Concerning about my own country

Sakurako - Groton, Massachusetts
Entered on October 31, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I am a typical teenager worrying about un upcoming big game, college applications, relationships with others, and so on. There are numerous things going on around me and those make me hard to pay attention to the things that happen even a few steps outside of my community. However, after working as an intern at the office of one of the House of Representatives’ in Japan this summer, I reached to one credo. “Concerning about the future of my country is same as caring about my own future.”

Kuniko, whom I worked for this summer, was the first minister of the department of “Aged society with a declining birthrate” problem, which is one of the biggest problems in Japanese society. One day, Ms. I and I had a lunch with a group of university students from Denmark. She explained to the students what the problem of “declining birthrate” was and how the government was working on the problem. The room was totally silent except her voice and the students’ pens moving. As she finished her talk, the students jumped at the chance to ask their affluent questions that they brought from Denmark. I was astonished how they were interested in the tiny country far away from Denmark. At the same time, I was embarrassed that I was not caring about my own country. Therefore, I decided to write a report about “declining birthrate” problem, luckily at the place where there is the largest amount of data about this problem.

As I did my research, I found a lot of information that was hard to believe. Unfortunately, one of the biggest reasons of “declining birthrate” is woman’s advance in the society. More than 70% of women are forced to leave their work when they get pregnant; therefore, more women are not eager to have a baby which causes declining birthrate. This data was very shocking for me because my dream is to work globally and make a happy family. If this data is still true ten years later, how am I going to make my dream come true? I knew about this “declining birthrate” issue in Japanese society; however, I had never thought in the way that this as my own problem that I will be facing in the near future.

Until this summer, I hated to read newspaper and was not into paying attention to what is going on in my country. However, I realized the importance of the national issues to me. For the “declining birthrate” problem, I don’t know what I, as one of the citizens who doesn’t have right to vote yet, can do to make our society better. But, I know at least how important it is to concern about my country’s future for my own future and dream. As I worry about getting into colleges, I worry about my country, Japan. I affirm that concerning about the future of my country is same as caring about my own future.