What is globalization?

  • 2007.04.04 Wednesday
  • 23:00
I would like to talk about what happed to Japan in the period of through globalization, because, in spite of reading the texts, I could not understand what happed. All I can do is showing my opinion from an Asian point of view and perhaps from an objective point of view as well. As our teacher has said before, globalization was caused by Western countries.

First of all, I would like to talk about economy. Through American pressure, Japan had to deregulate its economy deregulation and have an open economy market from around 1988. Many foreign companies came to Japan and brought new standards with them. Japanese companies had to compete with them. Some Japanese companies consolidated and merged to some to with foreign companies. At that time Japanese companies consolidated didn’t fellow global standards. Some companies went out of business and were bought by foreign companies. For example, Nissan Japanese the second biggest car company, made an alliance with Renault; a French Company. Now the president of Nissan is French. Following the trend, Japanese economy is challenged to meet global standards. I think the teacher said globalization came to Japan in 1970 but I think in 1970 internationalization came to Japan and not globalization. Because at that time we didn’t need to make a new standard. Internationalization and globalization are different. Internationalization means that we don’t need to change our standard but globalization requires us to create new standards, as this should and is a global standard.

Secondly, I would like to focus on culture. Because of globalization we need to communicate more with other nations. So we use English as a common language, I think Japan is reconsidering English education in the country. Studying English starts from at age 10 since 2002, but when I was a student, teaching English started in 13 yeas old. As you know, I can’t pronounce some of your names correctly, because I started studying English is too late. According to linguist, we have a time limit to lean correct pronunciation. Linguist call it’s time limit “the wall of 9 year old”. After the age of 9, recognizing new sounds becomes difficult. Japanese language has only 5 vowels and 10 consonants. English has more than double the around. So that way I can’t differentiate L from R Lord and Road is same for me. Th, S, Sh and Bi, Vi and Fu, Hu, and U , Wu, and Di , Ji Zi as well. But the Japanese language is very complicated; I think studying English and Japanese at the same is too difficult. Japanese language is written using ideographic Chinese characters and two phonetic characters. And phonetic character has 50 words each. Chinese character has 1945 words. There are all of them ( show the document). Even if you have the same sound, the meaning is changed (show the word), if we write it down. These words are same sound “ Kakou” but the meanings are completely different. And we must change speaking forms up to who talks to you. If you talk with elder then you, you must use polite words. In my opinion, Japanese compulsory education should be started from the age of 5 or 6, and you need to take time to study both English and Japanese as early as possible to do well in globalization era.

Finally I would like to show what happened to my mother. Now she is involved in globalization because I come her to the ISS. She is 71years old. It means she experienced WW2. For the battle’s Japan lost, she has a strong complex to Western countries. But this is not only limited to her. Japanese tend to have a complex to Western countries and culture. I think this is a port of Japanese culture. She still believes every Western person is richer than the average Japanese. For example, she thinks you have many formal parties and do a lot of social dancing, therefore she sent me a Kimono as a birthday present and said to me “put on the Kimono for the party”. Every Western guy is a gentleman and according to her, they often ray ladies first. Additionally, she thinks daughter should follow her parents’ requests. When I decided to come here, she said to me” I allow you to go to Europe for 3 months, but when you come to back to Japan, you have to get married”. But now I changing my mind I will stay Europe longer than 3 months. When I told her, she said to me “ I don’t allow you to change the day you were planning to come back to Japan”. Then I told her “Mama! I became 30 years old and I use only my own money! I am not a child any more!! I made many friends and they inspired me. I want to be more independent and I want to see other countries. It is best chance to go there!” Hearing that, she asked me “The friends are guys? If they are guys, you should not go!” Even though she is against my plane, I decided to go. She must acknowledge my plans. She has to accept Western mother’s philosophy, so now globalization is coming to her.

In conclusion, in my opinion, it is true that the Western created the globalization, but I believe Japan and other countries influence globalization as well. Every country is suscepoble to inverted the globalization and we are influencing the globalization together. For example, the Internet was started by western people. At the beginning internet was for personal interests only, and the next stage of internet was development lead to the reduction of jobs, because of excessive personal salary. But Japan is using the Internet to inspire consumers to buy. If you have a look Japanese internet sites, you might be surprised because they are so fancy. Japanese internet sites try to catch the costumer’s attention. I think this trend is coming to Western internet web site.

Finally, I wish to have more ideas on globalization. I think we can get these by communicating with other nations. I’m not good at English but I want to inspire mutually. I think this is an aspect of globalization and international relations. Studying in this class is not a competition for me. I think study here out of interest. However I want to give attending this class a meaning. If you have time, let’s have a chat. I am only Asian, I hope I could give you new ideas. I hope these ideas help you to create global standards.

Kahori OCHI 2005.July at the intarnational summer school at universtiy of Oslo
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