by Noriyuki Morimoto
A sphere, or globe, has no center on its surface. Alternatively, any point on the surface of a sphere can be the center. The earth is a sphere. As such, there is no center on the surface of the earth, and anywhere on the earth can be the center. If you remove the axis from the globe and place it as a mere sphere in the palm of your hand, and view it from above with Japan in the center, or from above with Sao Paulo, Brazil in the center, you will see different images of the world. You are completely free to place any point of the globe at the center of your view, so you can gain different images of the earth as you move the globe around in your hand.
When the word “globe” is used, there must not be an assumption of a center. A similar term to global is international: while global refers to the world including one’s own country, international considers countries other than one’s own. When we say global, all countries are relativized on the earth, without any particular country at the center. Meanwhile, when we say international, we are referring to countries other than our own, with the notional center being our home country. It is a viewpoint that centers on one’s own country and relativizes other countries.
If global is a three-dimensional globe, international is like a flat world map. World maps sold in Japan are drawn with Japan at the center. When any country, not just Japan, creates a world map, it is likely to put itself at the center. In fact, terms like “Middle East” and “Far East” have meaning only when the world map is drawn with Western Europe at the center, and are historical remnants of Western-centrism.
Whether something is global or international is an important consideration when reviewing the classification and allocation of assets. It is a major point of contention. Each country divides equities into two categories: domestic and international, so there are as many definitions of domestic equity as there are countries, and international equity comes with different contents for each of them. However, there is only one earth and only one global equity.
Chief Executive Officer, HC Asset Management Co.,Ltd. Noriyuki Morimoto founded HC Asset Management in November 2002. As a pioneer investment consultant in Japan, he established the investment consulting business of Watson Wyatt K.K. (now Willis Towers Watson) in 1990.