Which has changed, Japan or me?

When I first came to Japan in the early 1990’s, I thought Japan was an exciting, optimistic
and happy place. I still meet happy and optimistic people every day but more and more I
feel something else. I notice grumpy people. I notice people want to complain about the
smallest things. People are tense and get angry more quickly. What has changed? Have I
changed or has Japan changed? Do you feel this change too?

According to business management theory, when a company is in decline, people often become
defensive, grumpy and blame each other. People know their salaries and conditions will
decline, People know tomorrow will be worse than today. There is nothing new to look forward
to and people defend the remaining things selfishly. Japan’s economy has been declining for
many years now. The future is higher taxes, lower wages and reduced pensions. Is the economy
and work stress changing people?

When he was younger, my father was happy and optimistic. As an old man, he became grumpy.
The levels of the male hormone, testosterone fall in men as they get older. This hormone
helps men feel confident and healthy. Together with other frustrations, reduced hormone
levels can be a factor causing grumpiness. The population of older men is rapidly increasing
in Japan. Is this a factor?

When I came to Japan I was about 25 years old. 25 is an exciting and optimistic age. Now
I’m 42. I work harder and have lots of responsibilities. Maybe I’ve changed. Finally, when I
came to Japan I couldn’t understand Japanese. Now I understand everything. Maybe my improved
Japanese ability enables me to hear negative things more clearly.

I don’t know whether I’m changing or Japan is changing? What do you think? But like many
other foreigners living here, I love this country. So the thing I hope for is better
political leadership. Japan needs a future vision and the confidence to go forward with
confidence. This national vision and confidence comes from political leadership.
Unfortunately, Japanese politics is just a circus of disappointing failure.







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