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Uber finally makes inroads in aging Japan

By Junko Fujita

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I doubt if this will really click in this country, first of all. The taxi drivers here are the most reliable drivers in the entire world putting all our trust and responsibilities to them. Does and will U we taxis have that to offer? Second,y, it's easy to hail a cab by dialing over the phone. So what's the use of Uber, really.

-8 ( +6 / -14 )

Finally, we were able to make our very first step,” said Masami Takahashi, president of Uber Japan Co. “This service can be a solution for Japan’s ageing society.”

Can? Yes, but don't expect the taxi companies to take this lying down. There are some problems with having Uber in Japan. First off in these outlying communities just who is going to drive? Dont expect drivers to coming from far away for a five minute ride.

Not to mention that taxis companies also forced the unten daiko driving services to make sure the driver of the customers car had a 2shi menkyo, or license that authorizes the driver to ferry, or have customers in the car. They very well could eventually force uber to have the same requirement, those cost money. The average driver here has a "i-shi" menkyo or class one license, for automobiles, taxi drivers and unten-daiko drivers who drive the customers car and not the "follow up" car, have to have "ni-shi" menkyo.

Taxi companies have a bit of political clout and will push for this, watch.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

As long as Uber undermines the minimum wage, taxi insurance/safety regulations and corporate taxes it should be banned!

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

Marlilita - I think you missed the part where it says there hasn't been a taxi service in Tango for 8 years

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Don't know about other cities, but in Tokyo you can already hail a taxi with a smart phone application. It's not obvious what you might gain from Uber.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Don't know about other cities, but in Tokyo you can already hail a taxi with a smart phone application. It's not obvious what you might gain from Uber.

If you've ever used the Uber app, or Uber, you would see it's a lot more than just being able to hail a taxi with a smartphone.

You can see exactly who the driver is, and what their car is, and you enter the destination yourself into the app. When you get there, you just step out of the car and walk away, and your credit card is automatically charged. You also get a free bottle of water in many of the cars, and there are also different levels of Uber so that you can get luxury cars and SUVs and various other options.

Taxis have a long, long way to go to catch up to Uber. And I say this as someone who likes Japanese taxis.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

"blocked by authorities"

Great. Let's reinforce that idea that government is dysfunctional and keeping society from doing what is really in its own best interests.

The truth is that taxi companies are sanctioned by government and given the task of providing a service to society. They have been doing that. Letting some fly by night "great idea" come in, flaunt social conventions and responsibilities, and confuse the market is not in society's best interests.

If, in some case, no taxi line is willing to solve a social problem, let Uber have a niche and help society. Otherwise, they should go through all the red tape, inspections, and regulation that taxis have to go through. Japan has been well managed. It is not desperate for some band-aid idea designed to patch up a gaping hole in public transportation markets. Leave that to countries that really DO have dysfunctional societies.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

I have used taxi in China , hong kong, australia , Middle east . But nothing compares to Japan taxi , I hope this Uber can be blocked in Japan . It is downloaded to my mobile a while ago , but no taxi appear around . I can be simply replaced by Didi Dache application which allow searching for real taxi around .

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Adding one more town to list of places where "uber operates" doesn't change the fact that Uber is a criminal tax-evading ponzi scheme.

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Having an option other than the arrogant gg taxis here would be nice. stopped using taxis 2 years ago cos they way they treat pedestrians and cyclists. Also if any taxi drivers are reading, please dont squirt on the side of the road Japan has loads of public toilets and convini toilets. I have used Uber at home in London and i was pleased with it.

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The title makes me think: "Elderly Uber drivers. No thanks."

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Japanese taxis are a rip off, the most expensive I've experienced anywhere in the world. I used Uber in the States recently and it's great. It's really cheap and extremely convenient. I hope it comes to all of Japan but I'm not holding my breath. Japanese people will probably deem it to be dangerous and the government will protect the taxi companies.

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If you dont know what number to call for a taxi. Just dial 104 and ask the operator for the number of the nearest taxi operator. They can give you the number or connect you to them automatically. 104 is the telephone directory service so they can always help you with any contact number in other fields of service. Gas, water, hotels, ect. Dont know if they speak other than japanese though.

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I won't be going to any 'depopulated' areas anytime but I'm impressed to know Uber has cracked it in ura Japan......

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