Voices | VIEWS FROM THE STREET

Views From Osaka: What are your hopes for yourself, Japan and the world for 2018?

by Robert Kodama

Contributing Writer

Don Barkhouse
Artist, 30 (American)

I hope to draw and make more art, and improve my Japanese. I hope Japan’s decision-makers figure out the best ways to accommodate the inevitable flood of visitors coming its way, while also maintaining the unique identity and culture that brings so many people here in the first place. I hope for a better-informed global society in which people stop making important decisions based on things like fear and unfamiliarity, and whose citizens instead utilize reason and scientific fact.

Amane Kitaoka
Corporate trainer, 29 (Japanese)

I strongly believe Japan and other countries are facing challenges like we’ve never seen before. I feel sad when I hear about young Japanese people committing suicide due to bullying or workplace harassment. Each generation possesses different work values. Each one of us wants to be respected. It’s time to appreciate and accept our differences, especially along the lines of religion, sexuality, race and disability, and overcome our unseen challenges.

Makoto Katsumata
Choreographer, 24 (Japanese)

My grandmother escaped from North Korea about 70 years ago and came to Japan after the war. She and I are Japanese, but I feel North Korea is part of my roots. Nowadays, North Korea prohibits entry and people’s lives are miserable. I fear for the happiness of the North Korean people more than I fear being attacked by them, and my hope for myself, the people of North Korea and the world is merely a happier life.

Kelvin Sagayap
Singer/Actor, 30 (Filipino)

I hope to perform in more shows in the future. I’d like to be able to share my talent with a lot of people and use it to influence society’s views on different issues. I hope that I get to take on projects where I can tackle issues such as culture, politics and climate change. I also hope that Japan, along with the rest of the world, becomes more open and understanding of the changes that we are facing as a race.

Yuta Iyatomi
Salaryman, 32 (Japanese)

For myself, I hope to widen my horizons by meeting new people and trying different things. For Japan, I wish that its people do not get sidetracked by negative stories and ways of thinking, and hope that they are able to move forward with a positive outlook. For the sake of the world’s future, everyone should take a step back and look at what is happening. By doing this, my hope is that the future for the younger generation will become brighter.

Chris Roaf
Music teacher, 33 (English)

I hope to continue creating, writing and performing in whatever capacity I can. I think a lot of people are hoping for a bit more stability in the world. Last year was full of division, conflict and turmoil, so any positive news would be very welcome. As for Japan, I’m really looking forward to seeing what limited editions the brains at Tirol Choco come up with. Can they beat “coconut cookie and strawberry chia seed”? Ganbare! (Do your best!)

Interested in gathering views
in your neighborhood? E-mail: community@japantimes.co.jp