B: Please put down your bag there.(と言いながら椅子を指す)
B: Please sit down.
B: What’s your name?
My name is ….
B: Where are you from?
I'm from Utsunomiya City, Tochigi Prefecture,.（かなりあがっていたようですらすら出てこず…）
B: It’s a nice place.
Yes, thank you.
A: How long did it take you to come here?
B: One hour and a half?
Utsunomiya is about 100 km north of Tokyo and it takes about three hours by train.
A: Thank you for coming here, it’s a long trip.
A: Now I’d like to ask you some questions. Please relax and answer my questions as if I was a tourist who came to Japan for the first time.
A: I heard that Japanese people go out to restaurants a lot, but in our country we often invite our friends to our house instead of going out, and we have many home parties. Why do you think Japanese people don’t invite their friends to their homes?
I think that is partly because Japanese houses are not big enough and sometimes they are not kept clean or neat, so it would be embarrassing to invite friends or relatives. And another reason is that Japanese people want to entertain their guests with delicious food and sometimes preparing food makes them tired, so they simply go to a restaurant to avoid it.
A: Thank you. (か何かをにこやかに言ってくれた)
A: I heard that Prime Minister Koizumi recently reshuffled his Cabinet. I think it’s very unusual. Why do you think he did that?
Sorry, but I don’t think a cabinet reshuffle is so unusual. I think he did it to continue his reform. When he failed to pass the postal services privatization bill in the Upper House, he called for an election in the Lower House and won a landslide victory. I’m interested in the newly appointed minister for decreasing the birth rate, Ms. Inoguchi, whose job is to increase the birth rate in Japan. Right now, the birth rate is very low, it’s below 1.29.
A: How can she improve that?（笑いながら質問）
I think it’s difficult, but she’s very clever and talented, so she will come up with something.
A: It’s interesting, I will follow how she tackles the problem from now on.
A: I’ve heard of the word “wagashi”, but I have no idea what it is. Could you tell me about it?
Yes, “wagashi” means Japanese sweets. Some of the ingredients used in making “wagashi” are flour, rice powder, rice, buckwheat flour, red beans, and white beans. And sometimes even seasonal fruit and vegetables are used. We usually enjoy “wagashi” with green tea. So they are served during the tea ceremony.
A: Oh, really?
Yes, “wagashi” goes very well with green tea.
A: That sounds nice. I’d like to bring “wagashi” when I go back to Canada. What kind of “wagashi” do you recommend?
There are two types of “wagashi”. Raw “wagashi” and dried “wagashi”. There are so many beautiful raw “wagashi”, but they will go bad if you take them back to Canada, so I recommend dried ones.
A: Good, do I have to go to a special shop to buy them?
No, you don’t have to. You can also buy them at department stores.
A: Thank you.
You’re welcome. Japanese sweets are not too sweet and they taste really good. Please try the raw type while you are in Japan.
A: Thank you. I will.
Thank you. （と言って立ち上がり、荷物を持って退出。ドアのほうから面接官のほうを見ると、A と B の面接官はにこやかにお見送りをしてくれた）
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