Famous Person from my Home Country comes to visit

A famous person from my home country arrived in my prefecture yesterday evening. Through the articles about her and the work she has done, one can tell that she has placed in an enormous amount of effort to get to where she is today. She wants to leave behind a legacy and I am pretty sure she will. The story of her hard work is extremely inspiring and I am highly pleased to be interpreting for her and for my prefecture. I hope that this visit will be beneficial to both parties and that

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Judging a Japanese Speech Contest

I was tasked to be the judge of a Japanese speech contest on international issues and views. So here I am, sitting here as one of the five judges, listening to high school students share their international experiences and opinions. Having participated in two Japanese speech contests back in my home country, it feels really good to be sitting in the judge’s seat now. They covered various topics, including female genital mutilation in certain countries, which I thought was rather brave of them. Some speeches were just meh – but there were a couple that really shone. Unfortunately, the student of the school that hosted this speech contest was so bad at it that I couldn’t even give him good marks even if I wanted to. When I saw an anonymous list of all the judges’ scores, I noticed there was a judge who gave this student higher marks than the rest – and it’s extremely hard to believe that that was what they really felt and thought. I guess, one has to be polite in Japan. We received lunch and drinks from the school, so I did feel bad giving that chap low marks as well, but luckily my marks wasn’t the lowest.

Interpretation for the Industry Promotion Plan Presentation

I did an interpretation today for a presentation on my prefecture’s industry promotion plan. We talked about the problems our prefecture has, which is both a decreasing and ageing population. Due to the population decreasing, the size of the economy gets smaller, and this further causes the young people to leave the prefecture. It’s a negative spiral. So, we are now trying to create a larger and more active economy by selling our goods outside of the prefecture – to other parts of Japan as well as overseas. From what I see so far, the plan has been → Read more

Where are all my friends from?

I have always wondered how many Japanese and International friends I have as compared to the number of friends I have in my home country. So, I decided to open up my Facebook friend list and give it a count. I know this is hardly accurate – since a number of my friends don’t use Facebook, but this is the easiest so here goes.

Upon counting – and wasting my morning away, I found out that → Read more

An ambassador and his professional interpreter

The ambassador of a particular country in Europe came to my prefecture together with his wife and their interpreter. 課長, H-san and I, accompanied them to our famous castle. At first, because their native language isn’t English, I wasn’t sure whether I should interpret Japanese into English for them, but when I asked the interpreter for advice, she said that the both of them understood English.

When the ambassador knew I could speak English, he started talking to me. “This may be a nosy question, but I realise your name isn’t Japanese” he commented. Indeed I am not, I thought as I told him where I was from. He was extremely friendly and didn’t put on airs, I’m glad to be able to guide such a person around.

The tour of our castle was done by a veteran guide in English, so I honestly didn’t have much work to do. During then, I had the chance to talk to the interpreter, and I found out that → Read more

Getting a Debit Card in Japan – Japan Net Bank Visa Debit

After staying in Japan for a couple of months, I feel that although credit cards are widely talked about, debit cards seem to be less heard of. As someone who wants to purchase online items, but is extremely uncomfortable in putting oneself into the whole complicated default revolving payment system of credit cards, I looked into debit cards in Japan that are under VISA and do not have a membership fee. There was only one card that satisfied all my criteria, and it is → Read more