Tsuruta’s Blog (November 2023)

It seems that autumn has fully arrived. The weather is so different from the intense heat of summer that it feels like a lie.
I had a visit from a British person the other day, and they were surprised to see so many Japanese restaurants and eateries. When you think about it, there are indeed quite a lot of them. However, I believe that their numbers will decrease significantly in the future.
It’s challenging to recruit people, and I’ve noticed that many students have strong English language skills, such as passing the Eiken pre-1st grade test, when compared to the past. Nevertheless, many people seem content with this, and it makes me wonder if they feel unsatisfied with what we expect. In the future, Japan is likely to face a shortage of labor, low income levels, and struggles due to the high prices of fuel and food.
The government advises citizens to invest in stocks, but it’s not always profitable. It can also result in losses. Pensions are likely to decrease, and bank deposit interest rates are at 0.002%. While I may feel inclined to invest in stocks, it takes considerable expertise to make a profit. Many small companies are likely to go out of business. Politicians should work for the benefit of the people by cutting expenses and creating profitable jobs.
I believe that Japan will face very challenging times ahead. We need to prepare for this, as the national debt is increasing, and the interest on the borrowed money is becoming more burdensome. Earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, and other disasters should be prepared for, even starting now.
Japan’s government debt, when combined with local governments, amounts to 1,200 trillion yen. The cost of dealing with just the COVID-19 pandemic is 100 trillion yen. Japan’s total revenue is 1,144.4 trillion yen, but 35.6 trillion yen goes toward debt servicing and social insurance-related expenses. If income doesn’t grow and these costs continue to rise, Japan will face a significant problem in supporting the nation.
Where have the responsible and diligent students gone? Many small businesses are managed by husband and wife teams, but they must close when one of them falls ill. It’s more challenging than what is considered by salaried employees.
Companies must learn new things and technologies to survive, or they will go out of business. Recently, a lady from a famous Hermes store in Ginza, which is known for excellent performance, visited my company. She mentioned that the highest-end Hermes bags cost a staggering 50 million yen. The prices of their watches, paintings, and tin toys are also extremely high. Life becomes a series of experiences, and it’s what awaits after death.
Death is a mysterious concept, and even religions can’t explain it. People cannot take any money, let alone a significant amount, with them. Being happy is about living peacefully and closing one’s eyes quietly. It’s about appreciating the deliciousness of meals, the taste of beer after an outing, and the joy of sharing with friends. A time without these experiences awaits after death.
As for the conflicts in Russia and Ukraine, the Israel-Hamas conflict is intensifying while the world is closely watching. The United States has dispatched two aircraft carriers to the Middle East due to the Israel-Hamas conflict. The exact cause of a rocket strike on a hospital remains disputed. While several countries, including France and Japan, have called for an immediate halt to Israel’s actions at the United Nations, the United States exercised its veto power. Many wealthy Jewish Americans donate significant amounts to both the Republican and Democratic parties, which is why both parties tend to support Israel. These issues stem from the establishment of the state of Israel by the United Nations, including the United Kingdom, after World War II.
There are various reasons why Egypt and other Middle Eastern countries oppose Israel, but Israel, with a much higher standard of living than the rest of the region, took land without returning it to the original owners, leading to tense relationships. It’s challenging to say if there will ever be peace in the region. Israel is in a complex situation, and it’s a global issue.
The world is becoming smaller, with many people traveling and residing in Japan. Japanese women are marrying foreigners in increasing numbers, which introduces new experiences and challenges in language, religion, food, and culture. It’s important to communicate clearly with one another.
Technological advancements, such as electric vehicles (EVs), are changing the way we live. It’s predicted that soon, taxis will operate without human drivers, and they’re considered safer than human drivers. However, this will mean taxi drivers need to consider a career change.
We are entering a challenging era with rapid changes in the world, where people travel easily, rich and poor coexist, and being self-reliant is becoming essential.
Mitsubishi Motors and other car companies are leaving the Chinese market, as Tesla quickly gained ground in China. Japanese car companies might have underestimated the potential of electric vehicles. We need to stay updated with global trends and embrace fresh ideas.
The post-war period was a time when Japanese students wore school uniforms and caps. To educate Japanese children, we must carefully consider what to do. Students who want to study need to advance quickly, or Japan will fall behind other countries.
Everyone should take care and have a good time. The chairman of the Bettering Japanese Politics Club, Don Quijote, Kazunari Tsuruta.

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