From Blog to Movement: The Future of Saving Japan
April 23, 2012 5 Comments
“Make a difference”. A phrase oftentimes used by motivational speakers at leadership conferences to pump up its guests, “making a difference” is something that we all want to do. We all want our actions to count for something. Many of us want to leave a positive footprint when we die, leaving the world a better place at our departure. We are all called to a higher purpose; “making a difference” is simply the verbalization of this mantra into a concept that the majority (if not all) find easy to grasp.
It is easy to say that you want to make a difference. What isn’t so easy,however, is the path through which you can get there.
This is particularly applicable in my case. Since I was little, I have always felt a draw towards Japan – a magnetic pull that has become stronger and stronger as the years went by. By Grade 10, I had figured out what I wanted to do: save the Japan economy from ruin through future participation in the Japanese sociopolitical spectrum – a goal many consider to be ambitious, to say the least.
What I still haven’t figured out is how I’m going to get to that stage. When it comes to politics, Japan remains one of the most insular, opaque “democracies” in the world filled with coercion, backroom deals, mutual back scratching and industry money. The problem is not limited to a segment of the public sector either; it’s prevalent throughout the entire government and oftentimes works in collaboration with private industry (see: TEPCO or Ichiro Ozawa). Individual opposition usually results in demotions, firings, or in extreme cases, death to eliminate the annoyance for the establishment. As qualified as a man might be, he alone will not be able to accomplish anything fighting against the tides of both government and giant, multinational corporations flush with cash. Singapore-style, autocratic Lee Kuan Yew-esque leadership does not apply in Japan; a gung-ho solo affair will only result in deportation.
It is for this reason that I have entertained the possibility of founding some sort of a movement in university under the Japan club and later expanding on this movement in Japan while studying to complete my graduate degree. A man is not an island. He needs to find like-minded people with whom he is able to share his goals and work towards a common objective. It is in this context that I am looking to transition Saving Japan from a blog to a movement that will be able to change Japan for the better; be it in the next five, ten, even twenty years.History has always been changed by protest. The French Revolution. The American Revolution. The Protestant Reformation. The Civil Rights Movement. It’s about time that Japan has its own Japanese Revival, and I will be helping to spearhead the cause, for the sake of Japan and for the sake of the global economy.
Of course, no movement can be built on ignorance. I plan to finish a bachelor’s in accounting and financial management before moving on to pursue graduate studies in public policy at the Matsushita Institute of Government and Management, or at a major Japanese university. Perhaps a PhD from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard if things turn to my favour. All while studying Japanese, and nurturing a budding movement that will hopefully change the face of Japan for the better by the time I’m long gone.
Japan is at a critical turning point. Its finances are in a state of ruin. Its demographics are equally bad, and it is running the risk of becoming the 21st century Argentina (see here). I don’t want that to happen, and neither does the majority of the 128 million-strong nation of Japan. With the individuals currently in power, standing by and letting things run their course will only lead to permanent decline. I won’t let that happen.
Making a difference starts with an idea. This is mine.