Handel: Messiah / Christopher Hogwood / Ton Koopman / Edward Higginbottom
Merry Christmas, everybody.Christmas is a time of year when everyone can be kindhearted. Let’s get warmed up with the story of “A Christmas Carol”. The main character in today’s story is Akio Toyoda, the president of “TOYOTA Motor Corporation”. First, he has the “Ghost of Christmas Past” showed him his happy younger days Christmas. Next, the “Ghost of Christmas Present” takes him to the home of a certain period worker.
The period worker is terminating his contract at the end of this year. He has been working for TOYOTA for more than ten years, renewing his contract. During busy times, he has even given up his days off to work on the line for 12 hours a day. He has submitted more proposals for workplace improvements than anyone else and has done his best for the company.
He and his wife, a five-year-old boy, live in a cheap, one-room apartment. The boy is born with an incurable disease and the family is burdened with a lot of medical expenses. When I looked at the only one piece of furniture in the house TVset, a Christmas tree made of origami and Santa Claus on top of it. and a pair of red boots filled with sweets, probably bought at a convenience store. When I looked at the dining table, I saw four pieces of fried chicken on a plate in the middle of the table, probably also bought at a convenience store. Next to them was a plate of his mother’s homemade potato salad, and well-made reindeer and rabbits which is made from fish sausage, boiled eggs and toothpicks. On top of the oil stove is a pot of “house-Vermont-curry”. It’s a small but happy Christmas scene.
The boy is so happy about Christmas that he talks to his mother about many things. The mother answers with a smile. As Akio Toyoda watches the mother and child, he compares the situation to his own childhood. He was raised without any problems, graduated from university, studied abroad, and took over the family business. Although he was severely criticized by the U.S. and Europe due to the recall issue, he was able to get through it by making a speech in English, his specialty, at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The factory workers in the U.S. supported me, and the media reported favorably on me. In the U.S., I have been getting along well with the labor unions and have never broken any labor laws. All employees at the local subsidiary are “full-time” employees. Last year, thanks to production adjustments and restructuring in Japan, the company posted its highest ever profit. Internal reserves also reached a record high. I guess it’s safe to say that my life is smooth sailing. On the other hand, what about the child in this house, who is five years old but small and sickly? He apparently doesn’t even go to nursery school, probably for financial reasons.
Just then, her husband, a period worker, came home. He has a small Christmas cake in his hand. Her husband looks unhappy. Today, he was told that his employment had been terminated. He tells his wife this fact in few words. The wife covers her face and begins to cry. The boy, unaware of this, is watching “Pokemon” on TV.
Akio Toyoda is next taken somewhere by the “Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come”.