Let the whole world move forward.

I'm very glad that Japanese abductee's family gave heartful, or I should say heartbreaking, testimony in a joint hearing of House International Relations subcommittees.

I hate to say this but, OUR Japanese goverment have moved so slowly with this issue. I think it's about time for us, hopefully all people in the world, to move forward to tackle with this issue.

I know there are numerous important problems in the world. However, for the family, there is no time to put it off because the parents of the abductees have passed away one after another. It's very sad to see their painful deaths. I don't want to see it any more. Instead, I do want to see the scene, where they meet their daughters and sons, brothers and sisters, for the first time in decades. I believe many of the abductees are alive in a desperate situation.

I heard some of the family are scheduled to meet with President Bush at White House. It's going to be a great improvement, I believe!! Through this event, I want people in the world to see the situation deeply and start to help with each other.

related articles:
Japanese Mother Tells Congress of Anguish on Washington Post


Mystery of Japan abductee deepens
Mother's plea for N Korea abductee on BBC

record snowfall in Japan

Death toll from the record snowfall in Japan has reached 100. It's a huge number.

The amount of snowfall has been decreasing. We had rainfall last weekend because it became warm suddenly. It caused other sad accidents. Snow slides occurred in several places. Snow became moisty and heavy by being mixed with rain. In some places, snow on the roof dropped down to the resident and killed the person.

Most of the deaths were elderly people living in rural areas. Usually residents in heavy snowfall areas can help each other. So younger people help their elder neighbors. However, this winter, the amount of snowfall is unpredictably heavy. So in most areas, people can't afford to help each other. They have to remove heavy snow around their own house, doing that almost all day! Some experts say even if they have some volunteers, it's difficult and dangerous for people from no-heavy-snowfall areas to remove snow. Removing snow needs special skills, the experts suggest.

I've been surprised to see the record snowfall. What about global warming? I thought we have fewer and fewer snowfall in the world, and average temperature is increasing. But it's cold this winter!! Much colder than usual winter, especially it was cold in December!

It is said it's because of north pole doing something. For me, it's mystery! I hope we see no more single death
caused by snowfall.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!

Good morning, everyone! It's 9:30 AM on Monday.
And It's Martin Luther King Day in the U.S., right?

On Brian's show, they are going to do a 1-minute-reading segment about social justice, where any listeners call in and read any excerpts from newspaper, novels, poems or whatever, about social justice, to celebrate Martin Luther King Day. They do the reading segment every year but the given theme is different each year. I love the segment very much because I always love each person's selection and feel so happy as I listen to the lovely voices.

To be ready for the segment, I looked for the related English books when I went to the library on Saturday. Actually, I don't exactly understand what the "social justice" is. I think I understand it.... but not exactly. So I went to the English book section and looked for books whose titles include "justice", "identity", "ethnic", "discrimination", "race" and so on.

I tried to read some of those, but they were too difficult for me to get right. Anyway, I borrowed a book, "Racial and Ethnic Identity: Psychological development and Creative Expression". After coming back home, I read 20-30 pages, it took a few hours for me, and gave up! I was disappointed with my poor ability!!

Then next day, Sunday, I found interesting articles in NYT magazine!! "Shutting Themselves In" and "The Pressure to Cover".
The first one is about "hikikomori", which is quite a major issue in Japan. Some young people stay in his or her own room almost all day. Not going to school, not going out for meeting friends, not working. Some ask their parents to buy something to eat for them, some just come out from their room only when they pick up some food from the fridge. Often, the secluded life continue a few years or more than 10 years.

The second one is, I assume, written by a Japanese professor of Yale law school. The name caught me first, and I started to read it and I thought it was very interesting. It's about various kinds of "discrimination". And as a solution, people "cover" their identity somehow. And more... I haven't read them all yet. So I printed them out to read them on my way to school, or after school today!

I'm looking forward the 1-minute-reading segment on Brian's show tonight!

President's Remarks on International Education

I read the transcript of President's Remarks at U.S. University Presidents Summit on International Education.

He stressed on the importance of an education of foreign languages at schools in the United States.

I agree with the idea of encouraging foreign language teaching in schools in the U.S. But I don't like the start point. If I understand correctly, he thinks it's important for American people to learn foreign language, for example Arabic, as one of the strategies for the war on terror. As a strategy for the War on Terror? To spread the democracy to people in foreign countries?

I want everyone, especially American people, to learn any foreign language, to understand and enjoy cultural differences, and also to understand the difficulty of learning foreign languages. So should I be happy about that? Maybe.... or maybe not.

One more thing. I hear the name, Mr. Koizumi, and the word, Japan, again and again in Mr. Bush's speeches for the succesful example of speading democracy by America after war-time. Is the Japanese case exactly the same as the current Iraqi's situation? I doubt it. I can't explain my current mind very well, but whenever I hear "Japan" or "Mr. Koizumi" in his speech related to the Iraq war, I feel uncomfortable.

I know all the people in the world are strongly hoping the end of the war. But I don't know what to do for it. I hope the language teaching project works well for not only Americans but also for all people in the rest of the world.

I want to become a friend with him, too!

Have you read an article in NY Times, "He Loves New York, and It Loves Him Right Back"??

I was really impressed with that. And I was glad to know there is such a lovely boy like him in NY, and also glad to know he happens to be Japanese!! If it's possible, I want to meet him next time I come to NY!

I wish both Yuki and his mother a bright future!!

NY subway is on strike!!

I can't believe all subway lines and busses are now on strike in Manhattan!!!

Here in Osaka, we have the city subway system, JR lines and several private lines running in Osaka city. So if the subway system went on strike, we could use other lines. Moreover, we haven't had any major transportation strikes for many years.

On the other hand, I think there are almost no alternative transportation in Manhattan. So it must be very hard for New Yorkers to get to their offices and schools!!

It reminds me of my stay in Vancouver in spring of 2001. I spent 4 weeks there, stayed at homestay home and went to English school on weekdays.

At that time, actually the whole of my stay, the city's transportation system were on strike!! I think it lasted for months, maybe about half a year that year. Workers were share-riding every morning. Many parents picked up their children after school(not only small kids but also highschool students!), or some children had to wait for their parent finishing work at the company. It was totally unexpected event. My life was so inconvinient!! Thanked for the small luck, our school were able to hire the school bus, so I could get to school anyway. But there was only one in the morning and another in the evening, which meant I had to get on the same bus every morning and every evening. My leaving times at home and at school were completely fixed!!

When I wanted to meet my friend after school, I had to get a taxi to my homestay home after the meeting. When I wanted to go to downtown on weekends, I had to get a taxi as well! Consequently, I was a really super serious excellent student!!! Also, I had a really good relationship with the homestay family because I spent plenty of time at home. umm.. it was good, now I can say that! Anyway, that's why, I might be able to imagine how things are going in NY right now, or it's beyond my imagination?? Maybe!

Good luck, everybody out there!!!!
I hope it meets a good settlement soon!!

Do you know Jones Soda?

On Monday, I learned about a unique soda company in English class. Jones Soda is what they call "alternative" company in the beverage industry in north America. We saw a news report by CNN which aired a few days after Thanksgiving day. They made new product, sodas with new flavors for the holiday season. Various flavours were introduced; Mashed potato soda, Turkey and gravy soda, Fruitscake soda, Green Bean Casserole soda and so on. And a CNN reporter went out on the street, maybe in Manhattan, then asked passing people to try some. All of them didn't like the flavours at all!! Can you imagine what'd be the tastes like? I can't!!

I went to their website. Yes, they are really unique. They have a music website, where musicians and music-lovers can communicate. Musicians can upload their original music and people can get it by MP3 file for free! It's cool!!

Another unique point is their label policy. They frequently change their bottles' labels generated and submitted by their consumers. It's a great idea!

Have you heard of Jones Soda before? I haven't. Whether I'd try some if I found their product?? Maybe I'd try. But maybe only once because I don't think I like any of the taste.

Their website is links below.

an article in the NY Times Magazine

I read an article in NY Times Magazine.

I was so impressed and almost shocked by that.
The person used to be a boy who just dreamed to go to university. When he was 17, his nation's polical situation totally changed and he lost the chance to have further education. He then became a warrior to fight for the right to education. He continued to fight for years, believed that he and his fellows could change the situation. But nothing changed. He got severely injured and also got a desease, AIDS.

This article is written according to his interview.

Among his words, I got struck by this;
"The problem is, guns are everywhere. In Sudan, you don't need to go looking for guns: they come and look for you."

What is the world like, where guns come and look for us?!!

I strongly hope that the peace treaty, signed in this January in Sudan after 22years of fighting, will hold!!

There are many many things I don't know yet in the world.
It was such a sad story.

It's a huge tragedy.....

I feel terribly sory about what happened in the U.S., Katrina. It's much worse than I would imagine. And I can't believe it's told that some people shot to others, rescue workers, even relief effort helis. On the other hand I could imagine, in a ultimate circumstance, one can be an angel, but at the same time be an evil to live. It's sad....

We can only hope things go well with those victims.
I wish I could go there and if any, I could help them.


got up at 8. had a student at home who studies to be a elementary school teacher. she will have an exam this summer, and have an interview next weekend. so we did rollplaying. after that, enjoyed luchtime with Takao, and her friend. we had pasta, a great time!

There was a terrorist attack in London a few days ago. So sad. But what about tens of thousands of Iraqi civillians' lives taken away in Iraq? Numerous number of ordinary Iraqis have been killed since the war on terror started. It's going on, not be ended. Each live had its own precious memories, should be equally important to this time's taken lives in London. I can see the differences of media's treatment between them. It might affect people's impressions.

I'm going to follow the news in defferent veiws and want to get balanced information.

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