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This journal is written by Kuma (Felis catus) and Kuma's owner Y (homo sapiens). We have moved from Japan to Australia in 2011.

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2017-05-27 05:39   Knowing each other

Y (Kuma's owner)

Long ago when I was young, I got a working holiday visa and visited Australia. At the time, Japan recognition was not high. Most people knew that Nissan and Toyota are Japanese companies but they seemed not to know about Japan. For example, when I was asked where I came from, I answered I came from Tokyo, then an Aussie lady said to me that she has a Thai friend too. She believed that Tokyo was located in Thailand.

At the time, common people didn't know about Japan, therefore Japanese food wasn't popular at all. There were several Japanese restaurants in Sydney and most customers were Japanese businessmen who worked for Japanese companies in Australia. Now, Sushi restaurants are everywhere, the differences between at the time and nowadays are remarkable. Common Australians are getting used to the taste of soy sauce and I can buy Japanese soy sauce at the local supermarket even though I live in a remote area. Once people got used to the taste of soy sauce, it seems that the other Japanese dishes are easily acceptable. There are several Japanese restaurants and I heard that most customers are locals, not Japanese businessmen.

Japanese food in Australia

As the recognition of Japan is getting high, the number of Australian tourists in Japan is also increasing. It depends on the foreign exchange rate but the visitors to the famous ski resort at Niseko are mostly Australian. I heard that the rate of Australian tourists at Niseko is higher than Japanese. The prices in Australia are high, and also the prices in the Niseko area went high. Australians get used to the high prices and they think the restaurants' prices at Niseko are reasonable but Japanese don't think so. This is one of the reasons that Japanese don't visit Niseko a lot.

Even though most Australians' purpose is skiing, people visit other cities in Japan as well and have a chance to communicate with local Japanese, and I think that is good to know each other. What is more, lots of Australian students learn Japanese at school and some Australians who I met speak Japanese fluently. I think the distance between Australia and Japan is getting closer.

In the economic aspect, Australia and China are very close. I think there are many Australians who can speak Chinese well like former prime mister Kevin Rudd. Most Japanese cannot speak English well, what's the difference?

Now, I'm not misunderstood that I eat raw fish (not sliced fish) from the head, people know what Sushi is like now. On the other hand, sometimes I hear that Japanese say there are many flies in Australia. I think the Cork Hat influenced the image of flies in Australia. Actually, there aren't many flies in towns. There are still some that misunderstand each other.

It will take time but both nations are getting to know each other little by little. The day that Australians eat Sukiyaki for dinner and Japanese spread Vegemite on a slice of toast in the morning are not far away.

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