This issue finds us all in uncertain times, and I want to wish the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Japan community the very best. I hope that you and your loved ones are all staying safe and doing well.
Working from home during the Covid-19 pandemic comes with certain comforts — long train commutes are really overrated, and being able to spend more time around my family is a joy. But I find myself missing the daily camaraderie that I share with my coworkers, and while video chats fill that gap to some degree, they’re not quite the same. I imagine that many of you are feeling the same thing.
But not only does this crisis that we find ourselves in take us out of our comfort zones, it can make us think about the ways in which we can improve. And not just improve our ability to confront viral outbreaks, but face up to the social, political and environmental challenges that the future holds, both here in Japan and around the world.
With that in mind, we spoke with six specialists in fields ranging from health governance and employment to political science and climate change to find out how we can go about building more just, resilient and future-proof societies. I hope that you find their insights as interesting as I did.
There are also lessons to be learned from the way in which previous generations of people battled their way through epidemics, as did members of the Canadian–Japanese community in Vancouver during the Spanish flu outbreak of 1918. Their bravery in the face of an invisible enemy should serve as inspiration to us all.
This issue also features individuals and organizations that are strengthening the ties between Canada and Japan. For example, judo champion Christa Deguchi — who was born in Japan but represents Canada when wearing her judogi — had her sights set on Olympic gold, but the postponement of the Games means that she’s having to change her training regimen and set her sights a little farther out. But she’s taking it all in stride and deepening her connection to a sport she’s loved since she was a child.
You’ll also probably notice in this issue that the majority of our interviewees are female. This was a conscious decision, and as we were planning the magazine during the month of March — Women’s History Month — we thought it would be a fitting recognition of the contribution of women around the world to improving the world we live in.