Courrier Japon: May-June issue

Special Report: New Way of Working

Article from “Fast Company” about Best 50 Innovative Companies. Fast Retailing is the only Japanese company… Of course it is little biased considering the source is US magazine, but more Chinese companies made it to the list. Then I realized that, this is “innovative” company list. Yeah, that is not our thing!

More jobs are now intellectual labors. If you have your PC and broadband network, you don’t really need to stay in office from 9am-6pm. Maybe one or two days a week should be enough. That is not even discussion for me. So why am I going to office everyday? Peer pressure!

The Dying Room

This was shocking. Really shocking. In Switzerland, euthanasia is prohibited, but assisting suicide is legal. These is, in fact, a place for this type of “service”. Report by The Guardian covers the story in detail.

I am still thinking how to understand this, but founder’s philosophy is clear; human holds right to end own life. This is very hard topic, but euthanasia sometimes become news in Japan. Our attitudes are very vague. Leally it is, of course, not OK, but when some sympathetic case hit the news, some of us kind of let it be, maybe accepting to certain level. Some Japanese literature also talks about this… Dilemma is that pain is only felt by these patients, and partially by his friends and family, but not others. No matter how logical or ethical other may explain why it is not right, it is just talk. It is about spirituality vs. Logic. Really hard topic…

Korea and Samsung

Samsung is now facing “Now, what?” phase. They are giant company in the world today, but now they have to go to next step. Can they show innovation and creativity to breakthrough? Samsung’s future might not be promised, but it is great that people inside are talking about this with sense of urgency. Unfortunately, Korea’s future is hugely depending on Samsung’s success, so this is not just about one company, but about whole country. Somehow, I am optimistic about their future.

I still remember when that IMF thing hit Korea years ago. I was in some ESL school in the US. Many of my Korean classmates were full of energy. They were all talking how they were going study and work hard, and bring Korean economy back. Compared to most of my Japanese classmates who were acting like tourists, those Korean friends were all inspirations to me. Patriotism is dead word in Japan, but our neighbors still have that.