Live Life With No Regrets

“When my father died
of lung cancer, I realized I needed to do something with my life. He dedicated his entire life to his family and left nothing for himself. My mom once told me he didn’t buy clothes for himself for years, so his kids could have a good education. Thanks to him I was able to go to a university in Australia, even though we were from a lower-middle class family in Singapore. My dad came from Malaysia but was given an opportunity to become a citizen after enlisting in the military. He got out of poverty by joining the navy and serving for 20 years.

So when he passed away, I questioned whether this was the right way for me to live my life—to devote everything to my future family and forgo my dreams.

“While I’m eternally grateful for all his sacrifices, they took a toll on him. I think he had a lot of dreams but couldn’t express them to us. Maybe because we fought a lot. We didn’t have a good relationship, being your typical father and son. Still, I knew deep down inside he loved his family. The impression he left on me was to go after my dreams, to have no regrets. So that’s what I’m doing in Japan now.”

(CJ organizes events for coffee and tea aficionados at

At Yurakucho International Forum
“There’s something about Japan. The people are sincere. Some say Japanese people have a barrier. I say it depends on who you talk to. Some people are open. For me they’re very genuine in the way they interact with you.”


【翻訳:Junko Kato Asaumi

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Finding diversity and inclusion. Breaking down barriers one post at a time. Stories and snapshots of foreigners making their way in Japan.

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