May 15th, 2004 - EU-Japan Friendship Day

A friend of mine whose son attends Tokyo Metropolitan Kokusai High School invited me to come along to "Europe Day" - one of the many events taking place throughout Japan during EU-Japan Friendship Week.  The event itself was held at the Lycee Franco-Japonais school, with - in addition to students from Kokusai High School - students from British School and Deutsche Schule also participating.

EU-Japan Friendship Day

I went there in a cloud of dark pondering about the constant stream of bad news I've been seeing - the insanity of war, the cancellation of support for the Hubble telescope, economic woes, etc., and found myself in a setting of optimism and friendship between nations.  I've been hearing from my friends in Europe on and off about the EU, with them detailing the debates of new members for and against joining, but with most people deciding the benefits of joining are worth the effort.  Commentary in the news on this issue mentions the problems to be overcome, and no doubt that's true, but the optimism I've perceived from my distant friends and the warm optimism and friendliness I experienced at the "Europe Day" event suddenly seem to me like a warm spring day after a long and bitter winter, and so I say:

Here's to friendship and cooperation between all nations and all people.

Copyright 2004 - Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon, Images Through Glass, Tokyo