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Pandemic derails Abe's strategy to revive regional Japan with tourism

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By Leika Kihara and Takahiko Wada

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Yeah and guess what, that "train derailment" and the "Go to" campaign being an abject failure, is totally due to Abe's lack of leadership and management.

26 ( +32 / -6 )

What happens to the eggs when the basket falls?

11 ( +13 / -2 )

What happens to the eggs when the basket falls?

What happens to all the Go To Travel money the gov gave to Dentsu when people fail to utilize it?

27 ( +27 / -0 )

The tourist industry in Japan had gotten greedy the last few years, and then they gambled big on the Olympics for nothing but their own personal gain. And now it’s all come crashing down.

30 ( +33 / -3 )

Seems by the end of this pandemic,I don't know when that's going to be,we'll be back to stoneage.So many bankruptcies worlwide.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

@Simian Lane

Agreed, their prices are inflated, they increase two times over Obon. I have little to no sympathy for the managers/owners of the hotels etc. Shame for the lower down people though, waiters, cleaners etc.

18 ( +21 / -3 )

Doesn't have a lot of luck really, does he?

INVALID CSRF

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Osaka already saw 147 companies go under in June, exceeding Tokyo as the hardest hit area in Japan, and 120 in July, think tank Tokyo Shoko Research said.

Wasn't there an article here last month that there had been 345 bankruptcy in the whole of Japan since the pandemic started. It is becoming very difficult believing any numbers quoted in articles here.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Agreed, their prices are inflated, they increase two times over Obon. I have little to no sympathy for the managers/owners of the hotels etc.

The worst rip-off is ryokan, packing people in a room like sardines and charging per head despite the lack of privacy and inconvenience. Stayed in a ryokan only once when I just set foot here since then no way.

Let us not forget Hotels as well that charge per head rather than per room. What goes up comes down, my sympathy goes to the average work and the greedy owners or management.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

unfortunately not a surprise when they don't take COVID-19 seriously.

"There will be more bankruptcies and job losses. Things won't get better for another two to three years."

Basic Income is going to be the only way to support people not slush funds to corporations

16 ( +16 / -0 )

@ Simian Lane

The tourist industry in Japan had gotten greedy the last few years, and then they gambled big on the Olympics for nothing but their own personal gain. And now it’s all come crashing down.

The tourist industry didn't 'get greedy'. Demand increased so they increased supply. It's simple economics. Where else are they supposed to put up the 50+ million annual visitors to Kyoto?

And, yes @TokyoJoe, some hotels increase prices during the peak season and it's annoying but it's how they stay afloat to counter the quieter times during the year without letting staff go (and be sure that's it's not the hotel booking platform you're using that is doing that based on cookies and not the hotel itself).

The tourist industry here in Kyoto is not just large hotel chains. Why do many have such a narrow view of what constitutes an industry sector??

It consists of thousands of small privately owned businesses (examples include the majority in Nishiki Market, those on the way up to Kiyomizu-dera and around Fushimi etc etc ). Many people are losing their jobs and risking their financial futures by dipping in to their savings just to keep their doors open and keep staff employed.

Whether it's management or staff 'lower down the ladder' it still sucks just as much for both to be on the seriously at risk of unemployment.

It's heartbreaking to see the closed hotels and shuttered stores and other struggling businesses here in Kyoto that people have worked hard for years to build to come crashing down through no fault of their own in a matter of a few short months.

-6 ( +11 / -17 )

Kyoto needs to tap into its large pool of graduate students to create new sustainable communities.

Having Kyoto as a large theme park for the Chinese just won’t cut it...

14 ( +14 / -0 )

It is sadly inevitable that there will be many business failures this sudden pandemic is a game changer.

I visit Japan twice a year for a total of a month and just can't get there at the moment. I stay in hotels, eat out, visit sites and shop. So there is just one tourist income that us cut off. It's heart breaking.

However I continue to browse hotel prices on line and to be honest haven't seen any reduction in price whatsoever.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

To be clear, Abenomics did not plan for nor should take credit for the influx of tourists which led to the increased revenue in the tourist industry. It was only by coincidence that the Chinese middle class accumulated more disposable income and focused on nearby Japan as a tourist and shopping destination. Real wages for the average Japanese did not benefit but was only aggravated due to the consumption tax increase. The pandemic should also not be seen as the cause for the failure of Abe's economic policies. The economy was already bad by Q4 of 2019 because of the consumption tax increase and trade with China and Korea had dropped significantly because of political issues. Had it proceeded as scheduled, the Olympics and the inevitable recession that would have followed would have been another heavy blow to Abe. So in short, this pandemic made a very bad economic situation into one that is almost untenable. Don't let the pandemic be Abe's way of weaseling out of his failed policies and inept leadership.

21 ( +21 / -0 )

I visited a usually busy site a couple weeks back, where they rent boats to tourists. The prices had gone up almost 3 times what I paid on my last visit, which maybe made sense when it was filled with foreign tourists. Now they were sitting idle. I offered to pay half what they were charging and they refused, even though we were their only customers. Not even a little discount, so we walked off.

I have sympathy for their sinking business, but a little less sympathy when they refuse to adjust.

18 ( +18 / -0 )

Precisely, foreign tourism was destroying Kyoto. The city has had a perfectly good tourist industry for decades with mostly domestic tourists as well as foreigners. The recent surge of Asians destroyed this balanced self sustaining industry. Hotels replaced older buildings in historic Pontochoi. Geiko and Maiko were treated like Disney characters for photo ops. In fact Japanese tourists had spent more in smaller local establishments than the new foreign tourists, many of whom drank and ate in their rooms. By losing Kyoto Japan had lost its heart.

Indeed Kyoto has a booming hi tech industry fed by its excellent universities. The way forward is to promote this, returning Kyoto to a sane and serene place to live and work.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

Covid provides an excellent way to revive the regions, telecommuting, working from home outside the big cities.

The government should use the current situation to encourage companies to let their employees work more from home, encourage them to live in a house in the countryside with space for an office.

This would have the added advantage of improving the quality of life of the average office worker while reducing their working hours if you include the average one hour commute that leaves people exhausted when they arrive at work, before they even start work.

Some companies may start to do this, but will the government promote this? I doubt it. Abe has not got the imagination and Koike would be unlikely to do any better as she would not want to reduce Tokyo's tax revenue and influence.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

"Some hotels increase prices during the peak season and it's annoying but it's how they stay afloat to counter the quieter times during the year without letting staff go (and be sure that's it's not the hotel booking platform you're using that is doing that based on cookies and not the hotel itself).

Either way the hotel needs to paying 12% minimum of the total to the booking website as a fee. I would be very surprised if the hotel can not do at least 10% discount on the price you see on these booking websites, if anyone takes the time to check the actual hotel website.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The number of smaller guest houses spiked by nearly five-fold to 3,299

Five times? How are they defining "guest house"? Do short-stay rentals, Airbnbs if you prefer, count as individual guest houses?

It seems like every few years, there is a significant disruption to tourism. 9/11, the GFC (mentioned by the taxi driver), 3/11, and now Covid-19, the biggest of all. While there is good money to be made, it is clear you need some kind of buffer against the bad times.

For domestic tourism, the Japanese boomers are fast approaching 75, an age where fewer of them will be genki enough to travel. The following non-boom generation of retirees is smaller and has less money, having lived longer post-Bubble. For small operators, there are tasty niches all over the place, but I think mass-market domestic tourism is in serious trouble and will see a steepening decline.

I say this every time, but tourism is just about the worst-paying sector of the economy. I think its even worse than hairdressing. It may be very tasty if you own an Airbnb with 95% occupancy in Kyoto, but the vast majority of people working in tourism are cleaners, kitchen hands, shop workers etc. on very low wages.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

The go travel go Japan, was such a foolish move, now look at the results the numbers are spiking.

On the plus side, if there is going to be one, let's see how many countries will fight over the next summer and winter Olympics. Ahh, just like greedy politicians worldwide, so is the Olympic committee they love getting their perks of having people wine and dine them and begging for the opportunity, well, just like everything else in the world the virus has put a huge nail into their coppers as well. Wonderful, isn't it.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Let us not forget Hotels as well that charge per head rather than per room.

This is perfectly normal.

"The hotels, restaurants and souvenir shops expanded business, perhaps too much, since inbound tourism was bringing in so much money," said Nobuhiro Doi, president of major regional lender Bank of Kyoto.

This. There are guest houses literally everywhere here. Everyone jumped on the trend just like they did some years ago when Machiya (traditional town houses) restoration was the trend. There are some seriously dodgy Chinese developers here which buy out tons of old houses in just a couple of years and rebuild them into guest houses (they run them or try to sell them to Chinese investors). Chinese taxi companies also expand, again having a huge pool of luxury vehicles in no-time.

I am also concerned by all the low quality souvenir shops popping up everywhere selling cheap junk trying to make a fortune on tourists. I wish Kyoto could focus more on high-end tourists. They built some good hotels here lately (Aman, Park Hyatt), but they need to stop washing out the culture with cheap gimmicky crap aimed at Chinese mass tourism (e.g. “you can dress as legendary Ninja!” and then they give you a black hood and a plastic sword to pose with. Sigh). /rant

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Abe's administration set a target to lure 40 million overseas visitors per year and encouraged regional cities to open new ports, increase international flights and approve new hotel construction to accommodate the influx.

And at the same time made it economically unviable for Airbnb operators to run legally! I have absolutely no sympathy for the protectionist Hotel industry and It’s government lackey. Airbnb operators are far more self sufficient than these hotel chains and can weather these kinds of economic storms far longer than the hotel chains without government handouts if given a level playing field.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

to boost tourism get rid of charging per person per room per night system, do hotels in Hawaii and elsewhere charge Japanese that way NO. airbnb Japan charges similarly now adds a 'service charge,' what rip offs, boycott them.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Guys I told you already Go To Travel wasn't implemented for travelling it is the biggest money transfer. Shinzō Abe knows that he is experienced politician, I believe you didn't buy this story about him making this kind of mistake.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

I wouldnt be so fast to bash Abe on this one, it was actually a good idea, and was working. Too many old people in Japan and domestic demand is flat. Look at all the companies in the US Japan is buying now. They have to, there is nothing here. Well, the undertaker business is good.

I say this every time, but tourism is just about the worst-paying sector of the economy. I think its even worse than hairdressing. It may be very tasty if you own an Airbnb with 95% occupancy in Kyoto, but the vast majority of people working in tourism are cleaners, kitchen hands, shop workers etc. on very low wages.

I thought they revised the Airbnb law (minpaku) so many times now that is it even worth doing that? It was 6 months out of the year, limited to this many days a week and other ridiculous regs. What is the latest on Airbnb?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I’m enjoying breakfast in our Go To Hotel and I read the bit about Abenomics made tourists come here . Bull. It was because of terrorism. Japan was considered a very safe country.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Its an absolute pleasure to holiday in Japan at the moment. There is hardly anybody about. You can enjoy the sites in peace. I actually got to kneel and say a quick prayer at zenkoji temple yesterday without being trampled by hoardes of tourists.

However, it's clearly an awful time for the local businesses most of which have no customers. So, get some hand sanitizer, a box of face masks, practise social distancing and get out there and enjoy your holidays.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

I love how everyone on here blasts the tourist industry like its rolling in money. Does anyone here actually have a business in the tourist industry? A business makes only so much money after overhead. And to expand a shop, restaurant or hotel with good cash flow is good business. Adds to the local economy. No one could of predicted something of this magnitude to halt tourism short of a war. Don’t blast business owners who are trying to get ahead because you are a cheesy schoolteacher or salaryman who plays it safe. Takes balls to start your own business. Sort of like playing in the stock market. It’s a gamble. When people make money you blast them. When they lose, you blame them for being greedy. You want cheap, fly to Thailand or Vietnam. Lots of taxes go into having a business as well as time. Unless you’ve ever been a business owner, it’s 24 hours a day, 7 days a week regardless if you are at the store. Many of us sometimes envy salary men who get weekends off and holidays. But being a owner gives you a mental freedom. You choose your destiny. But this pandemic wasn’t in the cards.

2 ( +11 / -9 )

Precisely, foreign tourism was destroying Kyoto. The city has had a perfectly good tourist industry for decades with mostly domestic tourists as well as foreigners. The recent surge of Asians destroyed this balanced self sustaining industry. Hotels replaced older buildings in historic Pontochoi. Geiko and Maiko were treated like Disney characters for photo ops. In fact Japanese tourists had spent more in smaller local establishments than the new foreign tourists, many of whom drank and ate in their rooms. By losing Kyoto Japan had lost its heart.

I don’t know if I fully agree with that. Kyoto had a lot of problems that preceded the recent influx. I first visited in the late 90s and while there were fewer tourists, most of its charm had already been destroyed even then, with most of its historic architecture having been bulldozed and replaced with the cheap, generic and ugly buildings you see in every Japanese city. And the maiko were treated as curiosities then too.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

I read that in South Korea is the travelers traveled in the country and spent 1/3 of what they do on international travel that would make up for all the loss in the tourism industry caused by coronavirus, and I assume that the situation is similar in Japan.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@dbsaiyaToday 

To be clear, Abenomics did not plan for nor should take credit for the influx of tourists which led to the increased revenue in the tourist industry. It was only by coincidence that the Chinese middle class accumulated more disposable income and focused on nearby Japan as a tourist and shopping destination. 

True about the middle-class, but not the main reason for the surge in Chinese tourists.

In 2014, China removed their exit permit system, allowing their citiens to travel outside the country without going through the internal application process that was difficult and time consuming (I believe it could only be done in Shanghi and Beijing, and had to be done in-person).

Accordingly, Chinese tourism exploded across the world, especially in places with visa-free or visa-on-arrival systems.

Then in 2017, (so under Abe's gov) Japan simplified the tourist visa system for Chinese, which further fueled arrivals. And Chinese who arrive via cruise ship to Japan don't even need a visa.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

With a novel virus no one can really can predict what the situation will be. The assumption that the virus would go away in warm weather should never have been relayed upon. A pandemic, while putting so much emphasis on the economy over the health of the people is a recipe for disaster.

A disaster not only for the lively hood of the people of Japan but for the doctors, health workers, elderly, public officials, teachers, students, children, and anyone who crosses the path of this virus. Especially the prolong effects to the economy itself in very high priced nation with a sales tax that rose to 10% just last October, if the virus stays its course or mutates which these viruses tend to do this could be a disaster of epic proportions to the economy and the future of Japan.

The 自民党 and Abe had a choice to wait it out and slowly open up the economy in slow stages, with night life being the absolute last thing to open up months after the virus was utterly annihilated but chose to open it back up quickly and now look at the situation in Japan.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

> Hank standerfordToday  09:50 am JST

Don’t blast business owners who are trying to get ahead because you are a cheesy schoolteacher or salaryman who plays it safe.

I haven't blasted any business owners but I am a 'cheesy' schoolteacher and wasn't allowed to claim any go money as I'm a Tokyo resident. Yet, I'm still supporting Japanese business right now by holidaying in Japan. But any business that calls it's customers 'cheesy' doesn't deserve to be in business and the owner businessperson doesn't deserves zero respect. If teaching is so easy cheesy why aren't you doing it? And what's the name of your business so I can avoid it like the plague?

4 ( +8 / -4 )

 I offered to pay half what they were charging and they refused, even though we were their only customers. Not even a little discount, so we walked off.

Well maybe they prefer not making any money at all than a little less money. Any functioning mind would be flexible and adjust to the times. It is not like it some merchandise that they couldn't sell below the cost price. No sympathy for such business owner.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Kutan

Let us not forget Hotels as well that charge per head rather than per room.

This is perfectly normal.

Is it perfectly normal in Japan and the rest of the world ?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

You can't save rural anywhere with tourism, because nobody wants to go on holiday where there's nothing to do or see. Unless you are in the mood for a trip to an onsen, or back to the Showa jidai, this plan has little to recommend it.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

"do hotels in Hawaii and elsewhere charge Japanese that way..." No, hotels in Honolulu do charge $40 a night in tourist taxes, though...

3 ( +4 / -1 )

We live in the times of global collective societal and financial suicide pact, and the funniest thing is that we don't admit to it, we just blame our own suicide on some RNA insertion machine when best, and our political rivals when worse.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

I don’t know if I fully agree with that. Kyoto had a lot of problems that preceded the recent influx...

Totally agree. I’ve been to Kyoto many times. It’s like what happened to China 25 years ago when I first visited and was really charming, just like Kyoto was. Then when I visited many times after, the charm was quickly turned into concrete and ugly tile building, just like Kyoto now.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

since he took office average prices went up 1.2% and taxes were raised twice. Who would want to visit?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

"streets are empty, shops are closed and hotels are struggling to survive; "This is far worse than during the Lehman crisis," said an 80-year-old taxi driver, referring to the financial crash of 2008. "Some days I would earn just 2,000 yen. I won't make any money once I buy lunch and pay my gas bill."

Of course when you place the eggs in one basket like "tourism" it may work for a while but then your left with the failure and empty streets, closed shops, hotels holding on" a scene seen since the age of time in just about every generation. It is greed and landowners who pressure politicians that are elected by the people to represent them not just the landowners. The landowners promise big returns and jobs like the taxi driver who fell for the golden egg myt., that is designed only to give the golden egg to the landowner and crooked politician not the taxi drive as clearly his remark proves the point. Long before Abe's administration the roots for "tourism aka golden egg were planted". Abe should have listened to his early advisors and promoted Japan with more research/development, which in turns yields future jobs, high skilled workforce and economic growth and stability for years to come provided they stay on top of it. This model has been proven true throughout the ages provided the country does not "OUTSOURCE" its labor or tech i.e. good example the US. It lost all of its R&D, MFG, and high skilled jobs out the country in the name of Globalism aka "corporate greed". Japan almost fell into the same trap except for some savvy businessmen who held on to tradition and values in doing its best for Japan. No sorry I do not support tourism as a common future development for any country and add it as a privileged commodity like sports in other words special gravy for a healthy economy.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

"Yeah and guess what, that "train derailment" and the "Go to" campaign being an abject failure, is totally due to Abe's lack of leadership and management."

I wouldn't say it was or most attributed to his lack of leadership/management but rather tougher skin. He is only caving in to the landowners aka shadow bosses demands. Research will show which crooks are invested in the land, hotels, restaurants and who owns or is calling the shots let alone have been for hundreds of years.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

@expatToday  10:34 am JST "do hotels in Hawaii and elsewhere charge Japanese that way..." No, hotels in Honolulu do charge $40 a night in tourist taxes, though...

but not per person - room - night like they do in Japan. some hotels but not all charge resort fees from $20 to $45 per night - not per person. here's a chart https://travel-hawaii.com/hawaiiresortfees.html

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Well, even if Japan does lift the ban on foreigners entering the country how will they get here? How many flights are there into Kansai at the moment? Does Abe and his cronies truly think the airlines will come back - they have their own problems. I got an email from British Airways yesterday informing me that the route between London and Kansai airport has been cancelled.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Airbnb is basically self-service they shouldn't be permitted to charge a 'service fee' in addition to the per person per night fee and taxes. Hawaii is a prime global tourist resort territory, not to be compared to a room in Chiba or other similar location. I've taken my family of 5 many times to USA mainland including Hawaii, Guam, Thailand, was never charged per person and often got free breakfast for all, free parking and other amenities.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Abe should have listened to his early advisors and promoted Japan with more research/development, which in turns yields future jobs, high skilled workforce and economic growth and stability for years to come 

I have been saying this for some time here, and getting voted down. Tourism is a nice source of income for small and poor countries without much else going for them, but not something an advanced economy would ever rely on. And we are now seeing one of the reasons why (and even in good times, it provides mostly low end jobs with little potential for growth).

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Every single plan he's had has been 'derailed'. It's no coincidence.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Tourism, especially international tourism, has all kinds of downside risk. It suffered a major downturn in 2011 due to radiation fears after Fukushima. It will happen again if a large earthquake hits Tokyo or Osaka. Another pandemic, an increase in international tensions or terrorism, or a currency crisis or the yen hitting 80 to the USD again. It perhaps shouldn't need repeating, but most people predict this pandemic will cause a large global recession, and they are never good for discretionary spending.

Since all sorts of things can happen, it is foolhardy for local authorities in Japan to allow development to go unchecked. The aim should always be for sustainability, not a quintupling of guest houses in Kyoto or land prices in Niseko. The Japanese countryside is full of run-down resorts that show what unrestricted speculation leads to. "This time" is never "different".

As it happens, a decent chunk of my own income last year came from tourism. Its likely to be zero this year and won't be compensated by the government. It's a shame, but we'll manage, and there are others much worse off. If this shakes out some bandwagon jumpers or at least slows expansion, it may work out good for the long-term health of tourism in Japan.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Abe and local governments should keep up with medicines which can treat people with Coronavirus, (e.g. Avigan, Favipiravir), disinfectants which can kill the COVID-19 externally,

(The US Environmental Protection Agency reported the following products effective against the coronavirus, COVID-1 https://www.healthline.com/health-news/lysol-disinfectant-approved-for-use-against-covid-19-heres-what-else-can-work)   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lysol

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Trying to go local, but very difficult to get the time away from a struggling workload. Not easy when it may fall down around my ears at any stage. A shame that many of us might end up losing everything, but even then, at least we don't lose our lives.

Solidarity with all those struggling to make a living.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It strange that its completely acceptable to say tough luck, who cares when people lose their livelyhoods, but god forbid saying saying some old people dying a few months early isnt the end of the world.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I am not saying we shouldn't care about the elderly, instead I am saying we cant pick and choose.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

What does they expect? It's a pandemic. NOT the time to be travelling around. If all of us cant do our part, this pandemic is going to last until next year and it won't even end immediately with a vaccine due to the sheer number of people who are going to need it. Then there are mutations of the virus. Just stay home, visit close family if u have to go somewhere. Wear a mask. It's shouganai, not just for us, but for the whole world who failed to take this seriously.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

The economy was already in rough shape before this whole pandemic. The pandemic just put a few nails in the coffin.

With the last two sales tax hikes, spending had slumped drastically. Families in Japan are getting poorer with no positive outlook.

The government was only gambling on the Olympics to revitalize the economy.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Dango bongToday 11:02 am JST

"since he took office average prices went up 1.2% and taxes were raised twice. Who would want to visit?"

Visitors are unconcerned with local tax rates. By the same token, short-term tourist visitors are unlikely to be closely following the consumer price index.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

3RENSHO

Visitors are unconcerned with local tax rates. By the same token, short-term tourist visitors are unlikely to be closely following the consumer price index.

You are right about tourism, but when it comes to domestic spending, (which is the main source of revenue) sales dropped hard. Abe's party was well aware of that and were riding it out till the Olympics. How do you recover from that?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Hmm. Perhaps if Abe suspended both the payroll and consumption taxes (indefinitely!) the economy might recover rather rapidly? Naaah, he'd never do anything to help regular folk .

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I'm going on two trips next week. Prices are great!

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

He is only caving in to the landowners aka shadow bosses demands. Research will show which crooks are invested in the land, hotels, restaurants and who owns or is calling the shots let alone have been for hundreds of years.

That's a hoot. Abe is as crooked as them and deeply intertwined with these people along with organized crime, don't even try to make out like Abe has been trying to uphold some superior moral standard 'in his sincere fight to help the common man.'

1 ( +1 / -0 )

PLEASE find the antedote and al problems wilj be slovedw

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Going on five months and accommodation prices are no different from those that prevailed before all this. You wonder just how much longer before we begin to see the first cracks appear in the facade; not only here, but in a whole lot of other places still stubbornly refusing to accept the new reality, that the pricing structure they hitherto operated under, a per person greed is good model seen nowhere else, has reached its use by date. It’s payback time for Japan’s gouged consumers.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Many of my friends and relatives would love to tour Japan, but when it costs over $10,000 for a week tour they turn to Europe, South America and the rest of Asia.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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