After I visited Seattle to attend the BOAO Asia Forum on Energy and Sustainability as I posted before, I’m staying now in Berlin with an unforgettable memory on Bishkek. Yes, this year’s world tour has been still going on and had a little bit time to go around in Berlin, my second home town, yesterday.
The photo shown above is Karl Marx’s message you can find in the Foyer of main building at the Humboldt University, former Berlin University. Roughly interpreting, it says:
“Philosophers have interpreted the world in different ways, however, the important thing is to change the world.”
Hmmm… Every single elites in the former communist regime of the GDR (German Democratic Republic) must have seen it every day and thought of what it meant for him/her. Of course, it’s ridiculous the regime which never meant to be changed originally shows such a revolutionary message to its future elites. However, the dream came true, when the Fall of the Berlin Wall suddenly happened.
This time, I paid a visit to the German Foreign Office, or so-called “AA (Auswaertiges Amt)”. I’m afraid I didn’t write to you, dear readers, that I was given an education not only by the Japanese but also German foreign service. It was in 1996 (18 years ago!!) that I was instructed by my boss to take part in the kick off course for the trainees of the German diplomatic service, who passed entrance exam to become career diplomats. The course was held in the AA’s legendary training center in Ippendorff, a rural district close to Bonn, the former capital of the FRG. I took apart in the course for three months, while I was really treated as if I were a German trainee. Can you imagine you would have to get up at 4:00 in the early morning to check more than 10 newspapers in both German and English, and then do a short briefing on what’s important to know for vice minister of the AA?? It was really a touch experience, nevertheless, I really enjoyed it and now, it’s a good memory in my life.
My former German colleagues, or “Crew Kollegen” , welcomed me in the HQ of AA, which I appreciated so much. Even though I had never met them for almost 16 years (!!), they treated me as if I were still given the training course there. Without any hesitation, they regarded me as one of their “Crew Kollegen” and began spontaneously to exchange our views on the current world affairs. It is often said in other parts of the world that German bureaucracy is awfully closed to outsiders. It’s obviously not true, I think. Once you can grasp the rules which are applied to daily life of German bureaucrats and get used to them, you can be allowed even to take a lunch in their cosy canteen as if you were a part of them. I really love such a open culture of the AA, while remembering imtrovertness of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
During our conversation, one of my “Crew Kollegen” asked me how to perceive the current Japan-Sino territorial dispute on the Senkaku islands. Having a breakfast in Seattle together, the real organizer of the BOAO Asia forum behind the door had asked me the same question. While the ordinary Japanese tend to regard foreign disputes such as ones in Ukraine and the Middle East as current geopolitical risks, friends living in other parts of the world believes rather this dispute between Japan and the PRC must be taken care of. Otherwise, they believed further, the second Japan-Sino war would break out.
To be honest, such a claim really sounds silly (Ooops! I’m sorry). But the point is decision makers and their staffs abroad seem to stick to this kind of imagination. I’ve been finally believing why the Japanese stock market hasn’t soar as drastically as the self-proclaimed “ABENOMICS” originally had planned. Our foreign friends believe the opposite were the case. This is one of the truths you, my dear Japanese readers, never know, I’m afraid.
Of course, I took this opportunity to explain what the truth is between the PRC and Japan as follows:
– While the both countries are now trying to hold a summit meeting at a fringe of the forthcoming APEC summit to be held in November in Beijing, they are lack of motivation to escalate the dispute. Rather, they will surely calm down and their governments try to stop poeple’s hostile attitude to each other even in the internet.
– This issue is, to be honest, a so-called “non-issue”, since the islands were already given by the very hard core of Japanese power to its Chinese counterpart (Attention: not the government of PRC but also the real power network of the Chinese behind the door) after the WWII in accordance with the international private law.
– It’s not the Government of PRC but its powerful opposition in the regime that has been trying to escalate the issue, so that the regime of Mr. Xi Jinping won’t be stabilized. On the other hand, his counterpart, the Japanese PM Abe, obviously concerns about possible intervention by the USG to East Asian affairs. This is the very reason why he, Mr. Shinzo ABE, still pretends as if he had no interest in historical reconciliation with the Chinese.
Anyway… the world community is “globalized”, but the truth can’t be “globalized” and is still kept secret beyond borders. Listening to J. Brahm’s Piano quartet arranged by A. Schoenberg in the Berlin Philharmony hall yesterday, I become fully aware of my capacity as missionary of the truth. And my world tour is going on…