Wednesday May 23, 2018

Japanese Minimalist Movement: Why Less is More?

The Japanese minimalist movement promotes ideas of simplicity and to keep just what you need

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Japanese house
Japanese style house. Source: Pixabay
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  • Zen Buddhism is promoting simplistic way of life
  • Japanese people are being promoted to only keep just what they need
  • People are focussing on more important things in life rather than keeping up with the trends

New Delhi, July 8, 2017: A new trend, which has become prominent in Japan is called minimalist movement. it promotes stress-free simplicity and has become popular under the influence of Zen Buddhism. It supports simplicity and ideas like less is more. A de-cluttering expert Marie Condo influences people to throw everything out and retain just what you are just in need of. There are thousands of people who are hardcore minimalists with almost thousands more interested.

Japan is regularly hit by natural disasters like an earthquake which does not make it sensible to fill their homes with a lot of valued possessions. Studies reveal that falling objects cause nearly half of earthquake injuries. Moreover, it is cheaper to be minimalist.

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Some of the bedrooms in Japan are so simple that they do not have beds. All consumerist products are kept out of sight in drawers. Everything is kept right where it was picked up from after use. In some houses, even the living rooms have been de-cluttered and are filled with only a desk and chair. They manage to decorate their houses with simple yet beautiful objects. It is easier to find items you need and they are kept within reach. A popular storage strategy used by minimalists is hanging objects on hooks.

Fumio Sasaki is one of the many Japanese people who decided that less is more and lives in a minimalist way. His friends compare his one room apartment to an interrogation room. He, who was once a collector of books, CDs, and DVDs, got tired of following trends and starting selling his belongings or giving them to his friends.

According to him, if he spends less time on cleaning and gathering trendy things he would be able to focus on the more important things in life like friends and traveling and it’ll make him a lot more active. Definitions of minimalists vary because the aim is not just de-cluttering but re-considering what possessions mean to them in order to gain something else.

In the West, an empty space is made complete by filling it with different things but here, in Japan, spaces are left empty to let people’s imaginations make them complete. It is a way of valuing the more important things in your life and discarding the less important ones.

– prepared by Harsimran Kaur of NewsGram. Twitter: Hkaur1025

 

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Donald Trump Negotiates Trade Deal With Japan

Trump to negotiate the trade deal with Japan

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Donald Trump.
To Lower Drug Costs at Home, Trump Wants Higher Prices Abroad. (Wikimedia Commons)

The US President Donald Trump announced on Wednesday he is negotiating a bilateral trade agreement with Japan and that his country would only re-enter the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) if its member countries offered him a deal he could not refuse.

“I don’t want to go back into TPP. But if they offered us a deal I can’t refuse on behalf of the US, I would do it. In the meantime, we are negotiating, and what I really would prefer is negotiating a one-on-one deal with Japan,” Donald Trump said at a press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

However, Abe stressed his country’s position towards the TPP, saying that it “is the best for both countries,” although he acknowledged the US’s interest in a bilateral trade deal, Efe reported.

Trump said that should his country reach a trade agreement with Japan, there will be talks about the possibility of ending tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, a move that Washington introduced in March to a number of countries, including Japan.

Donald Trump and Shinzo Abe.
U.S. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Trump added that his primary concern at the moment is the “massive” trade deficit with Japan, which amounted to “from $69 billion to $100 billion a year.”

In fact, the trade deficit with Japan last year stood at $69 billion, far from the $100 billion that the US President claimed, according to the official figures by the US Department of Commerce.

The two leaders made these announcements in a joint press conference at the tycoon’s private club Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, where Abe arrived on Tuesday to have meeting with Trump on his four-day visit to the US.

Also Read: China And Russia Accused of Manipulating Their Currencies By Trump

Last week, the White House announced that Trump had asked the US foreign trade representative Robert Lighthizer and the economic adviser Larry Kudlow to “take another look at whether or not a better deal (with the TPP) could be negotiated.”

However, Trump has shown little interest in negotiations that would further complicate the matter, since the other 11 countries that negotiated the original TPP, with the then Barack Obama administration, have already signed their own multilateral deal, the so-called Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), or TPP-11.

Shinzo Abe
FILE IMAGE- Shinzo Abe.

On the other hand, during this four-day visit Abe has a special interest in getting an exemption for Japan from the 10 per cent and 25 per cent tariffs that the Trump administration imposes on aluminum and steel imports, respectively.

Trump has granted a temporary exemption until May 1 to Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, South Korea and the European Union.

Also Read: White House Denies Any Direct Talks Yet Between Trump And Kim

Japan has been left out of the exempted countries despite being one of the US’s major allies, and for that reason Abe is trying to make use of his visit to secure a place on that list, although Japan barely produces aluminum and the amount of steel exported to the US stands at only around 5 percent of its total steel exports.  IANS