The U.S. Must Immediately Unite Under its New President

Democracy is unstable when it comes to COVID-19 measures

 The Olympics and American presidential election, which take place every four years, were both supposed to be held this year. However, the 2020 Olympic Games, the first games in Tokyo in 56 years, were postponed one year until 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic that started in Wuhan, China. This virus spread from China to East Asia, Europe, and the United States, infecting approximately 49.32 million people and causing roughly 1.24 deaths across the world as of November 7. The pandemic shows no signs of stopping; “second waves” occurred in Italy, Spain, France, the United Kingdom, and other European countries in October, while cases continue increasing in the U.S., where 240,000 people have already died as of November 13.
 The November 2020 issue of Sentaku magazine contained an article entitled, “Why Europe is so Weak Against COVID-19: A Background of Social Infantilization.” It read:
The global COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted dilemmas in democratic European Union (EU) states.
There are many examples in which the shortcomings of European democracy have been laid bare. These include issues with democratic systems of government, in which sufficient infection control measures are not taken due to conflict between central and local governments, as well as irresponsible actions by people who believe anything goes if no regulations are in place. Scientists and intellectuals have begun questioning the stark differences compared to East Asia.
First, let us look at the numbers of cases.
In Japan, the cumulative total of infected persons was approximately 97,000 (approaching 100,000) in late October. In contrast, the cumulative total in the 27 EU nations, United Kingdom, and microstates like Liechtenstein was over eight million.
The number of infections was over two million in the two weeks until October 24. Looking at countries of similar sizes to Japan, the cases over the past two weeks exceeded 350,000 in France and 250,000 in the UK. There are 10,000 to 40,000 new cases every day in these countries. This shows that West European countries are being struck by enormous “second waves.” Astounding things are occurring regarding measures to control the spread of the virus.
When a nation’s central government decides to implement limited lockdowns in areas with serious outbreaks, the local government leaders and assembly members furiously oppose these measures, saying, “Why does this apply only to us?” In this way, they put a stop to the infection control measures.
Greater Manchester in the UK is a perfect example.
One of the UK’s foremost administrative districts, about 2.8 million people live in this area, mainly in the city of Manchester. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a lockdown and business restrictions in early October due to the surge of infections in Manchester.
Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham immediately objected, asked why these regulations were being imposed on his area only, and refused to go along with them. Burnham is a member of the British Labour Party and is against the Johnson government, yet the Conservative Party House of Commons members who were elected locally agreed with Burnham in unison. This was an unusual circumstance of a local government boycotting a control measure put in place by the national government.
 Although liberal democracy is the global mainstream today, COVID-19 has led to the negation of this system.

Against this terrifying pandemic, the only measures available are those used 100 years ago

 Will the delayed Tokyo Olympics really go on as scheduled? Considering the global spread of COVID-19 and areas where second waves are occurring, it seems unlikely that Japan – which is striving to be a major tourist destination – will be able to fulfill its hopes of welcoming many travelers from around the world. This is truly unfortunate. I think the Olympics will have to be held on a reduced scale by only allowing in athletes, executives, and related persons with negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests.
 The worst pandemic in modern recorded history was the Spanish flu from 1918 to 1919, which caused vastly greater harm than COVID-19. It is said that 25% to 30% of the world’s population was infected with a fatality rate of more than 2.5%, totaling 40 to 100 million deaths around the world. According to Ministry of Home Affairs statistics, about 23 million Japanese people were infected and roughly 380,000 died. Antibiotics had not yet been discovered at that time, and there was absolutely no way to develop a vaccine without the technology for isolating the influenza virus. The only ways to prevent the spread of the virus were by isolating patients, restricting the movement of close contacts, personal hygiene, sterilization, and avoiding gathering with others. The same can be said of our situation today, when no vaccines or drugs to treat COVID-19 have been developed yet. Nothing has changed over the past century. If mankind were go to extinct, I think the mostly likely cause would be a major outbreak of an infectious disease with a high fatality rate. The world must join together to cope with COVID-19 and prevent a repeat of the tragic Spanish flu pandemic.

Liberal democratic countries should stand together against the expanding China

 As the votes were tallied after the American presidential election on November 3, the results were extremely close. A victory in Pennsylvania finally put Joe Biden ahead in the race and won him the election on November 7. Donald Trump was suing for recounts in some states in the hopes of achieving a reversal in swing states. The U.S. was seen as a model democratic state, but dissension regarding this election has revealed conspicuous divisions, and it seems likely that it will be difficult for people to acknowledge the election results and build unity with others.
China’s rise to prominence is striking. It is a dictatorship founded on socialism, which directly repudiates liberalism. Liberal democratic states around the world must join together to quell the expanding China. As the leader of these liberal democratic nations, the newly elected American president should serve a central role to fly the flags of freedom and equality high and strive to maintain the liberal democratic system. And after the election results are finalized in the U.S., the new president must make immediate efforts to unite his country. Meanwhile, Japan must become capable of defending itself amidst the prevailing global trend of countries putting their own interests first. China, a dictatorship, used the strength of its 1.4 billion people to develop economic power and augment its military power. Therefore, Japan must increase its own military strength so it is not drawn into China as one of its autonomous regions.

Liberal democratic countries should stand together against the expanding China

 As the votes were tallied after the American presidential election on November 3, the results were extremely close. A victory in Pennsylvania finally put Joe Biden ahead in the race and won him the election on November 7. Donald Trump was suing for recounts in some states in the hopes of achieving a reversal in swing states. The U.S. was seen as a model democratic state, but dissension regarding this election has revealed conspicuous divisions, and it seems likely that it will be difficult for people to acknowledge the election results and build unity with others.
 China’s rise to prominence is striking. It is a dictatorship founded on socialism, which directly repudiates liberalism. Liberal democratic states around the world must join together to quell the expanding China. As the leader of these liberal democratic nations, the newly elected American president should serve a central role to fly the flags of freedom and equality high and strive to maintain the liberal democratic system. And after the election results are finalized in the U.S., the new president must make immediate efforts to unite his country. Meanwhile, Japan must become capable of defending itself amidst the prevailing global trend of countries putting their own interests first. China, a dictatorship, used the strength of its 1.4 billion people to develop economic power and augment its military power. Therefore, Japan must increase its own military strength so it is not drawn into China as one of its autonomous regions.

Despite how much money Japan pays to the UN, there are too few Japanese staff members

 The November 17 issue of Newsweek contained an article entitled, “The U.N.’s Diversity Problem.” Under the heading “Europeans and Americans Monopolize Senior Posts in Headquarters Organizations: Criticisms of a Colonial Viewpoint at the Site of International Assistance,” it read:
The United Nations (UN), which has 193 member states, can be described as one of the most diverse organizations in the world. However, those who are critical of the UN say it actually lacks diversity.
Americans account for the largest number of UN staff members. Although Trump has repeatedly voiced dissatisfaction about declining American influence in the UN, an April 2019 staff development report said there are 2,531 American staff members who comprise 6.75% of the total. Looking at personnel expenses, an improperly large number of staff members are also employed from European countries like the UK, Italy, and Spain.
Many staff members from developing countries are employed at the working level, especially in conflict zones such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Mali. However, there are drastically larger numbers of European and American staff members at the Headquarters who are granted good working conditions and high status (including at the UN Office at Geneva).
Despite the amount of money provided by Japan to the UN, the reason there are few Japanese staff members is because Japanese people are disadvantaged by their poor language skills, and because they are not good at working in multicultural environments with people of other nationalities. However, more Japanese people should be hired by the UN because Japan makes such large financial contributions. Japan’s internationalization would lead to a higher ratio of Japanese staff members at the UN.
 Today we can regard the world as a single cultural sphere with one common language: English. We must turn out more Japanese people who can be active on the international stage.
 In the past, English-language education in Japan has been taught by Japanese instructors who prioritized grammar and vocabulary, rather than starting with conversation. We must proactively hire many European and American teachers who are native speakers of English to help cultivate English-language debate abilities and develop more Japanese people who can do great things across the globe.

November 13 (Friday), 3:00 p.m.