1.Associate Professor Yumi Sugihara
Introduction to the discussion
As information and communication technology and transportation technology advance, the foreigners visiting Japan are increasing in number.
Also, as the Japanese labor force is decreasing due to declining birthrate and the aging population, the number of foreign workers is slowly but surely increasing in Japan.
The number of opportunities for Japanese people to interact with foreigners is expected to increase, in view of revisions to the Immigration Control Act, an increase in inbound tourism, globalization of business, and the hosting of the Tokyo Olympics.
Considering these circumstances, the importance of coexisting with people with different cultures and linguistic backgrounds is now actively discussed.
For example, many local governments have set a goal of multicultural symbiosis in various fields.
However, I believe that Japan still lags behind in the education field regarding multicultural symbiosis, although it will become increasingly important in the future.
You have been studying multicultural symbiosis for years from the aspect of education and also providing some recommendations for that.
As far as I know, your papers focus on the asymmetry and action of power between groups of Japanese university students and international students in a group discussion.
One of the paper targets Japanese students who have expressed their willingness to participate in a Japanese language program for international students, and the possibility of learning toward multicultural coexistence in this program is discussed.
Finding the problem
In these papers, the subject of the research is targeted at Japanese students who correspond to majorities, but in my opinion, the research should be more focused on international students who are minorities.
This is because, in multicultural coexistence, efforts to understand each other are considered important.
Certainly, targeting the majority is meaningful as a first step in discussing symbiosis.
I believe that empathy for the minority is the key to the problem of multicultural coexistence.
However, targeting only the majority could increase the possibility of ignoring minorities and the “action of power” that is also a problem on symbiosis could occur.
Therefore, I would like to explore the path for multicultural coexistence not only for the majority but also for the minority.
By doing so, all the members of the community can understand each other and aim for multicultural coexistence in the true sense.
Examining the conclusion
SFC is advocating multilingualism with an emphasis on mutual understanding and coexistence with other people around the world, which will place us in a multilingual community.
Also, touching research in a wide range of fields will bring various perspectives on my research, which will open up new horizons for me.
I believe that young persons with various perspectives will contribute towards the realization of Japanese global society.
By studying with Associate Professor Yumi Sugihara, who studies education in multilingual and multicultural coexistence, I am sure that I can explore the path for multicultural coexistence while cultivating an international sensation that will be surely required in more globalized Japanese society in the near future.
Therefore, I believe that Keio University’s Faculty of Policy Management is the most suitable place for pursuing my research and social contributions, and I am aspiring to enter your school and study in your laboratory.