habit of not locking the entrance door of their homes.  A good old life style still remains.  This episode is introduced in the film of Michael Moore, too.

I have one request to the Asahi Shinbun.  Why not have such wonderful features translated in English, on its ‘On-line’ version at least?  It is very ‘mottainai (wasting good things)’ to limit the readers to Japanese only.