AB Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, 2021

From Kyoto, Japan

“I would like to participate in this Global Seminar to feel and see the real China to know about the country better and to think about how Japan can build a better relationship with China. I am Japanese, and I have had a lot of opportunities to think about the relationship between Japan and China since I was a child. China and Japan have a dispute over the Senkaku islands, and it seems to me that China and Japan can’t understand each other in terms of historical background. I had some negative feelings toward China and thought that we would not cooperate and reach a mutual understanding. What changed my thought is the Trilateral Leadership Summit that I attended in high school. Students from Korea, Japan, and China discussed the matters on cultural exchange and historical disputes. As we talked frankly, we came to understand that the negative feelings between the countries prevent us from understanding each other. I thought that we could deal with controversial issues if we could just get rid of animosity and separate the subjective feeling from the objective facts. It became one of my dreams to build a friendly and cooperative relationship between Japan and China. The Global Seminar will be important to my understanding of China, in that I think China as a primary source would tell me different and deeper aspects about the country. In the Global Seminar, I expect to gain a true understanding of Chinese society, and how people feel in China. I will encounter some challenges in the discrepancy between what I learn in lectures and what I actually see in China, but I’m really looking forward to the challenge because it will help me get rid of bias and understand the Chinese better. This is why I really want to attend the seminar.”