１．Do nuclear weapons make the world less secure?
I think nuclear weapons make the world less secure for the following two reasons.
Firstly, the very existence of nuclear weapons threatens world security. Now, nuclear disarmament is promoted all over the world, but there is no denying the possibility that these genocidal weapons might fall into the hands of terrorist groups.
Secondly, nuclear weapons could cause unexpected nuclear accidents. If a nuclear accident were to occur, large areas and a large number of living creatures would be devastated. Such accidents will also cause irrevocable damage to the environment.
２．What is the countermeasure for world hunger?
It is pointed out that there are a lot of people around the world who are suffering from hunger, not because the total amount of produced food all over the world does not amount to the required amount to feed all the population on this planet, but because these produced food has not been distributed equally.
Only wealthy countries are enjoying a wide variety of food while more than one billion people are suffering from hunger the world over. I think the richest countries in the world should more often discuss this issue, and cooperate to solve this situation.
３．Is world peace a remote possibility?
Unfortunately yes. There is no denying the fact that world peace is a remote possibility. There are two reasons for this.
First, there are a lot of religious and ethnic conflicts all over the world. In most cases, both parties in these conflicts wholeheartedly believe in their justice and never accept any opinions of their opponents. These issues are based not on rational ways of thinking, but the emotions of likes or dislikes, so cannot be easily solved.
Second, human desires are unlimited. For example, one person wants to be superior to another, and if he/she should happen to see other people enjoy what he/she doesn’t have, he/she might steal or, what’s worse, destroy it. The same applies to the case of countries.
For the above mentioned two reasons, I cannot help admitting that world peace is a remote possibility.
４．Should the developed world help developing countries overcome poverty?
There have been a lot of discussions and debates about this issue, but I believe that the developed world should help developing countries overcome poverty for the following two reasons.
First, most developed countries have achieved the current prosperous state by colonizing other developing countries. They have to compensate for the past exploitation of resources or people in such weaker countries, which, because of that, are still driven to poverty.
Second, helping the developed countries will lead to world peace and stability. Poverty is responsible for world hunger, which is the root cause of terrorism. The economic aid to the poor countries will eventually stabilize the world by reducing world hunger.
Third, the economic aid to the Third World will boost the world economy. The development of poor countries means that those countries can add to the world market as trading partners of developed countries. This, in turn, will bring many benefits to the wealthy countries, and eventually lead to world economic growth.
In conclusion, for the above-mentioned three reasons, compensation for the past exploitation, contribution to world peace, and boosting the economy, I believe that the developed countries should help developing countries overcome poverty.
５．What role should the United Nations play in international politics?
There have been a lot of discussions and debates on what role the United Nations should play in international politics. I think the United Nations should play the following three roles.
First, the United Nations should promote world peace and stability. There are a lot of religious and ethnic conflicts all over the world. More than one billion people are suffering from hunger, which is the root cause of terrorism. The United Nations should take the initiative to settle these problems.
Second, the UN should take concrete measures to preserve our environment. Environmental issues do not respect national boundaries, so the UN, as an authoritative advocate for the protection of the global environment, should lead every nation to become more conscious of our environment.
The third role is to ensure the protection and promotion of human rights. The UN should protect people from enslavement and genocide, and promote people’s right to education and free speech.
６．Which is the greater threat to humankind, terrorism or world hunger?
I think world hunger is a greater threat to humankind than terrorism for the following two reasons.
First, world hunger has more far-reaching effects on the world than terrorism, in terms of the number of victims. The targets of terrorist attacks tend to be very wealthy countries, but world hunger can be widespread all over the world.
Second, world hunger is the root cause of terrorism. More than one billion people are suffering from hunger. These people tend to commit a crime, and even resort to terrorist acts for releasing their anger toward affluent people. If we can manage to reduce world hunger, that might eventually lead to less and less terrorism.
For the above-mentioned two reasons, I believe that world hunger is the greater threat to humankind compared to terrorism.
７．Should Japan play a bigger role in international affairs?
There have been a lot of discussions and debates about what role Japan should play in international affairs, but I think Japan should play the following three roles in international contexts.
First, Japan, which is one of the economic superpowers, should help developing countries grow by increasing their ODA. Economic aids to economically weaker nations will boost the world economy overall.
Second, Japan should set a good example for the rest of the world as one of the safest countries. Japan has been one of the countries with the lowest homicide rate. What’s more, the rate has been steadily declining over the past decade. This nation may be able to show some tips for establishing a safe community.
Third, Japan should contribute to world peace and stability. Japan should take the initiative in promoting nuclear disarmament as the sole victim of atomic bombings.
In conclusion, for the three reasons mentioned above, I believe Japan should play a bigger role in international affairs.
Why do you think Japan is so safe a country?
I think that is because most Japanese are rich enough to lead their everyday lives. To be sure, the Japanese economy is steadily getting weaker and weaker, but, still, most people can have easy access to food, clothing, and shelter. It can be said that poverty is the root cause of crimes.
Another reason is that most Japanese people are subconsciously afraid that they might receive their just deserts. This mindset might be rooted in their earlier experiences of reading fairy tales in which the good are rewarded and the bad are punished.
１．Are moral values on the decline in today’s society?
Yes, I think so for the following two reasons.
First, the education system today tends to make light of moral education. Since this is the Information age when science and technology are regarded as most important, the government encourages schools to increase the number of practical classes such as mathematics and sciences, or English communication even in elementary school. No matter how learned, the person lacking moral values cannot be called educated.
Second, the widespread use of the Internet might contribute to the decline in moral values today. There are a lot of websites that could have harmful effects on the mental development of children, such as the ones that present violent acts or criminal behavior as natural, or even attractive. Absorbing too much unethical information could lead people to ignore moral values.
２．Is the Japanese education system a good model for other countries?
I don’t think the Japanese education system is a good model for other countries for the following two reasons.
First, in the education system in Japan, memorization is overemphasized. The students are forced to swallow and memorize a lot of items of information blindly. Such a system cannot foster in the students the necessary skills to survive in a global society, such as the ability to think, the ability to judge, or the expressive power.
Second, another characteristic of the Japanese education system is competitiveness. The university entrance examinations are generally challenging, and drive the students to study and study competing with their peers. Not a few students sacrifice their school days to enter top-ranked universities.
In conclusion, for the above mentioned two reasons, overemphasis on memorization and competitiveness, I don’t think the Japanese education system is a good model for other countries.
３．What are countermeasures for juvenile delinquency?
There have been a lot of discussions and debates about what countermeasures should be taken for juvenile delinquency. I think there are the following two countermeasures.
First, parents should spend more time empathetically listening to their children even if they are busy with their work. Delinquent children often lack their parents’ love and support. There are not a few cases where empathetic listening is all that is needed to help such children.
Second, schools should hire professional school counselors and social workers who listen to children and help them get out of their sufferings in case their parents are hard to rely on.
Third, schools should hold more classes to educate students to behave morally. Today’s education tends to put too much emphasis on practical aspects, making light of moral education. However, no matter how highly skilled the students are, they will not play active roles in global society unless they are moral persons.
４．Should the university system in Japan be reformed?
Yes, I think so for the following two reasons.
First, it is easier to graduate than to enter university. The university entrance examinations are relatively difficult, driving the students to sacrifice their high school lives to enter top-ranked universities. In contrast, once they are admitted to a university, they find it not so hard to acquire their credits and graduate. This is why Japanese students notoriously don’t study hard compared to their counterparts in other countries. The universities in Japan should make entrance easier and graduation harder.
Second, the universities in Japan urge students to determine their course of life too early. Most students have to choose which faculty they belong to before taking the entrance exams. However, children aged 18 or so don’t have enough discretion to determine what line of work they will be in because they are not familiar with what is going on in our society. The universities in Japan should allow their students to postpone the decision of what kind of discipline to major in, until, at the latest, after they have earned all the credits of liberal arts.
５．Should teachers be responsible for parenting their students?
It depends on what kind of “parenting” this word means. If the word is defined as “teaching some lessons for their later adult lives”, teachers should be rather actively involved in “parenting their students.”
The reason for this is that the grown-ups that children meet in the course of their lives are teachers alone except their parents or adult family members. Children spend more time with their teachers than with their family members. This means that teachers should set a good example for the children because children learn by seeing and imitating the behavior of the adults around them.
Children learn through the ear, but what is learned through the eye has more influence on their lives than what they are told to do. So, teachers, as the grownups that spend a lot of time with children, have to be role models for children.
６．What are the causes of juvenile delinquency?
First, delinquent children lack their parents’ love. Parents’ love plays a vital role in developing children’s mental growth. If children cannot feel loved by their parents, they feel frustrated, regard themselves as worthless, and eventually resort to destructive behavior. The destructive behavior can be not only directed toward other people or objects but also themselves.
Second, juvenile delinquency is caused by a decline in moral values. Especially today, the Internet has a great impact on the development of children’s ethics. There are some websites that present violent behavior or criminal acts as natural, or even attractive. It is also said that addiction to an online environment, along with spending little or no time with their parents, can cause children to become delinquent by making it difficult for them to draw a line between fiction and reality.
１．What is the future of robots in daily life?
There have been a lot of discussions and debates about what the future of robots in daily life is like. Some people argue that there will be a risk of robots, especially artificial intelligence, taking over “all” of our tasks, but I think there cannot be the possibility that robots will have eradicated humans. Rather, robots will help us with tasks that can be tough to do for humans alone.
First, there will be robots developed that will help people take care of elderly people. Today, especially in the developed world, there are more and more aged people with a birth rate steadily declining. Such being the case, if robots can facilitate the task of taking care of elderly people, people will welcome this situation because there will be a decreasing number of young people who are strong enough to lift or move the older people’s bodies.
Second, robots will work as our housekeepers and secretaries. They will do most of the housework, such as laundry, cooking, cleaning, and even many other tiny tasks. They will also arrange our schedule, make reservations for dinners or trips, or even pay attention to how we look and sometimes encourage us to take a rest.
In conclusion, I think robots will be not our masters, but our obedient servants because it is we humans that determine whether to use robots in our daily lives. This is why the future of robots in daily life will be something we can look forward to.
２．Has technology changed education for the better?
Yes, I think so for the following two reasons.
Technology has enabled many more people to enjoy education anywhere at any time. First of all, the Internet has paved the way for a boundless world. There is also a lot of application software that enables you to study effectively. For example, I was able to hone my English speaking skills thanks to the Internet and convenient apps on my smartphones.
Second, thanks to the advances in technology, you don’t have to bear the burden of having to carry a lot of heavy books with you. Once you digitalize the textbooks you have to study, you can read them wherever you are, because one single tablet or smartphone can hold hundreds of books.
First, technology, especially the Internet, has enabled people to connect even if they live far away from each other, which means that students living in remote areas can receive a high-quality education that in the past only urban students could get. If more and more students can enjoy a good education no matter where they live, the education gap will be reduced.
３．Will increasing over-reliance on robots and computers pose a threat to society?
I think increasing overreliance on robots and computers will pose the following two threats to society.
First, over-reliance on electrical appliances can cause social dysfunction in an emergency. For example, when a natural disaster strikes, there might be extensive power outages, and the robots and computers powered by electricity will cease to work. If the power failure should be prolonged, social functions will be paralyzed.
Second, people who rely excessively on computers and robots could suffer from psychological disorders. Several studies show that those who spend much time surfing the Internet feel isolated and depressed because of less interpersonal communication. Some people addicted to the electronic world even turn to criminal acts by finding it difficult to draw a line between fiction and reality.
In conclusion, I believe that increasing over-reliance on robots and computers will pose a threat to society.
４．Has the Internet made people’s working lives easier?
Yes, I think that the Internet has made people’s working lives easier for the following two reasons.
First, the Internet has greatly facilitated communication even between people who are far away from each other. Workers can send or read necessary information attached to e-mails immediately wherever they are. They can even hold a meeting online. This means that the Internet has saved workers the time and effort to visit their customers or their colleagues in person.
Second, the Internet has boosted the economy by facilitating corporate sales promotion. Today, almost all companies have their websites and provide a lot of information that would attract more customers. In addition, they can advertise their new products or services more cost-effectively by using via the Internet, especially SNS. Customers can also find and collect information about what they want, which leads to more purchases.
In conclusion, for the above-mentioned two reasons, I believe that the Internet has made people’s working lives easier.
１．Is multiculturalism beneficial to society?
Yes, I think so for the following two reasons.
First, multiculturalism will boost the economy, especially the tourism industry because more and more foreign people are coming in and out of the country. through overseas investment and increased job opportunities.
If the number of immigrants from one country increases, more and more tourists from that country will visit Japan and stimulate the domestic economy.
Second, a lot of cultures will encourage people to broaden their horizons because they can have a lot of opportunities to get in touch with different food, different clothing or different language. This also contributes to making people more tolerant of all kinds of differences, thus leading to a peaceful society where cultural minorities are not marginalized.
In conclusion, multiculturalism is beneficial to society.
２．Would it be good if people spoke the same language?
Yes, I think so because the same language would promote world peace and stability.
There have been a lot of conflicts and wars all over the world. The root cause of these conflicts is, in most cases, differences. Any peoples and any tribes are more or less ethnocentric. Ethnocentrism leads people to regard those who are different from them as outsiders, or even enemies. Throughout human history, a lot of conflicts have been caused by this awareness that “they” are not the same as “we”.
However, if people spoke the same language, they could understand each other more easily and more deeply. Mutual understanding is imperative to solve any kind of conflict. Of course, it doesn’t follow that speaking the same language leads directly to the settlement of problems just because people speak the same language.
Still, if we could get any closer to the resolution of even part of the conflicts in the world, I think it would be good if people spoke the same language.
１．Is it necessary for couples to share household chores?
I think it depends on the couple’s workload. In the case of full-homemakers, the couple does not necessarily share their housework although it is better to share the work at least on weekends. However, in the case of couples with an equal amount of workload, it is unfair not to share household chores. These couples should share the chores depending on their ability after discussing what they can and what they can’t. Such a kind of involvement in housework will ensure gender equality and peaceful marital relationships.
２．Is the family becoming less important in today’s world?
I don’t think the family is becoming less important.
It is true that, now that this is an information age, people tend to spend more time in an online environment, and it appears that family bonds are getting weaker and weaker.
However, the opposite is the case. The family is becoming more and more significant despite its appearance to the contrary.
Several studies show that those who spend much time surfing the Internet feel more and more isolated and depressed. This is because they spend less time communicating with people face to face. To be sure, the Internet may enable people to connect with others, but the lack of actual embodied presence of other people drives them to, paradoxically, feel disconnected.
Such being the case, the very existence of the family is still as significant especially in the development of children’s mental growth. If children cannot feel loved by or connecting with their parents, they feel frustrated, regard themselves as worthless, and eventually become delinquent.
No matter when you live, the family is most significant as the sole unit that always provides you with a sense of relief.
３．Will society with an aging population face a crisis in the future?
Now, the problem of an aging society with a declining birthrate is increasingly getting serious in most developed countries. I think society with an aging population will face a crisis in the future for the following three reasons.
First, such a society will have a welfare crisis. The pension system may collapse due to a decline in the government tax revenue. In addition, ballooning higher medical costs for elderly people will exacerbate fiscal deficits, thus leading to a healthcare crisis.
Secondly, the rapid aging of society will cause a decrease in consumption, thus weakening the national economy. Purchasing power will decrease due to a significant decline in the working-age population and a significant increase in the number of elderly people struggling to make ends meet on a pension.
Finally, a society with an aging population will face a serious labor shortage. In fact, Japan is already suffering from a labor shortage in the fields of construction, agriculture, and nursing care. There will be more and more serious labor shortages in the future.
In conclusion, for the above-mentioned reasons, I believe a society with an aging population will face a crisis in the future.
４．What are the major contributing factors in the declining birth rate?
There are several factors in the declining birth rate, but I point out the following three factors.
First, women’s participation in the workforce has contributed to a declining birth rate. Women today can earn enough money to provide for themselves without depending on men, so they don’t have to get married and more and more women choose to enjoy their own lives.
Second, the income of young workers is getting smaller and smaller because of the decline in the national economy. Small disposable income prevents people from getting married or having children.
Third, there are few child-care facilities. Today, it is common for both husbands and wives to work out to make their living. Such being the case, if there are sufficient childcare facilities around their home, they don’t have to feel worried that their household income might shrink by taking maternity or paternity leave. However, the opposite is the case, so not a few couples refrain from having children.
５．How should we deal with Japan’s declining birth rate?
There are several countermeasures for Japan’s declining birth rate.
First, the government should increase the number of child-rearing facilities and caregivers so that couples who have children can work out without worries. In addition, the government has to give more financial support to the couples that are about to have children as well as the ones that have already had children.
Second, the companies have to make effort to prepare the office environment where women who take maternity leave can return to work without worries. In addition, they also have to establish a system that allows male workers to take paternity leave although now most companies are reluctant to do so.
Third, fathers in Japan should become more conscious of child-rearing. It is unfair for mothers alone to bear the double burden of housework and child-rearing. Fathers should take on more housework while getting more involved in child-rearing.
In conclusion, in order to deal with Japan’s declining birth rate, the whole society has to change its mind and take effective countermeasures seriously.
６．How can we deal with a super-aging society?
There are several countermeasures for a super-aging society.
First, the government has to take measures to increase caregivers and build more nursing care facilities.
Second, the companies should raise the mandatory retirement age. Workers in their sixties are highly experienced and still energetic and productive.
In addition, they should hire more female and foreign workers to compensate for the decrease in the young workforce.
Third, individuals should make every effort to decrease welfare dependency and healthcare while investing in a private pension in order to compensate for decreasing pension provision.
７．Does society make full use of the talents of senior citizens?
Though it depends on what is the definition of the word “talents” is, I can say that as a whole, society does not make full use of the talents of senior citizens for the following three reasons.
First, the talents of senior workers are not made full use of. Elderly workers are highly skilled and still productive, but they have to quit due to the mandatory retirement system even if they want to continue to work. It can be said that we waste a valuable workforce.
Second, society doesn’t make full use of the talents of the knowledge and experience they have acquired. They can be said to be a great source of information about our culture, traditions, and customs. Society should have more opportunities to have seniors pass on such knowledge to their successors.
８．Will the trend toward part-time employment negatively affect Japanese society?
There have been a lot of discussions and debates about part-time employment. I think this trend will have negative effects on Japanese society for the following two reasons.
First, the national economy will grow weaker and weaker. Those who work part-time receive lower salaries, which means that their disposable income is very small and they cannot afford to make big purchases like houses or cars. This will lead to a decline in the domestic economy.
Second, this trend will boost the declining birth rate. The low disposable income caused by working part-time will lead to the fact that young people refrain from getting married, and couples give up having children. The declining birth rate will exacerbate the aging of Japanese society.
１．Do the benefits of social networking services outweigh the disadvantages?
There have been a lot of discussions and debates about whether or not social networking service is beneficial. Personally, I think the advantages of SNS outweigh the disadvantages for the following three reasons.
First, SNS improves human relationships. SNS can connect people even if they live far away from each other, they have different nationalities, or there is a big age difference between them. People can enjoy richer and richer human relations thanks to SNS.
Second, SNS provides a lot of job opportunities. There are a lot of entrepreneurs and businesses advertising on SNS. Indeed they have seen an increase in the sales of their products. SNS has had a greater and greater influence on the market.
Third, there are some cases where people can get necessary information more quickly and more accurately on SNS than on TV. Especially, in the case of a natural disaster, SNS might help save people’s lives by spreading on-the-spot information.
In conclusion, some people argue that SNS is harmful because it is a time-waster, is full of fake news, or could lead to criminal acts, but for the above-mentioned three reasons, I believe that the advantages of SNS outweigh the disadvantages.
２．Agree or disagree: Children should not use the Internet.
There are both advantages and disadvantages to the Internet. Some people argue that children should not use the Internet because it is a time-waster, can be a breeding ground for crime, often spreads false information, etc.
However, I for one disagree with the idea that children should not use the Internet for the following three reasons.
First, the Internet is a great source of information. To be sure, there are a lot of websites that spread false information, but in this information age, it is absurd not to allow children to access to a tremendous amount of information on the Internet. Rather, in order to develop digital literacy skills, children should actively get involved in an online environment.
Second, the Internet spreads information faster than any other media. Especially, in the case where a natural disaster occurs, the immediacy that the Internet affords people might help their lives.
３．Does the benefit of the Internet outweigh its disadvantages?
There have been a lot of discussions and debates about whether or not the Internet is beneficial. Personally, I think the benefit of the Internet outweighs its disadvantages.
Some people point out its disadvantages: the harmful websites, the existence of fake news, the breeding ground for crime, and so on.
There are a lot of harmful websites that could have a bad effect on children’s mental growth, such as the ones that present violent acts or pornographic images as natural things. If children regularly watch these harmful websites, they might be aggressive, or unethical.
Some people argue that the Internet is full of fake news. It is true that people surfing the Internet don’t search for the source of information or confirm that the information is correct. This is why fake news can prevent the human right to know the truth, factual news.
The Internet is often used as the breeding ground for a lot of crimes. It seems that there is a website that recruits people who want to get involved in a criminal act. Such being the case, it can be said that the Internet could cause a moral breakdown.
Despite all these disadvantages, the Internet has a great benefit.
The Internet is a storehouse of knowledge. People can obtain various kinds of information from the Internet. This benefit outweighs any other disadvantages.