Editor’s note: Students have been reading Anne Allison‘s Precarious Japan and are commenting how recent economic and social challenges in Japan are impacting their plans for their futures.
by Kotaro Yamamoto
Is it Japan really hopeless country? Do you have a hope in your future? According to government survey, many young people in Japan not have confidence on themselves. In 2014, Japanese government did cabinet decision about kodomo・wakamono hakusho (children・youth white paper) and it shows difference between Japanese youth and youth in some other countries (kodomo・wakamono hakusho, 2014). Survey conducted on men and women between age of 13 to 29 from 7 countries such as Japan, Korea, United States, England, Germany, France, and Sweden. About a thousand of people in each countries answered through the Internet. As the result, people who answered question that “Are you satisfied yourself?” are only 45.8% in Japan. On the other hand, other 6 countries got more than 70%. The question that “Do you have a hope in your future?” also shows same proclivity as former question, only 61.6% of Japanese youth answered as positive. However, other 6 countries got more than 80%.
Through this survey, I can’t stop worrying about future of Japan. In the future, I want to some how contribute to education especially for younger age people. I think education is very important factor through human life. However, it is difficult to change that Japanese education. I suggest that the reason why many youth in Japan have no confidence is because of Japanese education system. In Japan, many school have to follow same kind of education system. There is “juken” which is entrance exam for university. Most of junior high or high school have to do the education program only for that exam. All people who want to go to college have to get a high score to enter the good one. Japan still has an academic career-based society, so people have to enter good college to get a nice job. Many people think that to have a good life, we have to study and enter good college then get an informal appointment from big company as “Shinsotsu” (new graduate student). This system gives stop thinking as creative. They are required to find one answer so person who answered wrong will exclude.
I think this is one of the biggest reasons making atmosphere that “strange” or “different” people are eliminate from Japanese society. When I was elementary school student, I lived in America. My family was in Los Angele
s but many people treated our family member as friends. However, some of my American friends told me that Japan is closed society and sometimes feel uncomfortable because of his nationality. In the future, Japan will face more severe situation. To break through it, we have to revive confidence of Japanese youth.
Naikaku-Fu. (2014, June 3). Kodomo・Wakamono Hakusho (Children・Youth White Paper). Retrieved from http://www8.cao.go.jp/youth/kenkyu/thinking/h25/pdf/b2_1.pdf