【An intern's thought 'Young people's Voice'】 "Do Diet members deserve to be criticised?"

2020年8月20日 18:54 | 若い声

"Do Diet members deserve to be criticised?"
"I think you'll have a completely different opinion once you actually listen to them talk."
Recommended by a secretary at Representative Taira's office, I spent the whole of my first day at Zenkoku Josei Giin Seisaku Seminar (National Policy Seminar for Women ), hosted by Councillor Junko Mihara. The seminar started with a talk from State Minister of Cabinet Office Masaaki Taira, followed by Minister for Defence Taro Kono, and former Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications Seiko Noda. These are the people I refer to when I look for the latest information about Japanese politics. Watching them discuss about the current social and political issues excited my intellectual curiosity further.

One of the most fascinating ideas was Representative Taira's approach to the use of technology. Setting a sustainable future as an ultimate goal, he emphasised the importance of "diversity" and "inclusion". As a method to achieve this, he introduced an avatar robot, ORIHIME, which can be used to help build a society inclusive of everyone in our diverse population. For instance, a visually impaired person can receive information remotely from someone else for assistance. This idea is also included in the concept of a body-sharing robot, NIN_NIN. It would enable elderly people to look after themselves in the near future, even if they're confined to bed, for example. With an effective use of technology, he shared his future prospect for a society in which everyone can participate and flourish in their own way.

During Kono's speech, I realised the importance of rational thinking. He described how he was asked if China was a danger for Japan, taking the audience through his logical way of thinking. He first broke this down into two parts to consider, i) if the country has the potential to do harm to Japan, and ii) if the country has the will to do so. In the case of Japan-China relations, China has the potential to become a danger, but not the will to do so. The evidence for the latter statement was not clearly stated, possibly due to the information being a part of highly confidential information. Nevertheless, based on this analysis, he concluded (as of our current situation) he does not consider China being a danger to Japan. This did not only demonstrate his thorough data analysis, but also his logical consistency.

Another thing I realised was their sense of humour . I would've imagined politicians being almost excessively formal at events like this, but in fact, they were the opposite. Bearing in mind that the seminar was only for women, LDP Secretary-General Toshihiro Nikai, evoked laughter from the audience, saying:
"We have just opened a women-only common room in the LDP headquarters, but looking at how you are all being the boss at home, it should've been easy, right?"

Attending this seminar was a special opportunity for me to get a real first-hand information from the first day of my internship. The kind of information we usually have access to may be biased, sometimes directing the audience to a one-sided conclusion. Therefore, we need to keep an open mind and have multiple perspectives, perhaps by comparing different sources and searching for more reliable information from primary sources. This experience at Representative Taira's office has fueled my aspiration to broaden the boundaries of my knowledge, and will definitely assist me in deciding my future path.

(An intern R.I)