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Yasushi NISHI (Announcer, Mainichi Broadcast System, Inc.)

About Mr. Nishi

Born in 1971, Yasushi NISHI graduated from Osaka University's School of Law in 1994,
after which he entered Mainichi Broadcast Systems as an announcer. During his time as an announcer, he has provided new coverage, served as a radio DJ, and provided narration for various programs,among other things, including a 60-day trip around the world for the long-running television news program "Chichin Puipui." In 2011, he took up the role of main personality of "Chichin Puipui" after Junichi SUMI, the original personality of the program.

A Sudden Change to Pole Vault at OU

"Osaka University is a great place. In your studies and out, there will always be someone cheering you on in anything you do. It's a place where you can 'do what you like.'" And it was because of this aspect of OU that Mr. Nishi was able to really passionate about his club activities.

"Up until I graduated high school, I was a long-distance runner. I wanted to continue running at OU as well, so I entered the track and field club. But when I looked around, everyone in the club was faster than I was."

At this rate, it looked like he would be a reserve for the next four years, but Mr. Nishi also had a bit of a stubborn side. He didn't want to quit, but he also didn't want to sit. After much consideration, he decided to change to the pole vault, which was the weakest section of the club. "It was a decision I put a lot of thought into, but those close to me were quite surprised."

But the pole vault was enjoyable for Mr. Nishi. When the pole bends and sends you flying into the air, it's an unforgettable feeling. It felt really good, he says.

I learned to "search for a different point of view"

Outside of his life as a sportsman, Mr. Nishi was also engaged in his studies at the School of Law under Professor Emiko CHIBA. "Her seminar was quite unique. She used to have us debate about topics covered in the legal consultation program hosted by Nikaku SHOFUKUTEI." After the attorneys had given their solutions and the program had ended, Professor Chiba would ask students, "Does anyone know of a different solution?"

"It's amazing how people have so many different interpretations of law that other people have made." This was a stunning revelation for Mr. Nishi. "The Book of Six Major Laws in one hand, I struggled to find a different solution. This constantly required me to search for both 'logical thought' and 'differing logical composition.'"

What Mr. Nishi gained from this seminar was no small thing. "There is no one road to social justice. The seminar made me realize the importance of having the wisdom and logic to quest for it."

No News Is Still News

From when he was young, Yasushi NISHI was already considering entering the world of media. He originally wanted to become a journalist, but instead shifted to his role as announcer. "At that time, my recruiter told me, 'If you're really set on becoming a journalist, you should submit a transfer request after a couple of years,' but the stubborn side of me wouldn't allow me to quit midway through. And now I've been an announcer for almost 20 years. (laughs)"

When he first became an announcer, Mr. Nishi chased stories that would "wow" the audience, stories that were exotic or would induce emotional responses. The very next year, the Great Hanshin Earthquake struck. After covering the destruction in Nishinomiya and Sannomiya immediately following the earthquake, he also visited Amagasaki, but noticed that the damage wasn't nearly as devastating. When he mentioned that there was "nothing to see in Amagasaki," his boss scolded, "Nishinomiya and Amagasaki are only separated by the Muko River, and yet the damage levels are so much different. I'd say that that characteristic of the earthquake would make huge news, wouldn't you?"

Mr. Nishi continued, "I wasn't truly seeing what was right in front of me. I get embarrassed just thinking about it."

The Difficulty and Humor of Listening to Stories

Now a veteran, Mr. Nishi continues to be active in his field. His coverage ranges from local restaurant info, to news about government and the economy, and even reporting overseas. He mentions that he's understood just how interesting it is to talk with people from all over the world with various sets of values.

"It's difficult to listen to people's stories, even now," he admits, but goes on to say, "But that doesn't mean it's not interesting. Everyone has their own special 'something' that is different from you." The reporting and interviews that he delivers to the hearts of his viewers must have been born from the sincere emotion of wanting to know more about others.

An OU that Loves, and is Loved by, Osaka

So how does Mr. Nishi, who continues to report on the "now" of Kansai through radio and television, feel about OU? "I want Osaka University to be a university that is loved by the people of Osaka, as well as a university that loves Osaka. I want it to really be connected with the region, even more than it is now. Developing the human resources that will thrive on the world stage may be important, but if you lose sight of where you came from, it's all for naught. I want OU to support students to be able to first develop a positive relationship with the people of the area, and from there, be able to exchange with people around the world."

While it is important for a university to have the capability to perform research in specialized fields, while also being able to perform collaborative cross-disciplinary research, Mr. Nishi wants the world to know more about the undertakings of the liberal arts departments, the field from which he graduated.

"I'd like to have an opportunity to interact with Osaka University students," Mr. Nishi mentioned, "I'd like to see where the interest of a younger population that no longer watches television lies, and I'd like to use that to make the media more interesting. I want it to be a new stimulus, and I want to take it all in."

When asked what he wanted to convey to students, Mr. Nishi replied, "Hmm. Perhaps just that there are people in this world with a
different way of thinking to your own. And you shouldn't use expressions like 'a singular truth' or 'the true you.' Even if it is true, and even if it is you, these things are fluid and uncertain. Which is what makes them so interesting."

The multifaceted concept of "no single answer" that was cultivated at the School of Law is firmly rooted in Mr. Nishi.

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