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03 April 2021

Will Japan legalise gay marriage?

Last month, one of Japanese district courts, Sapporo District Court ruled that current Civil Law that does not recognise the same sex couple as legitimate married couple is unconstitutional. It was a revolutionary decision for Japanese judicial administration since Japanese constitution claims that marriage is recognised only if both sexes agree. But the court says this statement does not mean gay marriage is banned but to rule only individuals can decide who to marry. In the old days, it was common that parents of the couple decided who to marry without their will. Gay marriage was out of imagination. 

Rather the court paid attention to the other part of constitution that states all the people must be treated equal. So the current Civil law which only admits heterosexual couple to the marriage is unconstitutional. 

However, some claim gay marriage is not allowed in the constitution as says “both sexes” and traditional family value does not conform to gay marriage. 

As for public opinion survey, Asahi Shimbun Newspaper revealed that 65% of Japanese citizens of all ages support gay marriage. 5 years ago it was less than half. The society has drastically changed recently. 

Japanese parliament already has two openly gay members. Their party Constitutional Democratic Party proposes amendment of Civil law. 

Even among conservative side, current ruling party LDP, one of young representatives, KOIZUMI Shinjiro, whose father was Prime Minister between 2001 to 2005, said he is for gay marriage and he would be very considerate father if his child’s sexual orientation was same sex person when asked if he was pro-gay marriage and what he would do if his child was gay. 

Japan is not Christian nation so religious faith would not be an obstacle. Only the old values and peer pressure are problems. I guess it is a matter of time that Japan approve gay marriage legally and socially. 

Currently around 30 nations in the world legalised gay marraige. Among G7 nations Japan is the only nation that does not legalise gay marriage. Marriage equality is an urgent issue if Japan wants to join truly advanced members of the world. 

I would be proud of being Japanese and love my country more than ever if that happens. 

28 February 2021

Film “Hidden Figures” breaks the stereotype

It’s been thought women are not good at mathematics and not suitable for engineering jobs. But that kind of notions were proved to be nonsense a long time ago. The film “Hidden Figures” described three Afro-American women working for NASA rocket engineering department as mathematicians, in Jim-Crow era, 1950’s to 1960’s.

 

I learnt about the film by Voice of America article on NASA’s International Space Station program. NASA named the supply ship to the ISS Katherine Johnson after one of mathematicians in the biopic film.

 

They were not only being woman but Black women, who had to sit down on back seats in public bus and could not share the same bathroom with their white co-workers. But they did contribute to the very difficult space programs by calculating the orbit and designing rockets.

 

If they were white male, this story cannot be a film.

 

Breaking stereotype is the most important factor to counter racism or other type of discrimination such as gender, and sexual orientation. Stereotype is the origin of discrimination. Prejudice is biased view on others using stereotype images. Then people discriminate others based on prejudice.

 

Stereotype is baseless information about others. Like all Japanese can do Karate, which I don’t. You cannot generalize others based on such stereotype. The sad thing is people judge others by these stereotypes and then sometimes treat them badly.

 

In the film, NASA officials found the women very useful to the organization’s projects so they accepted them equally. If they hadn’t accepted them as legitimate staff, NASA would have lost such great assets and wouldn’t have succeeded in historic space missions in those days.

 

Stereotype, prejudice, and discrimination undermine progress of our society.

 

Let’s get rid of such things from our world.

31 December 2020

First Episode of "Little house on the Prairie" Model life in Post-COVID-19 era?

I just happened to watch the old time TV show on internet.  The TV drama-series "Little House on the Prairie" was first aired in 1970's US and later dubbed version of it was aired in Japan as well. 

I liked the show but it seemed the stories in the show were mostly fiction or modified for the dramatic effect. 

But the very first episode seems not since I read the original novel written by Laura Ingalls Wilder and compared to the episode. 

It started with Ingalls family departing from the woods and found the place to settle down. They could have owned the land by cultivating the fields in accordance with Homestead Act of late 19th century, a pioneer period. 

But they had to live in a very wild environment and had to deal with native people and wild animals. They had to dig the ground to make a well for water. They had to cut trees to make logs to build the house. 

In a very small house, at first there was no floor boards and the roof was hood taken out from the horse carriage.  What they had was only basic needs. 

Our civilization is now on the edge due to the deadly flu and global climate change. It was because we try to have too much destroying the natural ecosystem. The modern system we rely on too much was found to be very vulnerable to such crisis. 

It is time to rethink our way of life. "Little House on the Prairie" may be a good model of how one lives one's life without luxuries modern people have gotten used to.  

The answer may be somewhat of that little wooden house or Native People, whom the family called "Indians" in the show. 

19 November 2020

COVID-19 creates the very 21st century lifestyle and systems

New vaccines were recently invented for the flu. I guess things might be going back to pre-COVID-19 period. 

But there should be three major lifestyle and system changes, which may remain in our society even after the pandemic is gone.  

1. Basic Income; Wordwide lockdown measures let the world governments compensate their citizens for loss of income because they couldn't go to work or open restaurants. People and governments realized everyone needs basic income to prepare for such crisis, which may come unexpectedly in the future. 

2. Online education and work; People realized there is no needs to spend extra-time or fees for commute to do the same things as we can easily do on internet.

3. Less crowded space to stay; People realized the more crowded place one is in, the higher risk of infection of the flu. Let’s always make a social distance everywhere, every time. Too many people gather in a small space is not desired. No more events like a rock concert in a big stadium. For businesses holding of big events to invite so many people is considered a great risk. That may have to be cancelled due to another pandemic resulting in a huge loss. 

Designs of streets and buildings have to contain such notion. So in post-COVID-19 era, wider streets and corridors, bigger seats in less packed rooms and auditoriums. Conventional city layout should be drastically altered.

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In that sense, rural lifestyle transcends urban one. More people will live in countryside and be able to work from home online not worrying about money because certain amount of money is paid or you can produce food on your farms so you do not die by losing jobs. 

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That is the very 21st century lifestyle. 

23:00 Posted in Health, Society | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: life, pandemic, virus, covid-19

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