Saturday, November 16, 2013

"Friendship, It's Powerful”

A few days ago, I was talking about my past Facebook post about the world university ranking problem to three Japanese women.  One of them handed me a thin paperback titled "Friendship, It's Powerful  友情 力あり” written by Shiroyama Saburo.  It’s a nonfiction story about a group of Japanese and American students including the author who attended a series of conferences in the US and Japan right before WWII. 

This is a thin book, but very good.  By reading it, I thought the situation between the U.S. and Japan hasn't changed much.  On page 204, one Japanese American member tells the author, "I want Miyazawa Kiichi to become prime minister (Miyazawa who became PM was also a member of this group.  He was probably the only PM who spoke English.) ... Besides, Ambassador to Japan should at least speak in Japanese, and journalists in Japan should also.  With speaking only English, how can people really understand Japan?  It's impossible to understand each other unless many more Americans learn to speak Japanese." 

I agree with above statement if we seek true democratic world.  I was excited to find that opinion written at last!  This is very difficult for Japanese to say to non Japanese, especially for that generation.  The author wrote it, not as his opinion, but through the opinion of his friend.  But we can understand this, can we?  It is his opinion, too, after all.

What is your opinion about this?