Who would have thought that the regulatory compliance issues of the investment management business would one day be my focus at work. I didn’t. If you asked me when I was in law school whether that would be something that would interest me, I would have most likely said no. But it is a huge and growing industry in the U.S. and there is a need for experts in the field. I’m not claiming I’m an expert, but I am learning more and more each day. However, this is a means to an end for me. The problem is that I am not sure what I want to do next. I know I will want to do something at some point. But what? Write a book? Teach? Do some consulting? That is what comes to mind at the moment. But who knows. I guess until I have a definitive answer and the drive to pursue that next thing, I will continue to be involved in the world of investment management compliance.
It has been too long. I can’t believe that I left Japan in August 2000 and as of September 1, 2011, I have yet to return to visit – not even once. From 1998 to 2006, a good chunk of my adult life, I have identified myself partly as someone who was interested in Japan, its people, culture and language. Once people met me for the first time, it didn’t take long for them to know that I used to live in Japan and spoke Japanese fairly fluently. But since 2006, my Japanese speaking opportunities have dwindled as my family life has flourished. But I am still interested in Japan, although I have accepted that my career won’t revolve around Japan like I once thought it would. But that may not be a bad thing, as the country is not what it used to be in the world and may never be again. There are so many things in Japan, though, that I would still like to see and experience. Maybe one day I’ll be able to get back, if even for a short time, and experience life as a gaijin again. I still speak Japanese well enough that traveling throughout the country wouldn’t be a problem. It is just a matter of finding the right time and arrangement to be able to go back. My target Japan visit date is sometime in fall of 2013, two years from now. Unbelievably, it has been longer than I ever would have imagined it would have been. I just hope that this drought doesn’t continue for longer than I am imagining it could.