Ahead of 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, we are faced with the need to communicate and disseminate information from Tokyo to the outside world. However, it is easier said than done.
According to a survey, foreigners have keen interest in Japan, especially in three fields namely, (i) Japan's advance technology, (ii) Japanese traditional and modern culture, （iii） Japanese foods or Washoku. However, in order to disseminate information on these Japanese aspects to the outside world, Japanese people need to first deepen their own knowledge about the Japanese culture in addition to enhancing their foreign language capability. Recognition of strengths and characteristics of the Japanese economy overseas in the past was also primarily due to erudition by foreigners about Japan and is a reflection on our ability to disseminate or lack of it.
"Gabby Tokyo" aims to develop affinity among people overseas towards Japan by helping them learn conversational Japanese. If more and more people are able to speak easy-to-understand Japanese, relationship between Japan and the world would deepen and our mission and raison d’etre would be realized. In addition, we will strive for a two-way exchange between Japan and the world. So enjoy speaking in Japanese and deepen your understanding of Japan and the world. Let us together realize it.
I teach Japanese economy and Japanese management at JNU at the post-graduate level. I met Mr. Tanabe in India some years ago during India-Japan international treaty negotiations and since then we have met several times in India and Japan. I fully endorse his initiative to promote international exchange through “Gabby Tokyo”. It is a wonderful initiative for people from various countries of the world to have the opportunity to learn Japanese in an enjoyable manner. I wish him all the success in his new endeavor.
Waseda University’s school song “North-west of the capital” (Miyako-no Seihoku) says “The tide of cultures of the East and the West". It was also the philosophy of Okuma Shigenobu who incepted Waseda University in 1882 to realize his ideal of internationalization of Japan. Mr. Tanabe attended my tutorials at the university, and he also served as the Chairman of the Waseda University Tômonkai (Alumni Association). I fully agree with the purpose behind creation of this site i.e. enhancement of internationalization of Japan leading up to 2020 Tokyo Olympics and I strongly recommend it to one and all.