On 28 April 2015, the NUS Overseas Alumni Chapter in Tokyo held an annual reunion dinner in Marunouchi, Tokyo. About 30 alumni ranging from the 1980s to the 2010s and across a number of different programs including MBA, LLM, MPP, MPA, undergraduate programs and candidates for NUS gathered together and enjoyed mingling with old and new friends.
Mr Takehiko Shimizu (MPA 2010) represented our alumni community and made a short speech to commemorate the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew. In his speech, Mr Shimizu talked about the nationwide local-level election in Japan, that he ran for a city council member that took place a few days before the reunion. He quoted Mr Lee’s comment on Japan, saying “If Japan does not solve its demographic problem, its future will be very grim”. Japan has been facing a number of structural issues related to demographic changes. Mr Shimizu emphasized that Japanese democracy needs to be more flexible and be deepened so as to respond to these structural changes. To this point, Japan should cultivate an environment that enables emerging and aspired talents to be employed more proactively. Mr Shimizu shared his strong determination and hoped that all of the attendees in the gathering, who shared the common experience of having studied in Singapore, would do their utmost to build a better Japan just as the great politician Mr Lee Kuan Yew did for his Singapore.