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The Showa Era is growing distant

16 2 0
20.05.2019

I wrote this piece on a late evening Nozomi superexpress train bound for Tokyo. It was a tough Sunday night after finishing a six-hour class at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto. I have been a visiting professor there since 2006.

The class I taught was the 2019-2020 academic year’s first in a series of eight policy simulation games, a shorter version of the 24-hour war game by the Canon Institute for Global Studies. Sunday’s exercise was focused on the current political situation in East Asia with a special emphasis on the Korean Peninsula.

It is always great to be with and talking to young college students, especially freshmen and sophomores. They are naive and green in a good sense. Most of them were born at the turn of the century, maybe around 2000. They represent a new generation of Japan’s youth in the 21st century.

Having said that, I was not only appalled but also even shocked by the outcome of Sunday’s class. It was not because the students’ performance was poor. On the contrary, they did a great job as newcomers. I was just surprised by the generation gap I felt with those students. The following are the reasons why:

The presumed time and location of this policy simulation game was the Korean Peninsula in real time on May 19. Since the U.S. president walked out of the summit meeting with North Korea’s leader in Hanoi at the end of February, the two sides have explored a third summit meeting on the issue of denuclearization.

Japan and China are trying to make trade deals with the United States, hopefully by June during the Group of 20 summit in........

© The Japan Times