ABCD学院 メールマガジン 2016年1月号

Debate: Topic and Outline

We will be discussing about the topic ‘lowering of the legal age to 18’ in February’s YY club. With such a sudden change there must be a lot of confusion for the parties concerned, namely young adults between the ages of 18 to 19. The change will also bring social impact, as these new adults gain voting rights for this summer’s House of Councilors election in July. While the lowering of legal voting age calls for added responsibility, the increase of mid-age/elderly population had also been a cause of concern in Japan as this meant less representation for younger generations (especially for issues such as pensions). Perhaps the lowering of voting age will ameliorate such situations, balancing out the population.

As usual, Akiko and Benjamin will lead the discussion.


Akiko: The House of Councilors election will be held in July this year. If the legal voting age is 18, third grade schoolers will be eligible to vote. Wouldn’t the students be swamped with preparation for the college entrance examination?


Benjamin: It’s said that there will be approximately 1,210,000 new adults. It is only the total population’s 1.1%, but if we simply calculate it, there are 800,000 18 and 19 year olds. There should be some influence on election. Therefore, of course the entry exam for college is important for them, but it is important concerning national politics. So, if you think about it on the long run, of course you should participate, and study as much as possible to not make a mistake.


Akiko: I’m still not used to election, but it is important to understand politics and to make a good judgement. I would want them to study hard. You are the only one who can choose the right answer.


Benjamin: The school has not taught things like this before. How should the school teach?


Akiko: The Ministry of Educations and the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications are said to be the ones who are creating the supplementary materials and the instructional materials for teachers for sovereign education.


Benjamin: It is said that it is distributed to all of the nation’s 3.5 million high school students. What is the content?


Akiko: The problem is when the teacher is biased. The reason is, because high school students are not used to it, they get affected by teachers. The important thing is to think about which opinion is right and to decide for yourself. This needs training, and it is an issue concerning education right now. Both teachers and students think that “Teaching the right thing is education”, but it is probably going to change to “An education in which you have to think for yourself”. It is a good thing.


Benjamin: We should stop talking about election for now, and I want to talk about what I hope for the new adults.


Akiko: Young people nowadays all grew up in a rich era. However, it is said that they are a realistic generation and they don’t have dreams because they grew up in an era after the bubble economy which is called “two lost decades” , and they are called the “enlightened generation”.


Benjamin: It is true that present-day Japan is economically wealthy, saturated, and the growth has stopped. Now, it is impossible to have dream unlike the high economic growth period.


Akiko: I’m not trying to blame the young people, but the important thing is to make the government take responsibility and make them “Think and propose a policy in which young people can have dreams”.


Benjamin: Once, the satellite “Hayabusa” went missing for a while, and when it returned after 7 years, kids and students were delighted and they were able to dream. Instead of saying “Have a dream”, I think they will propose and start a plan. Then, they should let the young people challenge themselves.


Akiko: It can be somewhat poor. They should think what “wealth” is, and act for themselves.


Benjamin: One can have a dream of “Winning the Nobel prize”, but instead of trying to win it, I think the important thing is to be immersed in research that is interesting.


Akiko: Next, when talking about new adults, “drinking” is always a theme to talk about. Should the age for drinking also be lowered?


Benjamin: Until now, there were times in which people were carried to the hospital because of drinking too much in their club activities or a welcome party for new students when they entered college.


Akiko: They should think about how much they can drink and drink the proper amount.


Benjamin: This decision should be thought out as your own problem and you should know how to control yourself. This is the first step to becoming an adult. Wish you luck, new adults! Your journey ahead is bright!








A: 未だ選挙に慣れない点はあるが、大切なことは政策をよく理解し、判断する必要がある。よく勉強して欲しい。正解は自分で決めるしかないからである。



B: 約350万人の全高校生に配布されるという。内容はどのようなものか?


B: 確かに、どちらかの政党に有利なテーマは避けたいが、議論することは大切である。

A: 教師がどちらかに偏よることは問題である。高校生は慣れていないだけに先生の影響は大きいからだ。大切なことは、どちらの意見が正しいかを自分で考え、判断できることが重要である。その訓練は必要で、今の教育の問題点でもある。教師も生徒も「正解を教えることが教育」と考えているが、教育も徐々に「考えさせる教育」へと変わっていくであろう。良いことだ。

B: 選挙についてはその位にして、新成人に望むことを議論したい。

A: 近頃の若い人は、皆豊かな時代に育っているが、一方、「失われた20年」(バブルが弾けた時代)に育っており、「悟りの世代」とも言われ、現実的で夢を持たない世代である。

B: 確かに現代日本は経済的に豊かになり、飽和し、成長が止まってしまい、高度成長期とは異なり、夢を持つことが無理となっている。




B: ある人は「ノーベル賞をもらうこと」を夢みても良いが、受賞を目指すよりも、面白い研究に没頭できることが大切と思う。


A: これまでも、大学へ入学すると、非公式にクラブ活動で、新入生歓迎コンパなどに誘われ、飲み過ぎて倒れ救急車で運ばれることがあった。

B: 自分で適量を考え、飲むことだ。

A: この判断はそれこそ、自分の問題として考え、自制するしかないであろう。