The Unexplained Expectations of the Japanese in Indonesia【Increased pride in one's country】



Unexplained Expectations for Indonesia

In October 1997, I was working as a programmer at an IT company in Tokyo, and suddenly I was writing a letter to my parents so they wouldn't have a shocking stroke when I told them I was going to Indonesia.

It's a bit embarrassing now that I read it back, but it was a surprisingly reasonable story that I had planned to do when I was a student looking for a job, and three years later, when I did so, the destination just happened to be Indonesia under the Suharto regime.

  • Asia, which encompasses unlimited potential for economic development, was more appealing to me than Japan (mainly Tokyo), which has matured and entered a period of stability, and it gave me hope that there would be great opportunities for my development.
  • Ever since I was a student, I had a vague dream of working in Southeast Asia in the future. By the time I started receiving direct mail from companies in the late fall of my junior year of college, I was already thinking about getting a job that could easily become a reality in the future.
  • I am 27 years old this year and I believe I am on the edge of being able to take the plunge. I started thinking about going there as early as possible to improve myself through my work.

I described it as "a big chance for me to grow up", but I think that people who are preparing to work in Indonesia after the coronation is over, just like I was, also have a sense of expectation about Indonesia, which is something we can't understand. Now that the gap in nominal GDP per capita has narrowed to one-fifth from one-32nd 23 years ago, I would imagine that the gambling component of that expectation has diminished.

Indonesia's birth rate in 2019 remains high at 2.3 compared to 1.36 in Japan, and the future of Indonesia, which may overtake Japan in terms of GDP in 10 years' time by 2030, is looking bright. For those who try, it's a very exciting time to be hopeful.

For people like me, who have no clear vision and think "If I come here, there must be a chance for me," they may feel inadequate and head for India or Africa, where they can have a more "unrealistic expectation.

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Changes in the Position of the Japanese in Indonesia

I don't mind saying this, but when I first came to Jakarta 23 years ago, I was very popular, and I got hit on several times by a lady at the bank counter, and a cafe clerk asked me for a date and my mobile phone number. This is not to brag about the old days, but if I were to come to Indonesia for the first time in 2020, I wonder if I would be as popular as I was in 1997.

There seems to be a lot of young and handsome expatriates these days, but I doubt that many of them, even if they are taller and better-dressed and more handsome than I was 23 years ago, have experienced being picked up by a lady at a BCA bank or Niaga bank counter.Again, I'm not bragging about it, just in case.

This change in circumstances is, of course, partly due to improvements in bank compliance and a strict prohibition on personal transactions with customers in shops, but it may also be due to the fact that Indonesians themselves have become more affluent and are now looking for more than just money as a requirement for a boyfriend, and their expectations of Japanese people have fallen relatively low, or more specifically, the idea that a Japanese boyfriend is a not always rich man.

Speaking of 1997, I remember the "Joy of Johor Bahru" when Japan fought Iran in the final Asian qualifying round of the World Cup in France and scored a dramatic Sudden Death goal by "Wild Man" Okano to secure their first appearance in the Asian qualifying round of the World Cup, but even though they lost all three World Cups, Hidetoshi Nakata was a member of the Italian Serie A He moved to Perugia and scored two goals in the opening game of the season for Juventus, so that wherever he went after the game was broadcast, if you knew he was Japanese, he was greeted with "Oh, Nakata".

There was a time when people used to call me Nakata when they knew I was Japanese, and then Sakuraba, but it's sad that I haven't been called by a celebrity's name for more than 10 years after that. Today, for the first time in a long time, the old man called me Takashimura.

From 1999 to 2000, mixed martial arts events such as UFC and PRIDE were televised in Indonesia and the name of Kazushi Sakuraba, who defeated the Gracie family, who were said to be the strongest in the world of jiu-jitsu, became known one after another. I remember the immigration officer at the departure counter at Ngurah Rai Airport asked me to shake his hand and say "Oh, Sakraba".

It's been nearly 20 years since then, and the fact that there are no more occasions when Indonesians call me by the name of a Japanese celebrity and ask me to shake my hand. It may be that the Japanese sporting world no longer produces stars in Indonesia's most popular sports, but More than that, Indonesia's economic growth has strengthened its self-confidence in itself to the point where it doesn't need to look for an "Asian representative" from among foreigners to compete in the world.

I don't mean to justify the historical fact that the Japanese army in Indonesia inflicted heavy casualties on its people during the Japanese campaign to the south in World War II, but I imagine that the feelings of Indonesians at that time, who welcomed the Japanese army, which had fought against Western powers and kicked out the Dutch army, as representatives of Asia, were similar to the feelings of Indonesians who called them "Nakata" and "Sakuraba" and shook their hands with a smile.

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Korean subcultures such as K-Pop and Korean dramas are very popular among young people in Indonesia right now, but is there such a thing as a Korean expatriate living in Indonesia being called out by the name of a Korean star and asked to shake his or her hand?

Indonesian girls are genuinely fascinated by the performances of BTS and admire Tae Tae and Jungkook as fans, and not as "representatives of Asia who can compete in the world music scene". This is because now that Indonesia's national strength has increased and it has a sense of pride and pride in its country, Indonesians no longer have to look for their own representation among foreigners.

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