Why I am here in IISIA? from Taiwan to Japan

In the year of 1988, the “Old order” in Taiwan passed away with the death of Jiang Ching-Kuo, the son of Jiang Kai-Shek. Taiwan society afterward experienced an unprecedented turmoil in politics and economy, a dramatically “pain of delivery” for a longtime and I was just a 7th-grade student.

What happened then in domestic politics? the first opposite political party “Democratic Progressive Party” (which the current female president Tsai Ing-Wen belongs to) was finally legally recognized in 1989; a great amount of the publications especially regraded as “forbidden books” were released after the end of “Martial Law”; mass media including newspapers and broadcasting networks were founded like bamboo shoots after rain; and etc., and etc.,. Thanks for the “late-coming freedom”, I gradually realized what happened in my mother country Taiwan, a lot of hidden intentionally and very painful histories under the old order, such as February 28 Incident, White Terror etc., which a lot of Taiwanese were massacred by the Chinese Nationalist Party, the ruling party at that time. However, the saddest thing is that just quite a few people are interested in such a “truth”.

Why? The so-called “National Exercise”, market/stocks investment was overheating due to the end of martial law era. The whole society was enjoying the wealth grew from the soaring economic development and was crazy for making more and more money by investing. The 24 hours news channels brought overwhelming amount of “information” every minute and most Taiwanese people enjoyed watching those “plays” on media. The whole Taiwan society was like a theatre, and everyone is a player. I was a student in University then.

However, is that the happy ending which people really want? We lost in the immense sea of “information”. What is the truth? What is the fake? People somehow feel weird but don’t know how to get close to the truth and are just bombarded by the wave of media and are trained to accept the ready-made stories and stereotypes.

Under such a social environment, I thought a new social revolution is necessary indeed, but how? To be a political journalist may be helpful and that is why I served as a political reporter after graduating from University. However again, I realized even the mass media is just a chess moved by some “invisible power”. It seems we are all just a chess and cannot control by our will. I quit and went to UK for studying and seeking the answers. However, I just lost again. What I have learned was something like a “surface” and never touch the “core”. After that I came to Japan in 2005 for some personal reasons. Anyway, I had given up to be an enthusiast reporter for a quite longtime until I met Mr. Harada, the CEO of IISIA.

I do feel the same way with the viewpoint of Mr. Harada, not because I am his believer but based on the experience of my journalist career. Where we were from and where we should reach. I do agree how important the “information literacy” is and through it finally giving the people hope and a better future. So I decided to joint IISIA recently and hope to dedicate to its vision and mission, and also continually look for the answers I haven’t found yet. You can deny what we are thinking and doing. It is all right, but just keep walking with us and I believe we will see a more beautiful scene in the future.

Let’s meet here next time.

Sehiro Masaki

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