A, B： Good morning.
B： May I have your name, and where are you from?
My name is …. And I live in … city, Ibaraki.
A： I don’t know where Ibaraki is.
It is northeast of Tokyo and it takes about two hours by train from here.
A： Is Nikko there?
No, Nikko is not in my prefecture. It is near the sea, so you can enjoy various kinds of delicious sea food.
A： OK. Now, I’ll ask you some questions. What does the Imperial family mean to Japanese?
Many Japanese like the Imperial family. Now, people are talking about whether the Imperial family should have an empress or not. Personally, I agree with this idea. In fact, about 80 percent of the Japanese agree with this idea. There were several empresses in past Japan. I think having an empress now will contribute to the equalization of society, namely, the equal rights between men and women.
A： In England, the queen has some political power, and she can get rid of the prime minister. Does the Japanese emperor have some political power, too?
No, the Japanese emperor is just the symbol of Japan, and doesn’t have political power at all. The general public, rather than the emperor, may get rid of the prime minister in some way or other.
A： Do you think that the emperor should have political power?
I don’t think so. The general public should have the biggest say in a democratic society.
A： Who did you vote for in the last election?
I voted for Prime Minister Koizumi.
Because I agree with his idea of the privatization of postal services.
By privatizing, the competition will be severe, which will benefit the public. I am now more or less satisfied with the services of Japan Post, but the services of commercial banks are much better, in fact.
A： But in rural areas, they may not be able to get good services, right?
Yes, it is a matter of concern. But Prime Minister says that won’t happen. We have to watch carefully that it will not happen.
A： OK, next. What is rotenburo?
It is an open-air bath. You can enjoy a beautiful view while bathing in a rotenburo. It is relaxing also. Japanese people like hot springs. If hot spring accommodation you are using has an open-air bath, we are happier.
A： Do they wear something?
No, they don’t. They are naked. Some foreigners are a little bit surprised. But I hope they like it.
A： OK. That’s all for you. Thank you.
Thank you very much.
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