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Japan Society Chairman's Blog (48)

Japan Society Chairman's Blog (48)

So what metaphor or simile should we use to describe the situation we find ourselves in as we approach Christmas festivities and Bonenkai, in the second year of the pandemic? A roller-coaster? Round and round the mulberry bush? Groundhog Day? Or might we, in a more positive frame of mind, express gratitude for the many good things that have happened this year?

Japan Society Chairman's Blog (47)

Japan Society Chairman's Blog (47)

What news item struck you most over the past week or two? There has certainly been plenty going on both in Japan and the UK, what with the COP26 United Nations climate negotiations in Glasgow, a Lower House election in Japan which the opposition flunked and from which Prime Minister Kishida came out well and a dramatic U-turn by the British government over the enforcement of Parliamentary standards.

Japan Society Chairman's Blog (46)

Japan Society Chairman's Blog (46)

If you’ll forgive the pun, it has been a noble week for some of the values shared by the UK and Japan. Since I am a long-time Grub Street Hack, as journalists and other writers were termed in 19th-century Britain, it will surprise no one that I was especially delighted to see the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to two brave journalists, battling to hold authoritarian governments to account.

Tsunagu/Connect - Intergenerational Film Workshop

Tsunagu/Connect - Intergenerational Film Workshop

Tsunagu/Connect is a project from New Earth Theatre documenting the lives of dozens of women who were born in Japan but have settled in the UK since 1945. As part of the project New Earth Theatre is creating a short intergenerational film of young people interviewing their Japanese mothers or grandmothers about their lives in Japan and here in the UK and are looking for young people of Japanese heritage (age 8 - 16) to take part.

Tsunagu/Connect - New Podcast Series

Tsunagu/Connect - New Podcast Series

Our friends at New Earth Theatre invite Japan Society members and friends to listen to their first-ever podcast Earth 2 Air dedicated to amplifying and championing stories of East and South East Asians in the UK.

Japan Society Chairman's Blog (45)

Japan Society Chairman's Blog (45)

Well, it’s not often one can write something like this: I hope you all had a better summer than Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga! We all knew that Japan’s summer of sporting contests at the Olympics and Paralympics were going to be followed by two electoral contests..

Japan Society Chairman's Blog (44)

Japan Society Chairman's Blog (44)

So, now they have finally opened, should we be sad, should we be glad, should we be critical, or should we just look at the Olympic Games for what they are and can be, in these most difficult of circumstances, as if we were singing along to Doris Day’s Que sera sera?

Japan Society Chairman's Blog (43)

Japan Society Chairman's Blog (43)

It now seems to happen every year at some stage, but the extreme weather events we have been seeing lately still come as a shock as well, we must hope, as an eye-opener about the reality of climate change.

Japan Society Chairman's Blog (42)

Japan Society Chairman's Blog (42)

Over the past year and a half we have all become rather more knowledgeable about the way in which Mother Nature can spring surprises on us than we ever wanted or expected to be.

Japan Society Chairman's Blog (41)

Japan Society Chairman's Blog (41)

The news came as quite a shock, as it may do now to those Japan Society members not yet aware of it: that Sir Roger Gifford, who spoke so warmly and cheerfully at our webinar on green finance on 19 May, passed away at his home less than a week later, on 25 May.