Unwanted At Yokohama

When I sent my luggage and lined up for the immigration clearance, I was stopped by the immigration officer saying that I cannot go. He said that it is illegal to let me proceed as there is no signature of Issuing officer in my Passport. Although I t

Sept. 12, 2014, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol: 08 No. -7 September. 12- 2014 (Bhadra 27, 2071)

The International Sociological Association organizes its world conference every 4th year.  In 2010, it held the 17th world congress in Gothenburg, Sweden. Then the congress was hosted by the Japanese city of Yokohama. I was fortunate to attend the conference in the beautiful Yokohama, which has lots of greenery to go for. Local people of Yokohama said it was the best city in terms of being environmentally friendly.  Yokohama Bridge, the world famous bridge completed in 1990, joins Tokyo with Yokohama showing harbor, sky scraper 70 story building, queen tower and Yokohama conference hall along with sea beach and beautiful mini ferry. Children and adults have fun in Shinton Hotel.  Near the substation is a beautiful garden, another attraction of Yokohama. Japanese people are really laborious, full of commitment and hard work. After an earthquake, some Japanese were worried about the Atomic Energy and its ramifications. They argued that the loss and effect of atomic accident will be immense. This view is predominant in Japan following the last year's incident. 

I participated in the conference held from July 13-19. It was very useful for me as a gender-study teacher. As it was not a political science global conference, I was an unwanted participant there. Most of South Asian universities supported their participants with financial assistance. So there were about 200 Indians, 3 Bangladeshis and 2 Nepalis. Our participation in ISAXVIII introduced Nepal and Nepali Sociology in the Global Forum.

As it was a gathering of intellectuals, researchers and PhD scholars from 122 countries, the discussions focused on gender and other social sciences. Even though I am a political science student and working with Gender Studies, I was invited to present a paper in the global gathering, related to CEDAW implementation in Nepal. It was an opportunity to be part of the global research network and make new friends.

Among others, participants also got the opportunity to listen to Nobel Laureates. For instance, I met Robert R. Connell, who is a renowned scholar on man and masculinity. When Nepal started gender studies at the Master's level, he sent his book to me and Dr. Chandra Bhadra. During our meeting, we discussed gender issues and his new book.   

There was a visible sign of Japan-China Border tension. It has created a problem in supplying semi-skilled workers to Japan. However, there is still a large number of Chinese youth in the city. Chinese can learn Japanese language quickly, because there are many Chinese characters in the Japanese language. Distance wise also Japan and China are very close.  When I met some Chinese youth, they said it is easy for Chinese to get the Japanese visa. As Japan is close to China, mobility is also easy.  All these are positive aspects for the Chinese youth.  Though I met some Nepalese students, geographically Japan is far for Nepalese students and studying Japanese Nihango was also a bit difficult for them.

As Japan has fewer young people, they need more young workers in the production sector.  Nepalese too are eying this opportunity. Nepalese youths are attracted to study in Japan .There are about 30,000 Nepalis living in Japan. Few of them are in so-called white jobs, in university, government, big company, or running their own businesses. One has to take in mind that there is no fun and pleasure in Japan, you have to be ready to work very hard and be ready to face any social, cultural and food problem.

From the very beginning, I faced many hitches to fly to Yokohama. When I sent my luggage and lined up for the immigration clearance, I was stopped by the immigration officer saying that I cannot go. He said that it is illegal to let me proceed as there is no signature of Issuing officer in my Passport. Although I travelled twice to Japan and Korea through my Passport, I was stopped this time. However, I had not lost my courage.  After that I rented a taxi to go to District Administration Office and I met the concerned officer. The officer I met declined to sign in the passport saying that the passport was issued much earlier than his transfers. He said that he cannot sign the passport which was issued in September, 2013. My flight was ready and I was in a rush. Finally, I requested him that I can sign in a blank paper so that he can write whatever he wanted.  The officer accepted my proposal and agreed to sign in my passport. Finally, I took another taxi  to go to Tribhuvan International Airport . I entered Tribhuwan International Airport at the last minute and finally I managed to fly. On the way to aircraft, I thanked the immigration officer who saved me.

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