INAMURA Kobo, Visiting Professor, Graduate School, Chuo University
(This is an excerpt from the April 2013 issue of Gekkan Nippon magazine.)
Japan, once the up-and-coming star for the countries of Asia
NIPPON: As someone who has struggled against neoliberalism, why is it that you have long taken note of the things that former Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir has to say?
INAMURA: It’s because Dr. Mahathir’s words have included a strong message that can make we Japanese remember something important that we ourselves have forgotten.
Japanese society westernized after the war, and neoliberalism took hold with the end of the Cold War. As a result, the culture and civilization that the Japanese people themselves developed, along with the shape of the country supported by them, has been disappearing. Dr. Mahathir constantly offered words of encouragement: “Japanese, take pride in Japan’s traditional values!” “Use the power of Japanese civilization to develop the world!”
If I could speak without fear of being misunderstood, I would say that at one time Japan was like the big brother on which Malaysia could depend. In their younger days, it was a splendid older brother, and the younger brother learned many things. Once the older brother got his own household, however, he strayed from the path. His family didn’t have the power to stop it. The younger brother frantically cried out, “Brother, open your eyes!” The older brother should have quickly taken note of his younger brother’s strenuous cries.