Northern Ireland or Ireland??
by Ami Komo
(Suginami, Tokyo, Japan)
The other day, I contributed my story about Ireland, although I had to write about Northern Ireland! I had thought these two regions were the same country. When my teacher pointed out my mistake, I thought it wasn't so big a problem. I thought how restrictive Mr. Wolff was, to be honest.
My father said that he also didn't know that difference. Maybe almost all Japanese don't perceive the fact, unless he or she is a teacher of world history and so on. (or both my father and I are only ignorant of the world's situation??)
But the fact is that Northern Ireland is a part of Great Britain, not an independent country, whereas Ireland is an independent country.
Surely, when consulting my atlas I could see these two regions were different colors. I was very surprised!! My father was also very surprised.
So it was a very big mistake to confuse Northern Ireland and Ireland. I hadn't cared about ethnic group disputes in Europe. It doesn't so much affect us Japanese.
But for Europeans, it must be a very big problem. Asia also has ethnic group disputes. Especially, Japanese are concerned about the problem between North Korea and South Korea.
All Japanese know these two countries are different countries. Furthermore, these countries have suspended war since 1953. These countries have different policies for economics. We take these facts for granted.
But perhaps people who don't live in Asia regard these two countries as one country, as I thought Northern Ireland and Ireland were the same country!
This world is too large to know all events that have happened in the world. But I should make an effort to get information even if it is only the surface of something.
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