‘Japan Exposed Naked’, Cambridge Gazette, a Recent Letter from Harvard


I have introduced to you a few times in my column postings Jun Kurihara (Ref.1), a senior fellow at Harvard University Kennedy School.  Kurihara-san is an erudite person, who understands (and probably speaks) multiple language, reads books, materials, data – in short all information sources-, so extensively that I am very impressed with the width and depth of his knowledge.
He sends his friends regularly a monthly report called The Cambridge Gazette (in Japanese). It is always my pleasure to read the Gazettes because they reflect his high sensitivity and intellect. It is also my great pleasure to see him at every opportunity he could spare for during his return to Japan.

Everyone, in spite of their own sorrow, is doing their best after this East Japan Earthquake and the dreadful tsunami.   However, here and there, I see many problems due to human factors in terms of the nuclear plant breakdown.  I assume that many of you sense this – that something is wrong – even though you may not clearly see the background that lies behind.  ‘Web’ of internet, in this context, proved to be an amazingly powerful tool for gathering information or views, to compare and choose from.

Kurihara-san has an ability to sense the changes (or little changes) that took place in Japan during this decade or so because he has been studying and working outside Japan for many years as an independent individual.  And precisely for this reason, his views as expressed in the recent Cambridge Gazette are rather critical and harsh about the state of affairs in Japan.

The latest Cambridge Gazette (in Japanese) which I received yesterday introduces straight forward evaluations visibly clear from overseas on how the Japanese authorities handled this nuclear breakdown, their thoughts on the risk management, how they think about Japanese intellectuals or Japanese ‘leaders’ who has more responsibility in the society.  I very much agree with Kurihara-san in many aspects.

I ask each of you to think seriously about what you can or must do now.