世界で活躍するグローバル・リーダーに bimonthly (隔月ごと）にYGCでインタビューしていきます。全て英語でインタビューを行いますので、是非最後まで頑張って読んでいきましょう！
- As a school principal, I assume that you have had many opportunities to meet interesting people. Was there any Japanese person you were influenced by?
After I started working as the principal at Kaisei, I have not met too many influential people. However, my professor during my university years has greatly influenced my view of life: he taught me a variety of things and especially enhanced my knowledge in the realm of academia.
- As a school principal, is there anything you keep in mind when interacting with the students?
First of all, I try to compare my students with myself at the same age. Compared with myself at their age, the current students are remarkable without question. I believe that the major objective of education is to bring out the potential abilities and characteristics of each student, which I do by examining their personalities and slightest remarks.
The next thing to keep in my mind is not to make a significant discrepancy in the values which the students learn at school and home since junior and senior high school years are the stages in their lives of establishing basic values. We strive to understand and allow parents and students to understand that each student’s academic ability and personality come with their own individuality.
- Global education and intercultural communication education are being carried out in many schools. What efforts are being made to implement global education at your school?
As a school, our distinctive feature is that we strive to support the needs and requests of the students in pursuing their dreams. More students are expressing their interests in going to top schools abroad. This began when one of our graduates was fascinated with Harvard students during freshmen at University of Tokyo. He asked me the reasonability of applying for Harvard College and quitting University of Tokyo. I advised him to continue studying at University of Tokyo as if he were a Harvard student by studying over 60 hours per week and then to challenge Graduate School of Harvard University. As a result, he is now studying Political Science at Princeton University after successfully graduating University of Tokyo. This episode was told to his junior, which then triggered more students to aim for top level American universities. Such students interested in studying abroad usually apply for summer school beforehand. We support each individual student and advise them how to apply for such program. We’re very proud of the close relationships between the school’s alumni and current students.
- What is ‘English’ to you?
A language is a tool used for thinking: it also is used for conveying one’s intent. In addition to the language used daily, being able to acquire additional set of language enables expanding one’s thoughts and relationships with others. This additional language is not limited to the English language but other languages that even include Japanese dialects.
Educated and cultured people can wield words to express their thoughts and thus important to experience new concepts from various languages in order to stimulate the human brain. From this, I say that it is ideal to start acquiring conceptual understanding in different languages at the age of 18 at the latest, rather than from post graduate years. This is the optimum stage where a student could gain a competitive edge when seriously considering to study abroad from an undergraduate level.
- What do you expect from students in the coming global society?
If I were to express ‘globalization’ in Chinese characters it would be, ‘expansion.’ People tend to move away from where they were born and start their lives where even languages, culture and food are different. Refugees are currently the biggest embodiment of this global society: they live in places different to from where they were born, because they believe they would find better places for improving their lives. In a way, people tend to live in a completely different environment to enable themselves to widen their perspectives and seek things that benefit them.
In Japan, as represented by the ‘Lost 20 years,’ the entrapment within a society and apprehensions of what the future may hold are perhaps what make the people want to become ‘global.’ People tend to use the word ‘global’ when they feel anxious about their current and future possible societies. Yet, globalization has been around for a long time, transpiring every 50 years or so. It is safe to say that globalization is a concept of the past. Therefore, students should keep their eyes and ears wide open to broaden their horizons and discover new possibilities that lie ahead.
- What do you envision for the young generation who wish to take on active roles globally?
Creation for international standards will become more vital than ever from the advances in information and technology. We need people who can negotiate internationally based on consensus building while at the same time understand the technology and ensure the profit and welfare of one’s nation. In addition to the technology, I’d like to see the future where the people of young generation advocate an international framework not only in technology, but also in the field of trade and environment and take initiatives in taking on roles for building a new, global platform.
- A message to students who wish to pursue their goals and dreams on a worldwide scale:
For the betterment and welfare of the people, advocate your own ideas, increase your sympathizers, and aim for a global consensus. Act independently and proactively!