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A,B Good morning.

Good morning.

B: Please sit down.

Thank you.

A: Please tell us your name and address.

I'm .... I'm from Kagoshima, which is located in the southern part of Japan.

A: I'm going to ask you some questions. Japanese are eager to take examinations to get qualifications. Why are they so eager to do this?

I'd like to talk about it from the point of distinctive Japanese employment system. Japan has two employment systems different from those in Western countries. One is the seniority system and the other is the lifetime employment system. Under these two employment systems, employees are totally loyal to the company and feel fair and equal.
So, if they want to be promoted, they often think that they have to appeal to their boss or to the company. Under such circumstances, getting licenses and qualifications often becomes good opportunities for employees to make themselves look appealing. I think this is one of the reasons why Japanese are eager to take examinations and qualifications.

A: What do you think about the current freezing economy in Japan?

I used to work for a Japanese bank and I am now studying English to become a tour guide. So, strictly speaking, I am an unemployed person.
I may be a person thwo is strongly affected bby the bad economy. However, recently stock prices are sharply increasing and the yen is also strong in the foreign exchange market. The current prime minister Junichiro Koizumi wil be re-elected in the near future. So, I'm quite optimistic about Japan's future economy.

A: But he is a maverick, isn't he?

Well, he is often called a maverick. But I can understand his situation very well because I was once called a maverick in the company I worked for. Japanese often call a person who speaks English well a maverick.

A: What is "setsubun"?

"Setsubun" is the day before the first day of spring according to the lunar calendar. It's usually February 2 or 3. Bean-throwing ceremonies are held in homes, shrines, and temples.

A: People eat the same number of beans as their age, don't they?

I have no idea, but I think I was taught such things in my childhood.

A: Why do people throw the beans?

I have no idea, but I think people might have thrown stones at evil spirits, particularly wild animals, in ancient times. The custom gradually changed, and now they throw beans.

A: Well, we'll have to stop here.

I appreciate having this opportunity. Thank you very much.


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