My name is Yoko. I’m originally from Japan and currently living in Amman, Jordan since 2018 with as an expatriate with my Egyptian-American husband and two children. Previously, I had been residing in Washington D.C., USA for ten years.
I worked at International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Japanese Ministry of Finance for over thirteen years, engaged in policy dialogues with various stakeholders and producing macroeconomic analyses as an economist.
While raising my own children and interacting with other children, I have been deeply impressed with how experiences in early childhood impact and shape a child’s character and future. That finding pushed me to learn early childhood education and work as an assistant teacher (or a coop parent) at my children’s preschools, where I had joyful and precious experiences playing with children and helping them to grow. I also had valuable opportunities to work with pediatric psychologists and occupational therapists for a couple of years, who taught me how to properly approach children to boost their mental, physical, and intellectual growth.
As a Japanese living in overseas, I have strived to teach children of my own and my community the Japanese culture and language, believing that learning their heritage language and culture will help them understand who they are.
I studied natural science (biology) in college prior to majoring in economics for my graduate study. My love of science and nature is still a big part of myself and I’m keen in sharing the joy of science and wonder of nature with children.
I was truly inspired by the wonderful parents I’ve encountered over time, and they motivated me to write. I met parents who are worried if the world is getting worse for children; if their children will do well at school; if their children might have disadvantage because of race, religion, or nationalities; if they spend enough time with their children while dealing with work pressure; or if their children with special needs can get enough support from the community. But they all wish their children will have a successful and happy life and eager to make the world a better place for their children, and I hope to help them with my expertise and experiences.
As an economist, I believe that proper knowledge and understanding of economics and economic policies empower parents (and everyone) because economics focuses on the social welfare and impacts that today’s choice could bring to the next generation. Also, economic policies aim to form the well-being of the next generation, so grasping the essence of economic policies benefits everyone.
My husband and I raise two young children with Arab heritage. Nowadays it is challenging for Arab children to take pride in their cultural background and identity in the era when misunderstandings over Arab and its religions are widespread. I think it is the responsibility of us all to make sure that every child feels happy about who they are.