business

Taxi app Uber starts ride-sharing service in Japan

21 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© 2015 AFP

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

21 Comments
Login to comment

This unregulated, neo-liberal model just lowers the wages for all taxi drivers by spreading the crumbs around, as part of the global spiral down, while a few entrepreneurs with little overhead and a handful of employees take huge profits. Hopefully the authorities here will ban Uber as they have in Thailand, Holland and Spain.

12 ( +17 / -5 )

Is it safe to use? Lets say (considering the amount of killings and kidnappings lately) would it be safe for young girls to just jump in a random cab?

5 ( +7 / -1 )

It's been going on for 25 years and has done wonders here for the music industry, movie theaters, local coffee shops, high-end department stores, cable TV, onsen, etc, etc, etc

I've been here for 15 years, and the price of movies, coffee, CDs has been very steady, but expensive. Sooo, I'm not sure what you are talking about.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Isn't Uber the company that, secretively, made its employees call for thousands of fake rides to its direct competitor, in every city where it opens local offices, causing tens of thousands of dollars in empty taxi trips? That speaks volumes about how great this company is.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The problem is its 10 times the price as it is back in the states.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Uber black has been here for 12 months or so (via a taxi company) I hope the JP laws allow uber in so that there can be some real competition in this area

2 ( +4 / -2 )

No thanks!

2 ( +4 / -1 )

The problem is that there are too many taxis at the going rates. You either need to make it more difficult to become a taxi driver (look at London as an example), or reduce the fares (more people will ride taxis then).

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Uber failed

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The problem with Uber in Tokyo is that there are hardly any drivers yet. The prices itself end up costing about the same as a normal cab too

1 ( +2 / -1 )

uber=price competition; therefore, it will fail in japan.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

i think we all know how the old shitamachi kojin taxi drivers will respond to this (not well)...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Uber has had a few controversies, and think their operation has been limited in some places.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

They'll set up a token office here just so they can claim to be global and "have a presence" in Japan.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Sure hope they can succeed, and quickly (yeeeeah not likely). I'm hooked on the service now and think it's the greatest thing ever - even greater than sliced bread itself. Would like to use it on my next trip to the big To to the kyo.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Having be en a driver in Berlin, sydney, and Tokyo well dribing up stocks or what is Us up to here...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I don't think Uber will success in Japan. If Uber has succeed in Japan and then you better buy Uber shares.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Not sure why Supey11 got the negative. You can set the price above equilibrium, but you can't choose the demand at that price. Also taxis aren't Giffen goods.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This unregulated, neo-liberal model just lowers the wages for all taxi drivers by spreading the crumbs around, as part of the global spiral down, while a few entrepreneurs with little overhead and a handful of employees take huge profits. Hopefully the authorities here will ban Uber as they have in Thailand, Holland and Spain.

Banning Uber, effectively limiting competition, would be a disservice to Japan's consumers. Taxi companies simply have to adapt, and compete more than ever now, instead of colluding with one another to fix prices.

Thailand, Holland, and Spain banned Uber at the behest of large taxi companies, not on behalf of consumers. Uber's success or failure should be up to consumers to determine, not governments serving special interests.

In this new economy, self-employment is now more viable, and Uber provides a platform for people to make a living, or supplement existing incomes. What is wrong with that? Liberalizing the economy would go much further to improving it for more people than staying with the status quo.

http://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21637355-freelance-workers-available-moments-notice-will-reshape-nature-companies-and

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Tatsuwashi Yes, you are correct. I was trying to be brief, but I think I should have said "Make up for lack of demand by keeping price at the already inflated levels of the past 15 years."

But I ask, how did they get to be that expensive 15 years ago? -It was due to a price increase without matching demand beforehand. Why did such an increase happen? -Because the bubble popped 20-25 years ago reducing demand, but merchants tried to maintain pre-bubble popping profits by increasing prices, but they got so high that they wrecked themselves (and the whole economy?) Theater tickets were 1800yen in 1997, and theaters were just as empty. At that time in the US it was about 7 dollars with lots of full seats. I remember coming here in 1995, having just seen the movie Pulp Fiction, and seeing on menus 500 to 800yen milk shakes, and crummy ones at that. And though a special treat, they weren't flying off the menu. If you saw the movie Pulp Fiction, you'd recall the ridiculousness it was to pay 5 dollars for a shake back then. Music CDs, coffee shops, d-stores- same thing. But sales in those industries are hurting bad, and have been for a long time. Even though the rest of the world is slowly catching up to those price levels (yes US tickets are now 15 to 18 bucks, and 5 dollar shakes are almost normal), they are still trying to raise the prices here.

And with taxis, same thing. Instead of reducing the number of taxis or reducing prices (as @bruinfan and practically any economist would point out) , the methodology here is to keep the price high and then higher still to make up for lack of demand, leaving people with little choice: either pay too much or just don't use taxis. Hopefully Uber can break this deadlock, but I doubt it will be allowed to.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@bruinfan .."you either need to make it more difficult to become a taxi driver, or reduce the fares.."

OR do it the tried and tested J-way: Make up for your lack of profits (due to lack of demand) by simply increasing the price.

So maybe there are fewer customers with this, what can possibly go wrong with that? You'd be getting more profits, right? Then if that's not enough, just raise the price again. It's been going on for 25 years and has done wonders here for the music industry, movie theaters, local coffee shops, high-end department stores, cable TV, onsen, etc, etc, etc

-3 ( +1 / -3 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites