Over the summer of 2019, I had an internship in Guangzhou Daily. Although I am not a journalism major, I realize the importance of media in the political world, and I am curious about how media works. At first, I was doing minor tasks such as manually translate interview audio to written text, so that reporters could access key information from previous interview efficiently. Over time, I started to participate in more interviews, was given opportunities to ask interviewees constructive questions. As I gained more experience, I got a chance to develop my own topic. When I look back, the interview serves as a self-reflection. My article in Chinese can be accessed HERE.
From the very beginning, I decided to develop a series of stories about international students in China – a highly controversial topic on social media. One day, I was browsing Weibo I saw a tweet from Fudan University professor. He shared a book written by his former Japanese student, Emi Yoshinaga. This book is about Ms. Yoshinaga’s study abroad experience in China. Former Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama wrote the foreword for her. I realized that this book is the opportunity to develop my series, and I contacted the professor who provided me Ms. Yoshinaga’s contact information. Even though Ms. Yoshinaga was unable to be interviewed due to her work schedule, she advised me to interview another former Japanese student in China, Mr. Daichi Nakajima, a publisher in Japan.
Mr. Nakajima received the Panda Cup writing contest award for writing an article about his personal experiences in China. After winning the award, Mr. Nakajima wrote a letter to Chinese President Xi Jinping to manifest his passion for Chinese literature. Unexpectedly, President Xi replied to Mr. Nakajima’s letter during the 2019 Japan G20 Summit. In the replied letter, President Xi acknowledged Mr. Nakajima’s passion in Chinese literature, and encouraged more interaction between China and Japanese teenagers.
The story becomes more relevant to my field of study, political science, as both China and Japan utilize cultural communications and civil activities to enhance the relationships between the two countries. Mr. Nakajima told me different places he went while in school and his experience of being warmly welcomed by Chinese students. “Both Chinese and Japanese media only talk about politics and economy in terms of China-Japan relations, but barely mention human-to-human interaction,” Mr. Nakajima said. I was touched.
I keep in touch with Mr. Nakajima and Ms. Yoshinaga. The more I talk to them, the more I realize how similar we are in our aspirations and love for humanity!