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Pachinko parlors and vending machines use up 10 million kilowatts of power a year, which is just about the amount of the Fukushima nuclear power plants.


Tokyo Gov Shintaro Ishihara, saying they are a waste of electric power. (TBS)

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...and they also contribute to the economy, keep people employed. There are plenty of ways to reduce energy consumption without insinuating that we can fix all the energy problems by shutting down pachinko parlors.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

It's not that we need to shut down pachinko parlors (although I personally don't like them) but we need them to use less energy...maybe shutting off some (or most of) the unnecessiary lighting that they have outside.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Smorkian, I am sorry but balancing transportation against pachinko, guess who wins? The government should consider ways to reduce power from these sites. Less light, voluntary reductions in hours.

All companies are looking to reduce power by 25-30%, Pachiko, vending machines and all other business has to kick in a similar amount.

Denial of the problem will lead to blackouts which have an even greater impact upon the economy. So you must look at the entire picture.

One case in point. I saw some genius today bringin in an electric fan to the office. The company has voluntarily reduced airconditioning to save power, so this genius is now going to offset it by replacing the savings with consuption by a cheap inefficient fan. If everyone does this kind of thing, then there will be no net savings.

Suffering is something we just have to buck up and deal with this year. All of us.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Companies need to stand by this Cool Biz initiative, and tell employees to wear short sleeves, shorts or linen trousers etc. All these poor men going into the office in long sleeves, and suit trousers, with the only concession being their ties in the bags instead of round their necks are absolutely roasting for no good reason.

Vending machines, Pachinko parlors, theme parks and other large scale entertainment needs to be shelved if it draws energy from sectors which need it. Not good for the economy, but surely we all just need to get through this summer. There has to be work clearing and rebuilding, which will offset some of the unemployment in the meantime. I would love to see armies of workers setting up alternative energy sources - wind power, solar power, it all helps.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It's a Love / Hate relationship with Ishihara isn't it? One minute he's saying something off-hand and offensive. The next minute he'll come with common sense and maybe even a half decent plan.

Yes, the Pachinko parlors should go. Given the current situation those gambling venues look like Giant Leeches sucking away at as much power as they can to turn profit... The machines, the air conditioners, the loudspeakers, the lighting, and the added security cams = Lots of juice.

Get rid of em.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There just seems to be a lot of unnecessary paper work and everyone checking each other obsessively that is creating all of this unnecessary work. The system needs to change. But the problem is that the system is created from the values rooted deep in people in Japanese culture. Group, group, group. People need to be given more freedom. People need to be trusted to do work on their own. People need to be given a sense of accountability and responsibility so they feel trusted and begin working from their hearts rather than because someone is looking over their shoulders checking on them. People in Japan seem to value work too much. They get lost in it so much that it becomes their identity. When people have free time they dont know what to do with themselves so they eventually get back into work and stress themselves out. It's a sad cycle.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

If we could believe a single word this deranged old crook ever said, this might be a valid point.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I got a sense of Deja-Vu.

Didn't he say the same thing 2-months ago and it was discussed widely and rejected.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why not a) tax the hell out of them and b) enforce the law that says gambling is illegal. If you win in Pachinko, they give you tokens as prizes. You go round the back of the shop and there is someone there who will exchange these tokens for cash.

In any case, taxing seems the best plan.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

How about saving energy by wearing appropriate clothing.

I'm always amazed to see Japanese salarymen in suits, with neckties and shoes in 40 degree heat and high humidity.

Of course, the makers of athlete's foot medicine would suffer if they were allowed to wear sandals.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Smorkian, I am sorry but balancing transportation against pachinko, guess who wins? The government should consider ways to reduce power from these sites. Less light, voluntary reductions in hours.

I would absolutely agree with you. Everyone must kick in. But Ishihara's comments sound like a prelude to some sort of mass shutdown. If he's just saying they need to do their part to reduce, great.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I have a relative with ALS living in Tokyo who is connected to a ventilater for breathing.

He has a backup generator in case of outage up to 2 hrs.

There are 19,000 people with disability living in Tokyo who are connected to breathing ventilaters. Most of them have no backup generators as they are not available in this unexpected circumstance. Do you want to see them die?

They are all on your mercy to survive.

I understand everyone needs to suffer a lot and sweat.

But please think about these helpless people and conserve energy as much as you can. Give mercy on them, so they can survive.

Thank you for listening to me on behalf of these who cannot talk to you here.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Thanks for that post Globalwatcher.

The bottom line is that heat also impacts the elderly and children more so than the rest of us. We must all conserve as much as we can. Austerity practices for power are no only required, they are an inescapable fact of life for this summer. Dig in and do your part everyone. We will get through it.

On fashion for work. Companies really do need to clue in NOW and let people adjust to the reality of this summer. Keep a suit at the office for meetings and otherwise go in lite summer fare. Any company refusing should be fined, taxed and publicly pointed out.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I'm wondering if his motivations stem from the idea that pachinko money goes to Korean owners...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yes Johninnaha tax tax tax because peoples money should rightfully belong to someone else.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Smorkian, I am sorry but balancing transportation against pachinko, guess who wins?

I can tell you for a fact that not one Pachinko parlor will be shut down. Ishihara won't win this one. Why? A clue would be - who runs the Pachinko parlors? Yakuza. Good luck wit that one.

Should they be shut down? Totally. I hate those noisy places.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I don't live anywhere near Tokyo or Tohoku and I'm not turning my a/c off for one minute.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Personally, I would love to see fewer pachinko parlors. They are hideous eyesores.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

10 million kilowatts of power a year

I wonder whether it's Mr Ishihara or the translator who doesn't understand kilowatts. Maybe it's both.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ever since ive moved here 7 years, i couldnt believe how energy conscious japan is. Schools dont use a/c. Lights are off in the toilets and hallways. Cinics hardly use ac. Companies have their hallways turned off , toilets lights are off ans so on. People at home hardly eva use their a/c and unplug appliances just to save a few bucks. I reaally have no idea where that energy goes. My only guess is public transport. Soon theyll ask everone to ride their bicycles to work. Come on now. How effecient/eco friendly need we be???

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Pachinko Parlors - the number source of noise pollution. Who needs 5 vending machines all lined up in a neat row selling the same drinks, when theres a 7-11 and ministop at every corner selling the same drinks? I would rather go into a combini and cool off a bit.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They make all the crazy suggestions in the world but until the locals get a brain and open the blinds, turn off the light, close the doors... while running the air con at low, there is no point of all this. They are ruining any good suggestions they have by messing it up and not thinking with their heads. How about timers on the vending machines so they don't run all night and banning the nasty pachinko lights, not closing the places? That way the drinks are there when people want them during the day and people can go and waste their money but also save power at the same time. Not rocket science!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In the 70's hardly any houses in Tokyo had air conditioning. Hotels and department stores had it, but it was too expensive for residential use. I thought Tokyo summers were hot, but not unbearably. Then air conditioning got cheaper and suddenly became fashionable. And, of course, every house was throwing hot air out into the streets and the temperature went up.

Then, a few years later, in a masterstroke of town planning (sarcasm), they constructed several tall buildings across Tokyo Bay, shutting off any cooling breezes from the ocean and keeping the polluted "air" in. Of course, at the same time, they chopped down anything green and concreted it over so that there was no natural cooling effect of water evaporating from leaves.

And the result is that Tokyo has become almost uninhabitable.

But, as long as I've been here, I just cannot understand the salarymen sweating like pigs in two or three piece suits, wearing neckties and shoes/socks when the temperature in Tokyo is around 40 degrees Celsius and it's very humid.

But, to get back to the subject of Pachinko, my suggestion that it should be heavily taxed was based on the fact that it's NOT a necessity. Beer is taxed very heavily here, so why shouldn't Pachinko be?

Reduce the tax on beer and rack it up for Pachinko!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

We are doing a lot of things every day which somebody can consider a waste of power. Who is Ishihara to decide which one is waste and which one isn't? If voluntary energy saving is not sufficient to compensate the shortage then raise prices and let people decide by themselves where to save their money. How about a special tax on electricity which is used to contribute to compensating the victims of Fukushima?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

For saving electricity, how about switching off some of the traffic lights?

On busy intersections, of course traffic lights are needed, but there are many roads where you have to wait ages for a light to change in spite of there being no traffic.

This is not only in Naha, but any other city in Japan.

Come to that, how about scrapping traffic lights altogether and building roundabouts (rotaries)? They don't use any energy, keep the traffic moving, make drivers slow down naturally and sort the "wheat from the chaff." Drivers who lack the confidence to go round a busy roundabout shouldn't be driving in the first place.

And a short message for Japanese road planners - if such exist. A "rotary" doesn't have traffic lights. Kadena and Itoman "rotaries" are not rotaries, they are just circular roads. The whole point of a rotary is NOT to have traffic lights.

Road design is appalling in Japan. This alone wastes so much energy.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If all the pachinko parlors and vending machines were shut down, there would be a lot more people out of work.

A LOT more people.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In some rural areas, the only light visible at night is the glow coming from the vending machines. Turning them completely off would create a safety hazard Plus shutting them all off would hurt a lot of blue collar workers. The economy is already in bad shape. If the pachinko paroles could switch off those blazing casino lights AND LED displays AND fake fireworks, I'm sure it would make a difference.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Pachinko places are not only a waste of power consumption. The proceeds they take in are not declared as income and they pay no tax. Disgraceful! How come there have been no showing of heart and donations by Pachinko Parlor owners?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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