I think many people feel that the credibility of Japan has fallen sharply after the event of “3.11 Fukushima”. I also regret to say that we do not see any signs yet of trust in Japan recovering. Why is this so? The recent issues of TPP or Olympus could be examples of reasons for such mistrust.
On the other hand, we witnessed how the people at the “3.11” stricken area have manifested their wonderful energy. The whole world saw the fundamental strength embedded in the genes of the Japanese people. But this is only one side of the coin, and if seen from the other side, we might also see the weakness of the Japanese people in being rather too quiet or obedient.
However, the local victims of the 3.11 Eastern Japan Earthquake and Tsunami are now taking actions towards recovery. While the government sector is doing nothing much than reciting the mantra of “the third opening of Japan”, the series of concrete actions taken by the civilian section may, in the end, pave the way in the real word towards the true “third opening of Japan”
Recently my colleague and I wrote an opinion in Japan Times. Hope you will take a look at it.
A week after Seoul and Okinawa, I flew to Taipei. I was invited to give a plenary lecture at the Society of Internal Medicine in Taiwan. Another invited speaker was Dr. Virginina Hood , the president of the American College of Physicians whom, by the way, I happened to see in San Diego this April.
In the Sunday afternoon, I made an excursion to Jiufen (Ref.1), a village located about 40 minutes by car from Taipei. This village is well known as the site where the movie “A City for Sadness” was filmed, and also the model of the unique architectures and shopping street that appear in “Spirited Away”, an animated fantasy-adventure film by Hayao Miyazaki. It was very amusing to stroll around and listen to those interesting stories about the village. I recommend that you visit here some time. The only thing was that since it was a sunny Sunday, the busy traffic and crowded tourists was somewhat overwhelming…
Taipei seemed to be less energetic than the time I was here before. They might be experiencing economic recessions, too.
Other events scheduled around this weekend were; my annual general health check up, UCLA alumni gathering, hearing session of the Canon foundation research grants, and “The Entrenpreneur Awards Japan 2011, Second Annual Awards Ceremony” at the U.S. Embassy. This event is very strongly supported by Ambassador Roos and I have participated in the first ceremony, also.
Each day is passing quickly and busily. It is not a very pleasing situation, I have to say.