ー英会話講師の英語日記ー 札幌英会話スクールSTEP UP（札幌駅、大通駅徒歩５分）
4 more years?
In America, when a president is up for reelection, supporters of that president will often chant “Four more years!” at his rally. Simply put, they want that president to continue to hold office for another term – which is four years. In Japan, the Prime Minister, currently Shinzo Abe, is also elected every four years. As we all know, Abe was just reelected last week. How many of you, I wonder, were hoping he’d be prime minister for four more years?
While America is a politically charged country where everybody with an elementary school education seems to have an opinion about politics, Japan is much the opposite. Japan has a decidedly apathetic voter population. Did you vote in this last election? If no, why not? When I ask this question to my Japanese friends and family, the number one answer I get is “I’m not interested in politics.”
While I understand that the world of politics often seems both dizzyingly complex and at the same time boring, I don’t think “I’m not interested…” is a good answer. It’s like saying “I’m not interested in my health,” or “I’m not interested in the environment.” Your country’s government and its policies have a direct impact on your life, just like your health and the environment. And all three are related. It is a (perhaps intentional) failing of the school systems to not education about and promote civic participation. The sooner children learn that they can influence and shape the community in which they live, the better. Civic-minded students become civic-minded adults. Japan needs more of these.
As we say in America – if you didn’t vote, you can’t complain. It’s easy not to worry about world issues when day-to-day life is so comfortable. But remember that the decisions made by politicians now affect the way things go in the future. Just a little bit of study and a bit of time can go a long way towards changing the future of the country.