On November 4th, the 94th Prime Minister of Japan Mr. Naoto Kan visited ASIJ to share his experiences about the 3/11 crisis with Bapi Ghosh’s Japan Studies class. Prior to his lecture in the Ricketson Theater, Mr. Kan observed a kindergarten class and an elementary music class before spending time at the new Middle School RED Lab (RED stands for Robotics, Engineering and Design) where he seemed fascinated with the degree of innovation ASIJ students were pursuing. Mr. Kan, who has a degree in Engineering, said he would have liked to stay there all day. In the High School, he took a tour of our new library and stopped in several classrooms where had the opportunity to meet and talk with students.
Mr. Kan gave a revealing lecture to students and teachers, discussing his experiences as the Prime Minister of a nation in crisis. He described the chaos of the days immediately following the March 11th earthquake and tsunami. He also focused on the lack of information available about the Nuclear crisis in Fukushima and the difficulties the government had in making informed decisions. This experience changed his opinion on nuclear power completely, and now he is an advocate of renewable energy such as wind and solar power.
After the lecture, Mr. Kan had lunch with the Japan Studies students who asked very critical and thoughtful questions about what we can learn from this unprecedented crisis so we can make better decisions about the future.
Mr. Kan’s “working lunch” with the Japan Studies class is having a ripple effect as they design policy
recommendations for the reconstruction of Tohoku as part of their classes this week. (Bapi Ghosh, HS Social Studies)