Online International Chat about Lives in Japan

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Date and Time: Saturday, May 29, 3:00 p.m.– 5:00 p.m.
Spot: Discussion over Zoom
Participants: 15 people including Salvadoran, Chinese, Chili, Pakistani, German, Vietnamese, and Japanese. Some of them are former tutees and tutors at KSGG.

For the first one hour, the participants were divided into two groups and talked freely.
Their main topics were about things they felt strange, inconvenient, and good in the life in Japan. Non-Japanese participants also raised questions to the Japanese participants. Then they introduced their home countries and compared the prices of fruits. In the second half of the meeting, they were split into four groups. They used English during the conversation, so they could share their own feelings without hesitation. They thanked KSGG for hosting the online meeting, as they had had few chances to communicate with other people due to COVID-19.

A participant pointed out: “Japanese people often do not answer my question when I ask something in English.” Other people agreed and followed: “Many people do not sit next to me, even though the train is so crowded with people.” Some foreign residents expressed kind understanding: “Such behavior is not racial discrimination. Just because many Japanese people have difficulty in speaking English.” “Japanese people tend to be shy and they are not used to get in touch with strangers. Especially, those people from the northeastern region in Japan seem so.” Also, some participants wondered: “Why are Japanese people so quiet? Why don’t Japanese people hug each other? ” To these questions, a German woman who has been living in Japan for a long time explained her answers: “Japanese people highly respect an interpersonal distance. They greet one another with bowing. They neither refuse nor avoid you.” In spite of the short meeting, the event was so much successful. All the participants enjoyed the exchange of opinions about Japan and its people.