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A record 3,111 people became stranded on Japanese mountains last year. Should stranded climbers have to pay for the costs of their rescue?

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Err... Isn't it why we pay taxes ?

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

If rescued by helicopter then they have to pay which can be as much as ¥1 million in cases.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Climbing mountains is voluntary, not mandatory. The public should not be billed for the pleasures you wish to pursue in life.

7 ( +13 / -6 )

They should be more concerned about why so many people are getting into trouble on mountains. It's pretty obvious that, many climbers do not have the experience or knowledge to be climbing mountains. Creating an educational certificate course for these budding mountaineers would be a better option to stop them getting into trouble in the first place. If they have passed the course, their rescue is free. If they have not done the training course, they have to pay. However, I fear that if such a training course was created it would be ridiculously expensive. Mountaineering is dangerous (obviously) and requires knowledge, training and equipment to do it safely.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Stupid people getting stranded also risks the lives of any rescuers. Make them pay for rescue and they may think twice about embarking on that unprepared hike up the nearest mountain.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

I understand there is insurance that covers this.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

You can buy insurance too. In my youth I was part of mountain rescue team in the Lake District, weekends, holidays etc. I never thought it should be stopped or paid for. Same as sailing in the sea which I also did and there are times even when the qualified and experts need to be rescued. People walking on the moors who end up getting lost.

Most of the people making the rescues have no complaints about doing it and many are volunteers as was the recent story of a missing father and young son which didn't end well for them.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

No. We pay tax on everything.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

As someone who's climbed Mt. Fuji before, I've witnessed and experienced many incidents on the climb up that other climbers (including myself) did not expect to hit them so badly (I didn't need rescuing, but there was a younger climber than myself who was really getting hit hard by altitude sickness that couldn't move anymore and was really struggling to breathe. It can happen to anyone). Taxes are paid for emergencies such as these, as well as travel insurance). To penalise someone for encountering problems when hiking or climbing a mountain (or any sport for that matter) is both ignorant and heartless, even to me (I'm far from being the sympathetic type). Would you charge someone for having to be airlifted to a hospital after collapsing in a soccer match? I don't think so.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

One time when when I was climbing in Hakuba with my wife, a friend who is a qualified alpine guide and climber, his wife and their two young children at about 2,000 meters I was hit with altitude sickness. The mountain was still covered with large amounts of frozen snow and was quite cold. It was the strangest of experience with my brain suddenly turning into liquid soup. My alpine friend had oxygen with him so after that and a rest for a couple of hours I was able to return to normal. They went ahead to set up camp and we followed a couple of hours later but arrived before dark and he had supper ready.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

They charge you for the abulance ride, so yes, why should they not charge you for the airlift? Soccer is a low-risk sport, and matches are held in easily accessible areas (fields, stadiums, etc). Mountain climbing is way more high-risk, and there are no teams-only, training requirements, etc. My 65 year old mum coud go climb and die on Mt. Everest tomorrow is she can affford the high fees to do it.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I'm going to say no. I think the difficult part is determining where you would draw the line between free and paid rescues?

If someone needs rescuing because they were deliberately reckless then the case for making them pay is stronger. But what about people who follow all the rules - hiking on marked trails, following all safety protocols, etc - and end up in danger through unexpected events outside their control (avalanches, etc)?

Making them pay will attach a significant financial risk to enjoying hiking in nature, even when they do so responsibly. I don't see the reason for it.

If we are going to say that engaging in any risky activity requires one to pay for their own rescue then you've pretty much set out on the road to making everyone pay for every rescue in every situation since the very fact that they are being rescued is evidence that they must have been doing something with an inherent risk attached to it. I don't think that's a good way to go.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Of course not. This is not a heartless society, despite what some may claim.

Where do you draw the line? Swimming, kayaking, rambling, fishing?

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

If Japanese are billed for being rescued, it may discourage some from requesting rescue assistance when they really need it.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Depends. As in US, if you go to Mount Washington during winter and it has been shown that you are not prepare, etc, US government will send you the bill for the rescue afterwards. Not too sure, but I think if you go surfing during hurricane and ended up needing a rescue, you will also get a bill afterwards. After all, the EMS folks also has their own lives and families rather than dealing with people's reckless acts.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

As dangerous as mountain climbing can be (depends on the mountain since not all are created equal), you could liken it to playing baseball with your friends from work. Meaning that, if you and your mates go to the nearby field to play, there's no rules or enforcement that players have minimum years of baseball experience and training. And mountain climbing is similar in that way, however way way way more potentially life threatening.

You can show up at Mount Fuji and any of our other many mountains in Crocs, skinny jeans and a t-shirt, or in professional gear. You can be a veteran climber or a new one. You won't be refused. You are pretty much left to make up your own mind, "Can I do this?"

The easily answered points are mentioned above - if the mountain is closed (weather, season, etc) and you ignore the official notice, you should be 100% charged. If the mountain was open, I guess it's a bit more complicated. Not experienced is most of the people who climb Mt. Fuji. They do it just to say they do it. So you could argue they shouldn't be there, and thus should have to pay.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Sam WhitteJune 25  03:32 pm JST

“They charge you for the abulance ride”

Not in Japan.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Anything can happen by accident. A healthy/experienced climber could suffer a sprain and need assistance to descend.

I'm against billing folk. That said...they should be offered, maybe compulsory, insurance to cover this kind of thing would be ok.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There are never any complaints from the people, the authorities, the rescue services, the central government, the local governments to charge for any rescue and it always the non Japanese making the loudest noise on this.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Depends... obviously yes, if they go despite warnings issued -- and the warnings should make it clear they have to pay -- or if they just go and get lost because they decided a guide was unnecessary, ignored the storm coming, etc. Not if there is a natural disaster that leads to them being stranded, no, like the volcano that erupted and killed a number of people, stranding others, or an earthquake, etc.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Yes. Done.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Governments want to encourage tourism as it gives employment and generates large amounts of money.

Should something go wrong you dont charge the victims for a rescue it is a civil duty to assist those in trouble.

Otherwise why not charge victims of earthquakes for their rescue? Tsunami victims should also be charged for rescue. Its not right. Taxes are paid by all which include emergency services costs. When a tax payer or tourist is in need you rescue them as they would help you if you were in need and they would not send you a bill for it.

Shame for even talking about such a heartless thing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Because climbing a mountain is not a natural disaster.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

there is no charge for having an ambulance to take you to hospital.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

how about some mountaineering insurance?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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