When I first set out with the British Council almost ten years ago, I believed the country I was representing to be fair and progressive, a country which, if you were honest, worked hard and paid your taxes, would see you alright. Those are still values I hold. However, as I watch obstacle pile on top of obstacle to coming home, it is not the country I recognise today.
Soft power can influence others to want the same things as the UK "by building positive international relationships and coalitions which defend our interests and security, uphold our national reputation and promote our trade and prosperity." The report also says it should be carefully combined with hard power, essentially military force, to form "smart power."
Australia has a skills gap that is holding back the delivery of projects vital to its future prosperity, so it is in the national interest that we utilise skilled labour from other countries to plug those gaps. Blockading Australia from skilled workers, the majority of which will contribute to our knowledge economy and international competitiveness, is an obvious and huge mistake.
It's no wonder people want to live there and see what it's like. Unfortunately those without a degree are very much restricted when it comes to obtaining employment in Japan due to entry requirements, meaning that funding life over there would be difficult. There is an opportunity to overcome this however, by applying for a Working Holiday Visa.