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Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien
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3. June 2021

“Sophistication with understatement” – Franz Waldenberger interviewed on Japanese radio

Screenshot J-Wave

DIJ director Franz Waldenberger shared his views on Japanese and German society in an interview series with Oguro Kazumi, the host of Lohas Talk on J-Wave radio. Franz introduced the institute, its research, and his own interests in Japanese society and economy. He revealed that he had a “positive culture shock” when he first came to Japan and that he was impressed with the unique “atmosphere”, importance of “human relations”, and “politeness”. The talk also touched upon women in politics, work-style, and work-life-balance. “In Germany, above all result matters but in Japan people are praised for their efforts”, he observed. On energy politics, Franz criticized that calculations of the costs of nuclear energy in Japan usually omit the costs for the disposal of nuclear waste. He praised the appeal of Japanese culture which, however, the Japanese themselves did not promote enough due to their attitude of “sophistication with understatement”. An audio file of the talk (in Japanese) is available here.