Japanese house in Tokyo

“Internationalization” –through the eyes of a former Thai student study abroad (4)

Japan and culture

In other words, in the meeting, just as in the case of a clarification of questions in the Japanese parliament, the clarification will be carried out as someone prepared to write a statement in advance. In the parliament, no questions and arguments regarding the matter are allowed. Anything that is not understood, must be left in spite of not understanding regardless of  how many people disagree. Because the conclusion for that matter has already been prepared. It is one way presentation of opinion without positive, constructive criticism or argument, and it is usual that the chairperson sometimes ends the conference with an additional comment.

In the academic conference almost no one asked questions about the content of the recently completed research. When finished speaking the moderator is ready to move to the next presenter. This is also not uncommon. In an academic conference I asked an Australian scholar “Why don’t we see people asking questions?” He responded that “At each academic conference in Japan, participants can ask no more than three questions. I did ask the questions yesterday and today and now I have completed three questions. Therefore, I will not ask any more questions. “He answered me with a bitter smile and gave me a blink.

After the conference or the academic conference is over, personal base discussions and information exchange will be conducted secretly in the corridors and at the tea room etc, and it will be time to prepare for the next meeting or conference. This is neither a real discussion or an exchange of ideas, it is only a world of mere communication and practice.

I mentioned the idea of side-by-side in the previous section, but here it can be said that the contradiction is also commonplace here. This kind of cramped, insubstantial exchange of ideas can not take place, and the ideas of the individual cannot be exploited. The opinion of the individual is merely destroyed or insulted, and the originality or creativity must be killed in order to adjust to the surroundings. On top of that, in reality, Japanese are told to keep doing good work and leave a good record of work.

According to this, the summary is that the basic concept is deep rooted to the extent that some executive managers have the idea that they have to manage the research content of the researcher.

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