Alex: Mm, right. Can you think of examples? Uh…
José: I I’ll just give you a really quick couple of examples. One right now, um Syria. (yeah) What’s going on with the Syrian government (mm-hmm) and their attempts to stop the the rebel army that’s trying to overthrow the government because the rebel army was created uh, when they were just completely dissatisfied uh with their government; accused it of torture and and and and non-democratic action. Uh, this came out of the Arab Spring. And now Syria is a really important country if it actually turns over from what was a stable but dictatorial regime to something that’s democratic but potentially more religiously oriented, (mm-hmm) and cannot be easily controlled by the major powers. That was not at all well reported in Japan. Now “well reported”, (yeah) let me define that, (yeah) means that, it’s timely, i.e. that when it begins to happen it’s reported immediately. (Mm-hmm) It’s reported with depth. (Yes) So you know who the actors are, you know what the motivations for the groups are. And (mm-hmm) and it’s rep- reported consistently. It’s not just once in a while. You know, you don’t- you don’t get like just 30 seconds once in a while because a great big bomb blew up and killed the ambassador of whatever country in Syria. And unfortunately that’s the way I see how uh Japanese media does something like that. And one more example is the Haitian earthquake. Do you remember that (Yes) a couple of years ago? (Yes) my students didn’t know anything about it. (Really?) For- yeah, for the first three days had no idea it happened. (Really?) Yeah, really sad.
Alex: Wow, when the tsunami hit Japan uh, in March, 2011 the whole world knew about it. (Exactly) Of course it’s a bigger disaster, but… well but actually…
José: Well that’s that’s that’s pretty tough to to you know, swallowa certain result or outcome is unbearable, saddening, or disappointing. (2:18) when you’re a Haitian mother visiting the graves of her son and daughter every week uh, about what was the nature of a bigger disaster or not, you know.
Alex: Yeah, I think you’re right. (Right?) I think you’re right.
José: Numbers? Yeah okay, if you’re going topronounced quickly sounds like “GUNNA”. (2:35) be a raw statistician, it was a bigger disaster. But, in terms of tragedy and what we’re supposed to be doing with internationalization…
Alex: Yeah that’s- it’s uh. So I was guilty of it there myself, right? Uh, looking at the numbers for a moment.
José: And that’s an interesting point. (mm-hmm) Um we find it very easy to point fingers, (mm-hmm, yes) But to what degree do you think, we ourselves don’t do enough to think internationally? (Oh, good question) Do you think do you think you’re a fairly international guy?
Alex: Oh, it depends on what you mean by “international”. But…
José: Use your definition.
Alex: But uh, I- in general I don’t know I don’t know what I would say means internationally minded, uh but I suppose I’m internationally minded. Uh, how is that? Hmm (Mm) Having a knowledge of various countries, uh not just your own country, but uh, countries around the world. Can you identify every country in the world on the map? Well, I don’t think I can.
José: No, I couldn’t either. I couldn’t either.
Alex: That’s- so, I have trouble identifying all the countries in Africa still.
José: Oh no, I would lose. I would lose on that.
Do you ever read International news sources?
Does the International media report on Japanese issues well?
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José Domingo Cruz
Vancouver, British Columbia
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