No working mother in picture books for children?

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Pick of the week from Japan, 31 July – 4 August

3 Aug. No working mother in picture books for children? Barriers blocking telling stories of various families

I am a journalist of 35 years old with a daughter of two years old. My wife who also has a full time job alerted me recently that little picture books tell stories of a family where both parents work. 

The number of double income household has surpassed the number of single income one since decades. This fact however is not reflected in children’s picture books in Japan.

The journalist in the article interviewed authors and publishers of children’s books and found a still conservative attitude of the publishers. One publisher said, “We can’t go into detail of a model of a family as one family model will make people with other types of family feel “it’s not for me”.

Is it the only reason?

Why publishers are so much afraid of including working mothers in children’s books, despite the fact that population of mothers who are housewives are less than those who have a job?

I see here a strong Japanese attitude of being afraid of the change. Any change will create unexpected consequences in expected and unexpected ways. This is what the Japanese almost automatically try to avoid.

It’s not data that convinces the Japanese, but the perception. Thus publishers stick to an outdated model of a family as it is safer than taking consequences of a change.

Such an attitude support stability of the Japanese society. This however is a double-edge sward. For the same reason, Japan is keeping a half of its population in a stereo-typed image.

  • The news items referred here are picked up from “Asahi Digital”, and translated by Europe-Japan Dynamics. The cited titles or articles are not an official translation by the Asahi Newspaper

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How can a non-native English speaker be a Grammarian at a Toastmasters Club meeting?

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【I defined my role as a Grammarian】

“I’ll take a Grammarian’s role next time.” —   I came to know that I had encouraged other non-native English speakers, when two people said it to me after the meeting of Geneva International Toastmasters Club tonight. It was an unexpected surprise!

I was a Grammarian of a Club meeting. Grammarian however was the last role I would take. I thought I couldn’t do it.  “How can I correct English grammar being non-native speaker?”

I however did it tonight.

I set my challenge to be a contributor of the meeting in the way I can. I’m not the right person to correct English but there must be something else I can do well.

I redefined the role of a Grammarian.

I  listened to each speech & evaluation carefully and thought in what way I could help the speakers.

I picked up good expressions and sentences that gave life to the speeches. 
After the meeting, I found my evaluation by Christina as a Grammarian super! It went far beyond my expectation.

Why did it happen?

I concentrated in listening to the speeches tonight. It was the only way to pick up good points and share them with the meeting. Concentration allowed me to notice good expressions.

It was respect to all the speakers to listen each speaker very carefully. Every one in the meeting room got what worked well in my comments.

I didn’t have to be afraid of doing bad, being a non-native English speaker.

There is always a way to utilize my resource to help others.

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Fresh & Hot from Japan, 16 to 20 January 2017

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Please enjoy fresh & hot news from Japan with comments by Europe-Japan Dynamics.

16 Jan. JAXA failed to launch a small size rocket, causes to be investigated

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) announced on the 15th that it had failed launching of the small rocket which is the world’s smallest of the class created upon improvement of the rocket for atmospheric observation. JAXA said that it had canceled the ignition of the second rocket planned 180 seconds later of the launch, because JAXA couldn’t receive the data from the rocket after the launch from the Uchinoura outer space observatory locates in Kimotsuki-cho, Kagoshima-ken. The cause of the failure is not known at present and the agency will investigate it in detail.

Comments: Failure is always a means of leaning.

17 Jan. Slight increase of rate of women general managers to be 4.1% of government officials

The Cabinet Office announced the ratio of woman administrator of public and private sectors. Regarding the national government officials,  23.9% of the section manager of the Ministries, 9.4% of the assistant manager of the Ministries and general manager of local organizations, 4.1% of  department managers of the Ministries and 3.5% of those higher than deliberation official grade were women. <these figures were lower by 1.5-6.1 points compared to the aimed figure of 2020.

Comments: Japan is still behind of the world in utilizing resources of women workforce.

18 Jan. Relaying on robots for the care of the aged?, due to a serious labour shortage in the aged persons’ home

What kind of town is good if I spend the old age? The nature is rich, and convenient for shopping and above all a good medical and care services must be available — It was Kitakyushu-shi that shined in the first place in “the ranking of local cities where people  wanted to live after 50 years old”, according to a magazine for the senior published in summer last year.

Comments: Care requires emotional energy. Could robot replace human beings for that?

19 Jan. Supporting IT talented people, a foundation of Masayoshi Son started recruiting

“The Masayoshi Son endowment foundation” which President Masayoshi Son of the SOFTBANK group established by his own fund started recruitment of people whom the foundtati9on will support as the leaders of the next generation. Those eligible must be under  25 years old, may  in studying or returning benefits as a corporate manager. The foundation would support max. 100 people for their research, and study abroad and interchanging of each other.

Comments: Supporting one hundred people? wWhat a big idea it is!

20 Jan. Kirin to withdraw from Brazil, planning to sell its local subsidiary

A Japanese beer major Kirin Holdings Co., Ltdexamining the sale of the Brazilian subsidiary. An anticipated buyer is a Netherlands’ beer major Heineken. Kirin acquired a local major beer company six years agobut a deficit continues due to intensifying competition in local markets. Kirin is a withdrawing from Brazil.

Comments: Kirin will focus on Asia.

  • All the news items are picked up from “Asahi Digital”, and summarized and translated by Europe-Japan Dynamics. The articles are not an official translation by the Asahi Newspaper.

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Fresh & Hot from Japan, 24 to 28 October 2016

Please enjoy fresh & hot news from Japan with comments by Europe-Japan Dynamics.

24 Oct. Toyota to release a fuel cell battery bus in the market, promoting the ecology-car technologies

Toyota Motor Corporation announced that the company will start selling a bus powered by a fuel cell battery, that generates electric power by the reaction of hydrogen and oxygen, from 2017. Toyota aims at having over 100 of the bus running in downtown Tokyo in 2020, the year of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic, thus appealing its technology to produce ecology-cars to inside and outside Japan.

Comments: It is a good side effect of the Olympic and Paralympic that the event provides a strong motivation for the industry of technology innovation.

25 Oct. J League (Japanese football league) entered into partner with Tag Heuer

 J League (Japanese football league) announced at a press conference that it has entered into a partner contract with a Swiss high quality watch maker, Tag Heuer. The boards used to display a relief player or an additional period in a game of J1 (The top league) will become the one modeled after Tag Heuer watches.

Comments: Glad to find another tie between Switzerland and Japan!

26 Oct. Japanese gender gap the worst among G7, down to the 111th

World Economic Forum (WEF) known as the Davos Forum announced the Gender Gap Report 2016, that compares the status of women and men of each country. Japan is the 111th place out of 144 countries of the world, which is the lowest rank among seven major economies (G7). The country lowered the rank from the 101st place out of 145 countries in 2015.

Comments: Low participation of women in decision-making level in politics and business is a major reason of the low rank. Thus women are heavily underutilized resource in Japan.

27 Oct. In which companies sexual minorities work comfortably? Ranking of 82 companies are released in Japan

To create a workplace in which those who are sexual minority may comfortably work, supporting organizations pulled together an “index” of the companies based on an evaluation of their actions for the minorities. The organizations awarded the highest category, “Gold”, to 53 companies and group companies of telecommunications, finance and manufacturing industries. A similar index is established in the UK, the US and Australia, and this is the first time in Japan.

Comments: Publicly recognizing good actions is a good way to admit and promote LGBT in society.

28 Oct. Too much assist by an electric bicycle, not allowed on the public road, seven products with over power

The National Police Agency announced that the power of the motor was beyond the legal limit as for at least 7 models from 6 vendors of the electric bicycles. According to the Agency, 4536 electric bicycles of these models were sold from 2013 to September 2016. The Agency invites users of such bicycles not to use them, as their motors are stronger than the level determined by the ordinance and thus are not allowed to run on the public roads.

Comments: Why isn’t there a checking of the motors of electric bicycles, if there is a legal limit  in the strength of the motors?

  • All the news items are picked up from “Asahi Digital”, and summarized and translated by Europe-Japan Dynamics. The articles are not an official translation by the Asahi Newspaper.

Tips for Western professional women working in Japan posted on “culture 99”.

I presented in Webinar organised by Culture 99 “Tips for Western professional women working in Japan”. The recorded version is just posted on web site of “culture 99″.

先日のウェビナーが、culture 99 で広報されました。「ベアテの贈り物」と、ベアテさんの功績も紹介されています。日本女性の人権の歴史が、こういう機会に広く世界に紹介されて、とても嬉しく思いました。

Beate S. Gordon, who established”The Gift from Beate”, a story and history of the establishment of Japanese women’s human rights, is also posted.
Thank you very much for good comments, Matthew!

  • “Yoshiko combines her cultural and experience in Japan with her many years in Europe to deliver a unique view of Western / Japanese difference – These 5 short film highlights give a context and background to the women working in Japan with ideas and strategies for success. A big thank you goes to Yoshiko from the ITC and its followers.
  • Culture Film – Women’s Human Rights in Japan A candid film about an extraordinary woman Beate Sirota Gordon and her contribution to the Japanese Constitution and specifically to her efforts concerning Women’s Human Rights after WWII..”

https://culture99.wordpress.com/2016/02/27/webinar-highlights-yoshiko-kurisaki-western-women-working-in-japan/

What are clues for Western Professional women doing business in Japan?

Here are seven clues for you! Please enjoy.

These are highlights of the Intercultural Training Channel organised by Mr. Matthew Hill, intercultural author, trainer & coach.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Clues for the western professional women visiting Japan, “Moshi moshi, Japan?”, Geneva, Friday, 23 October

Moshi moshi, Japan?, Geneva, Friday, 23 October (Speaker is changed.)

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“Moshi moshi, Japan?” is an informal meet-up with people doing business with Japan.

Theme “Clues for the western professional women visiting Japan”

  • What is the status of working women in Japan?
  • What is an appropriate business attire?
  • How to carry on negotiation with Japanese businessmen?
  • And more

Presenter Yoshiko KURISAKI, Europe-Japan Dynamics

Date and time: From 18h00 to 19h15, Friday, 23 October
Place: McDonald (find us at a table on the 1st Floor), 22, rue du Mont-Blanc, 1201 Geneva (1 min from Cornavin station)
Languages: French and English
Fee: CHF 10.- for Organisation and your own coffee

Registration: By e-mail or phone to Yoshiko Kurisaki, Europe-Japan Dynamics
Yoshiko.kurisaki@gmail.com, Tel. 076 411 6076

Next meeting   ————————————————-

Friday, 20 November, 2015

Theme “Helping Switzerland and Japan for 28 years”
Presenter to be confirmed.  Mr. Kiyoshi IMAI, Trade and Investment Adviser, Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), Geneva