That's a good question
"That's a good question" The words made me so proud. It's a story
when I just started living in the States. "Wow, it was said my question
was excellent" Yeah, as a foreign student who was not good at English,
the words never made me feel so bad, uh? Later on, I had met the the 'good
question' so often in the States. Then gradually I got start thinking of
the meaning behind the word. If the good question means an easy question
for the answerer. The answer is prepared or answering the question itself
becomes credit for the answerer.
Yeah, it can be a good question indeed. However as a questioner, can you
stand for being evaluated your question by the answerer.
In this year, what made me recall "That's a good question" after long years was Japanese politics.
Firstly, Ms. Mochizuki, the city desk reporter of the Tokyo Shinbun (news paper), attended on a press conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary. And she persisted the Prime Minister Abe's scandal on construction permit of university which Abe's friend runs. Mochizuki asked dozens of questions about the scandals to the chief cabinet secretary. Later the cabinet regards some of them are inappropriate question and sent a protest document to the news paper.
Well, if the journalism is truly a watch dog of power, at least I learned it was in school, other journalists in the conference must be on Mochizuki's side. But the other thought may come over the journalism spirit.
For the most of the political reporters there, it's much better idea to
be a pet dog of the CCS instead of the watch dog. Cos they can given a
small extra leak on cabinet's official statements with it.
"Oh, please don't agitate this friendly air between the journalists
and government" They must say so in the mind. Although it is quite
misery as a journalist, it's a limit of Japan's journalism where the expected
questions' list is given from questioner to answer in advance. Japanese
kisha club system will exist forever.
A reporter who asked unexpected bad questions will be never ever named by the CCS. Doesn't matter how many times she or he raise the hand.
I think this trend, removing the person who gives a "bad question",
is not matter only in Japan. I thought so when I saw some TV news about
president of the US.
There is another issue which made me remember the good question. It is
changing time distribution for questioners between ruling and opposition
parties in Japan's diet and political committees. Of course, ruling party's
question time is lengthen whereas the opposition parties are shorten.
Obviously, the ruling party's Diet member never persist on the cabinet. Prime Minister may know what kind question they'll ask to him. They can previously prepare appropriate question and answer. Of course, the PM never say "That's a good question" intentionally. However he must be happy with super easy questions by his colleagues. Well the colleagues even give credit to the PM with the farce.
A questioner(or question) is chosen by the answerer. Weird world ...
" Which one is more easy to get? " Somewhere in Japan 2016