From Chicago to Tokyo: Former Mayor Emanuel shares lessons he's learned since leaving office

Former Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel reacted Thursday to the way Japanese children in that country's biggest cities walk to school by themselves, without any fear of violence.

"It's the most beautifully – beautiful, sublime, gorgeous thing," Emanuel said, now U.S. ambassador to Japan.

FOX 32’s Mike Flannery asked the former mayor on Friday's episode of Flannery Fired Up if there are any lessons Chicagoans could learn from Tokyo and Japan. He immediately cited how safe and secure families feel about their children.

"Here in Japan, 5-year-old children walk out the front door and just walk to school, cross busy streets, get on trains and buses. Not a fear in the world, because every parent knows it takes a village. And every adult watches them. When they cross a busy street – little 5-year-olds – with a backpack and face – raise their hand like this, so they can cross the street," Emanuel said.

Nine Japanese people were killed by guns across the whole country in one recent year. Chicago can see more bloodshed than that in one day.


When asked if he had any advice for Chicago's new city council and mayor, Emanuel talked about the quantum computing research partnership he just helped to create between the University of Tokyo and the University of Chicago, which will bring in at least $150 million.

"I have this theory. It's about growth. It's not about redistribution. When downtown was growing, we came up with Neighborhood Opportunity Fund, because we wanted universal growth. Growth means everybody gets to succeed," Emanuel said.

"Now a lot of people want to talk about redistributing income. I'm for redistributing capitalism. There's nothing like the success of small businesses."