Thursday, March 19, 2009

A special three-section contribution: Distance still matters?


Medeshi March 20, 2009

A special three-section contribution: Distance still matters?
Yoshia Morishita
Section 1: Distance lost its significance?
(Photo: aerial view of Sapporo city where Yoshia lives)
In the age of globalisation when we can travel in the way that was totally unimaginable to our grandparents and even parents, we tend to think that geographical distance has lost its significance. Is this true? Yes, this is true in many ways.
Let’s go back in time to the 1950s. In those days, Japanese people, after the bitter experiences during WWII, were determined to re-construct the country through economic growth and development, which resulted in a miraculous success, as you have probably heard somewhere.

During the course of Japan’s rapid economic growth, there were three things which Japanese people wanted to purchase as soon as they saved enough money for them: a monochrome television, a washing machine and a fridge. As these items became widespread by the 1960s, they continued to work hard so they could afford another three items, that is, a Colour TV, a Car and a Cooler (in fact this refers to an air conditioner). These items are mentioned as ‘the three Cs’ in the modern history textbooks used in Japanese schools. What a contrast this is to our life today, which, I would say, is full of high-tech products at home! In the past, everyone was concerned with the household and did not even dream of travelling beyond the national borders. By the way, be reminded that Japan does not share any land borders with any other country.

Today we live in a totally different world. I am typing this article over a cup of lukewarm green tea using this little SONY laptop. And where does this article go once it is written up? To the UK. To the web master M, a long-term friend of mine. How does it go? Via e-mail. How long does it take? A few seconds. How does it work? A single click on the SEND button that appears in a web-based free e-mail account of mine. Impossible in the past. Possible now. Distance is nothing. Is that so? Maybe… In the next section, I will consider the significance of geographical distance in relation to Japan and Somalia/land. (End of Section 1).

About the writer:(Mr) Yoshia MORISHITA is a Japanese national who studied and worked in the UK, as well as Turkey and Eritrea. He has visited around 25 countries of the world and developed his international perspectives. He has a Master’s degree in International Development from UCL, University of London and worked as a research associate at a British NGO. Currently he is living in Japan running a small business in the area of various international programmes and businesses facilitation and co-ordination, while reading sociology at Hokkaido University.

No comments: