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Wish You Create a New Generation of Challenge:Part(1)

This is the manuscript of my lecture prepared for a Webinar lecture series entitled “Global Cultural Program” which is promoted by Tokyo Metropolitan Government as its campaign of “Internationalization of Tokyo.”

The program is to ask some globally eminent speakers such as Mr. Jacques Attali, famous French thinker of social and economic issues, Mr. Audrey Tang, ingenious information minister of Taiwan government, and Ms. Linda Gratton, professor of London Business school who is well known for her research and publication on aging societies where increasing proportion of people will reach age 100. Among them, I speak on the title “Wish You Create a New Generation of Challenge.”

The lecture series primarily targets young people such as college students in the form of Webinar, but subsequently released in Youtube for general public.

Since my lecture has been provided on line to students in May, I took liberty to provide the manuscript of my lecture in my blog separating in two segments for convenience of the readers.

 

「Wish You Create a New Generation of Challenge:Part(1)」

Lecture, Global Cultural Program, 2021
Memo. No.5
April 28, 2021

Haruo Shimada
President, Shimada Research Institute


Ⅰ. Introduction


ーHello! I am Haruo Shimada. I served TMU as chairperson until the end of March 2021.
ーIt is my great honor and pleasure to have this opportunity to talk with you and share ideas together.
ーFrom last year, we have been suffering from Covid19 pandemic, which is a very unique experience for all of us.

ーInconveniences and difficulties.
・I suspect that you suffered from many inconveniences and encounters difficulties.
・Unable to attend campus and join the classes and extra-curricular activities
・Social distance, stay home, unable to associate friends.
・Unable to travel, Particularly, unable to travel abroad, Impossible to study abroad,
・Obliged to change your study plan and career plan.

 ーEra of great changes
・We are living in an era of great changes. Covid19 is one. There are many other problems, such as climate change, global conflicts as symbolized by US-China confrontation, and increased economic and social differentials.
・As they get along, things will get worse. Disturb and harm our life and future.

ーHowever, there are opportunities for us to change the situation, change the world and change the history, particularly with the power and effort of young generation
・This is the theme I would like to talk with you and share our thoughts together.

・Let us begin my talk by examining major problems we are faced today.

 

Ⅱ. Serious Threats Encountering Young Generation


1. Covid 19
ーEmergence and spread of Covid19
・Covid19 was found to have emerged in China at the end of 2019 particularly in Wuhan
・It has spread rapidly throughout China within a month.
・Medical doctors and epidemic experts worked hard under the strong leadership of the government, and the spread has been confined within a few months.

・CV19 then spread to Asia and Europe. In Europe the infection spread widely.
・In March 2020、CV19 spread to the US, where infection exploded.

・In spite of highly developed medical technology and systems, the US suffered from the CV19 most seriously.
・They suffered from the largest number of infection and deaths largely because of political mistakes of Trump administration.

・CV were found to have spread widely to other countries such as Russia, Brazil and India, and many other areas of the world.
・The spread has been quick and broad perhaps because of highly developed global transportation systems of the contemporary world.
・Currently, infection in the world amounted to 145millions and 3million people died.

ーSpread confinement measures and man-made recession
・Since CV19 infects among people by breaths, people have been advised to take social distance. The governments required people to stay home and not to meet others.
The governments even locked down cities so that people cannot move around.

・Such policies suppress economic activities. Stores and transportation systems lost business opportunities. Unemployment increased, and people lost incomes.
This is a man-made acute recession which many countries had to suffer.

・In order to supplement income losses, and support victimized businesses, the government spent large amount fiscal money, which accumulated huge amount of government debt in many countries.
・Since much of such government fiscal spending was financed by government bonds, this became a huge burden for young and even future generations.

ーVaccination
・Scientists and medical industry worked very hard in several developed countries to create vaccines to beat the virus.
・While it usually takes several to even 10 years to develop such vaccines, a few advanced medical ventures, universities and drug makers invented new methodologies to develop vaccines within a year, which is a remarkable progress in this profession.

・Vaccination started in some countries toward the end of 2020. Some countries began to experience visible decline or slow down of infections, such as Israel and UK.
・Even the US, which has been suffering from the worst infection in the world, vaccination began to exhibit some effects of slowing down the spread of infection.

ーRemaining problems
・However, the vaccination does not seem to solve the issue as we hoped.
・One is the emergence and spread of virus variants. Since CV19 virus has only one belt to keep genetic code, unlike gene structure of other creature, genetic code may well collapse by any shock and create a different virus, which is a variant.
・This change often makes vaccines difficult to nullify the infection ability of the virus.
・The task of vaccine to chase the virus is not easy.

・The more serious problem is uneven distribution of vaccines among rich and poor countries. Since vaccines are expensive so that poor countries cannot have good access to obtain vaccines. It is the poor countries where people suffer most because of poor hygiene conditions and medical systems and services.
・WHO organizes an international organization called COVAC to supply vaccines to poor countries at low cost, but so far very little fund has been donated by rich countries.
・There are other problems associated with mis-conducts and policy mistakes by some governments. These human errors pose greater problems.
・We will discuss these problems later.


2. Climate change

ーGreenhouse effect
・Greenhouse effect: CO2 blocks radiation of sun-heat out of earth’s atmosphere
・Greenhouse effect increases with emission of CO2
・Since industrial revolution, industrialization increased CO2 emission markedly
・Av. temperature of the atmosphere increased by 1.0C for the period of more than 200 years since late 18th century till now.

ーIncreasingly apparent climate damages on the earth, creatures and human life.
・Increases of temperature give damages to the earth
・Increased temperature melts down ice on north and south poles causing heightening of sea level, resulting in sinking low level islands and shores, threatening lives of creatures and people.
・Increased temperature gives rise to empower typhoons giving more destructions.
・Changes in convection patterns within atmosphere causing irregular weathers resulting in drought and heavy rains and flood.

ーEfforts to slow down acceleration of greenhouse effect.
・Since the greenhouse effect has been accelerated by accelerating emission of greenhouse gases, most notably CO2, by increased industrial activity using fossil fuels such as oil, coal and natural gases in automobile transportation, iron manufacturing
and electric power generation.
・In recent years, many nations try to promote concerted actions to reduce carbon emissions participating to COP(Conference of the parties)activities.

・In 2015, 197 countries assembled together in Paris for COP21 and agreed to work for constraining the increase of average atmosphere temperature in 2050 less than 1.5C since the beginning of industrial revolution
・This movement has been disturbed by the leave of US led by Trump administration in 2017 from the Paris accord.

・However, Biden administration decided to come back to Paris Accord and has shown a strong wish to lead the international movement to combat against the greenhouse effect of the earth, as symbolized by Climate Change Summit proposed by
Joe Biden, which is a good news.

ーCan we stop the green house effect and save the world?
・The concerted action of international community to reduce carbon emissions is welcomed, but can we really control the increase of temperature within additional 0.5C within forthcoming 30years?
・Experts such view that the target is hardly achievable given the plans of participating  countries and the lack of cohesive cooperations of global community.

・Experts worry the incremental temperature may well exceed 2.0C by 2050.
・If that will be the case, the greenhouse effect will be aggravated much more and will exert much more destructive impacts on climate and the earth.
・Increased sea levels, flood, heavy rains draughts, mountain fires, destructive typhoons etc which will destruct living environment of creatures and human being.

・It is urgent and imperative for us to think more seriously to reduce greenhouse effect to save the earth and human living.


3. Global confrontations

ーThe US-Soviet cold war
・Currently, US-China confrontation is getting so acute that the world may look  as though it is beginning to suffer from the “new cold war.”
・Contemporary world history tells us that the world has suffered from “the cold war” since around 1950 till 1991. This war was between the US and Soviet  Russia.
・During this period, the world has been divided between Pax Americana, the group of allies and friendly democratic countries of the US, and the communist bloc which assemble satellite countries together under the leadership of Moscow.
・There has been almost no economic relations between the two blocs.
・On the other hand, military confrontation between the two blocs has been very acute.
・In fact, both blocs have accumulated destructive power of missiles and nuclear weapons enough to kill global populations more than several times.
・The cold war ended with the impasse of Soviet economy and the collapse of political system around 1991.

ーChinese growth and US response
・In contrast to this cold war, the relationship between the US and China is much  different.
・Unlike Soviet Russia, US and Chinese economies have been deeply intertwined.
・In fact, they are the largest trade and investment partners with each other.

・For 30years since the beginning of 1980s, Chinese GDP has kept growing remarkably annually about 10% by the strong leadership of Dong Xiaoping who promoted  “reform and open” policy. The economy grew several times during this period.
・He maintained the basic stance of “hiding your nails and accumulate power within.”
・In 1990s, the US leaders thought and hoped that with rapid economic development and accumulation of the middle class, China’s political system may well change to accommodate democracy.
・With this optimism, the US helped China to join WTO so that China can enjoy global trade and export as they wish including the US market.
・It is in this period when inter-penetration of US and Chinese economies deepened.

ーChinese pursuit of hegemony
・However, the US was disappointed painfully by the emergence of Xi Jinping.
・Unlike Don Xiaoping、Xi Jinping asserted strongly the power and the goal of PRC (People’s Republic of China) by the slogan of “Chinese Dream” by which China will build a powerful leading country of the world dispelling the deep grudge of  suppression by the Western powers since Opium War of 170 years ago.
・Xi plans to build a self-contained country by 2021, 100th anniversary of Chinese Communist Party, a middle level advanced country by 2035, and the powerful country to lead the world by 2049, the 100th anniversary of establishment PRC.
・Xi proposed a “New Large Country Relations” to the US in 2013, and launched  a mega global development plan “One Belt One Road” encompassing Asia to Europe.
・Facing with slowing down of the economy since 2010s, Xi claimed “New Normal Economy” by which to encourage and develop high-tech industry and promote DX.
・Many high-tech IT companies developed and promoted the economic transformation.
・Among them is Huawei Technologies, the most powerful IT communication devise manufacturer

ーUS-China hegemony war
・Facing with such development of China, while Obama administration maintained  “strategic patience,” Trump administration launched a furious policy to impose punishing sanction by imposing extra-ordinary high tariff on Chinese exports to the  US, which called forth Chinese retaliation and developed trade wars.
・Trump then focussed on Chinese high tech companies most notably Huawei as a spy company to steal information from its global 5G network to submit to Chinese Communist party and attacked Huawei and other high tech companies out of the global market. Trump’s action triggered a high tech hegemony war.

・Trump had to resign defeated by Joe Biden in 2020 presidential election.
・Biden administration dispelled Trump like policy against China though it has not lifted so far high tariffs against China.
・Biden administration exhibits a profound distrust against China particularly in the  sense of violation of human rights as shown by suppression of Uyghurs in Xinjiang district and suppression of democratic activists in Hong-kong.
・Perhaps because of relative decline in recent years of the superior US military power  against China, Biden administration asks allies to join US strategy of global sieging of China.


4. Economic and social differentials

ーDifferentials have been traditional problems of human societies
・In the current world、economic and social differentials are getting increasingly important and serious issues which impose many difficult problems to societies.
・Differentials among people have been existing in human societies in the long time.
・There have long been differentials among races, genders, religions, social status etc.

ーDifferentials aggravated by competitive capitalism
・In recent years, economic differentials have been aggravated by competitive capitalism
・As capitalist competition intensifies, businesses and countries transfer low paid jobs to  subcontractors and low wage countries, thus increasing economic differentials  among different classes of workers and between rich and poor countries.

ーDifferentials aggravated by DX
・With the remarkable development and penetration of digital transformation, the transfer of jobs to low wage regions and countries has been aggravated.

ーDifferentials causing political turmoils
・Such differentials aggravated by DX gave rise to political division of society as  exemplified by recent presidential elections in the US.
・Namely, those who lost jobs in the rust belt area of the US support strongly Mr. Donald Trump who accused China. The basic reason has been drastic reallocation of plants from high wage region of the US to low wage countries due to DX.
・Brexit took place by the similar reason of aggravated differential by globalization.

ーDifferentials related to CV pandemic
・In fighting against CV, poor countries are disadvantaged to secure vaccines which aggravates differentials stemming from medical services.

ーDifferentials relating to climate change
・Further, poor countries cannot afford to reduce carbon emissions and deter the  International effort to reduce greenhouse effect of climate change.
・Increases of economic and social differentials are a complex phenomena reflecting a variety of reasons and in turn give rise to new problems in the area of politics, spread of epidemics, and even climate change.

« Japan’s Choice for Post-Abe Era: Continued Stability or Fundamental Reform | トップページ | Wish You Create a New Generation of Challenge:Part(2) continued from Part(1) »

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