tokyo 2020 olympics

Japan spends billions on technology for absent Olympic fans

52 Comments
By YURI KAGEYAMA

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52 Comments
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Lightbulb moment.

Why not use that 7.3 billion yen, and other invisible money to give everyone a tax rebate, and more covid money?

32 ( +33 / -1 )

Don't they already have a tracking app? Or have they failed to fix that?

$67M seems a bit excessive for that kind of thing. $6M maybe.

22 ( +22 / -0 )

Bach, depicted here, is ‘Machiavelli’ surveying ‘the realm’. Will he also return to survey ‘the damage’?

Bach’s ‘puppetry’ evokes suspicions of ‘unscrupulous acts’ like Machiavelli. He considered politics ‘a game’, played with deception, treachery and, sometimes, graft and crime. He understands his ‘host nation well - “a ruler who is establishing a kingdo, and is criticized for his deeds, including treachery and deceit, should be excused.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Who has the power?

Who makes the decision?

Who gets the money?

It's always the Government. And people like you commenting here will keep commenting the same things even until 90 if you can.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

7.3 billion for a $700 lunch. NTT got a good deal on that one.

20 ( +20 / -0 )

Another waste of tax payer's money!

NTT working hand-in-hand with the government!

Now that will be quite something, won't it?

Expect additional tax increases to appear on the horizon very soon!

20 ( +20 / -0 )

Well, that's the price of doing business.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Another waste of public money or forward-looking tech investments, that is the question.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Waste of money. That’s justifying the lavish diners of the NTT management with government officials.

Useless app just used to track people, not to curb infections. And a phone can be turned off.

A few freelancers would do the same for cheap.

I hope it will be some fair audit on how this money will be spent, but by the time, it will be too late.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

Did everyone see Pikachu today? He’s a reminder of “a Globally successful, smart phone application”.

Why wasn’t that 7.3 billion yen ($67 million) taxpayer’s money to design mobile tracking software to curb the spread of coronavirus, given to a successful, international company like Niantic Pokémon Go! instead of ‘Japan's top telecommunications company’? -

Pokémon Go!’s AR ( ‘augmented reality’) games worked extremely well throughout Japan, using existing telecommunications & the few, public wifi hotspots, with NO major glitches like the poorly-named ‘CoCoa’ app and other wastes of taxpayer’s money.

When will the ‘internal graft’ end or, will they continue to ‘milk this dying cow’ until the teets are completely shriveled to nothing?

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Absolutely disgraceful.

And what was it that regular people got - 200,000 loans?!

Why not make this 7.3 billion yen a loan?

I wonder if this app was brought up during the dinner the NTT execs had with the minister of communication.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Why not use that 7.3 billion yen, and other invisible money to give everyone a tax rebate, and more covid money?

Yeah, I demand my 57 yen too.

(7.3b yen ÷ 127m pop)

but at 62 yen costs more just to send everyone a postcard announcing their rebate

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Japan's top telecommunications company is getting 7.3 billion yen - about $67 million - in taxpayer money to design mobile tracking software to curb the spread of coronavirus infections during the Tokyo Olympics.

In other nations, there has to be at least a gesture, some direct stimulus to the public, to go along with the corporate welfare and transfer of wealth from workers to wealthy coporations. The Japanese electorate is so cowed the LDP does not even have to do that anymore, and will just present the public with a bill for this and the Olympics and Dentsu gifts come tax time.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

That money should be used to help the people of Fukushima, still displaced ten years after the tsunami.

Nobody wants to see a post-apocalyptic world but I for one sure yearn for a post-Olympic world. Reading about Thomas Bach, Seb Coe and all of the other cronies turns my stomach.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

They spent 7.3 billion yen on technology? That's some mighty expensive fax machines!

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Imagine if the money on a ghastly overpriced app that is not even required, was spent on cleaning up Fukushima, but clearly money to telecommunications connections is more important for the government.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

All aboard the gravy train!

7 ( +7 / -0 )

giant marketing company Dentsu Inc

This company needs to be raided post haste, but seeing as their biggest client by far appears to be J-Gov that’s never going to happen...unless someone inside will risk a whistle blow. Again unlikely seeing as there are no foreigners at the top running it to scapegoat. It looks like a company setup simply to siphon off public money and distribute it into the retirement funds of the political elite. It’s not just Japan it’s a world wide phenomena!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

NTT Communications Corp, a group company of Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. and a domestic sponsor of the Tokyo Games, heads the consortium developing the app 

Well, so those expensive dinners that NTT hosts do pay off.

$67M seems a bit excessive for that kind of thing. $6M maybe.

Since a percentage finds its way back in brown envelopes as " political support fundraising activity, the higher the contract is so is the payoff. Lemings will re-elect LDP again so what's to worry about?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

What a waste but probably this is cronyism. Didn’t google and apple make an app already free.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Why should anyone be surprised by this?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Surely people during the Olympics don’t need to be tracked by the government. Infected people need an app that can quickly direct them to the nearest hospital. One that is not full (it will be heat attack season).One that has doctors who speak their language. One that is specially set up and to include treatment for UK, Brazil and South African variations.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Why not use that 7.3 billion yen, and other invisible money to give everyone a tax rebate, and more covid money?

You expect NTT to pay a rebate to you? The money has been spent, and whether or not the app will be used or not, it is not their fault that it wont be used.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Japan spends billions on technology for absent Olympic fans

The fans aren't absent, they are banned. Japan is spending billions (of our tax payments) on apps for fans that Japan has banned from coming.

If Japan is not able to host an international event, it should cancel it.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

On the day I'm going to the tax office to file this years taxes...... Grrrr... Or should I just drop off my wallet at the NTT office?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

"Japan has attributed about 9,000 deaths to COVID-19 but has barely started to roll out vaccines."

Because the vaccines were needed due to Japan's low death rate.

-12 ( +0 / -12 )

"Japan's top telecommunications company is getting 7.3 billion yen - about $67 million - in taxpayer money to design mobile tracking software to curb the spread of coronavirus infections during the Tokyo Olympics.

There's one catch: Few Olympic fans from abroad will be around to use it."

but the tech can be used for other purposes and diseases.

-11 ( +0 / -11 )

Japan's top telecommunications company is getting 7.3 billion yen - about $67 million - in taxpayer money to design mobile tracking software to curb the spread of coronavirus infections during the Tokyo Olympics.

Another dinning out? "7.3 billion yen - about $67 million" is just ridiculous. They could have used the "Exposure Notifications Android API" which is also for iOS and it would cost a fraction of this ridiculous sum. Yeah, supporting and network infrastructure would also cost something, but hey, you will not need it for like 10 years or something.

And if using the Exposure Notifications Android API, which has documentation available for free (by the way), the app could be developed in a matter of days or weeks (many countries are using this API and have apps already available. There are also quite a few implementations on Github).

The government spends horrendous money (yeah I know, it's NTT and it's definitely not tied to anyone in the government..) and overengineering things.

On the one hand, our government is not able to ensure safety, so it bans all foreigners from comming here, but on the other hand it needs to develop it's own app, that will be created and used only for a certain event and ditched later because it needs to ensure the safety... My brain just hurts.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Spend the money on fighting the China virus instead.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Don't worry, folks, the money will trickle down

...to its existing ¥20,000,000,000,000 assets.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Corruption on such a colossal scale is facilitated when the government insists that all software be designed locally. There was a 15-y.o. kid in the US who designed a tracking app, which he then gave away free.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

NTT and the government are both greedy and awful.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Like I said before, this is getting more ridiculous by the day if not by the hour...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

'LifeCycle App' already tracks movement efficiently using WiFi, foursquare and Apple Maps so there's not even any dev costs. Who wants to tell them? ;-)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Another symptom of this whole boondoggle. 67 million yen less money for covid hit businesses forced to shut down by the SOE, 67 mil less money for Fukushima relief, 67 mil less money...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

That’s 60yen per inhabitant. Do I want to pay so much for that? No, surely not.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

can I get like couple of millions to finish my education and have a proper small wedding? :'/

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Correction:

Someone in the LDP gives his mate at NTT billions of our money for no good reason, in an unaccountable backroom deal, on a nod and a wink while the taxpayers prepare to get squeezed dry for the next two generations.

Fixed it.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This was never about sport. This was about "If we spend $15 billion on all this stuff, the world will pay attention to and actually notice Japan for two whole weeks! It'll be great!!" Not exactly what it will take to solve any of that country's deep-seated problems...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It would be cheaper to hire people to follow other people around.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

There's one catch: Few Olympic fans from abroad will be around to use it."

but the tech can be used for other purposes and diseases.

Yeah..like the other , better, cheaper and actually functioning apps that have already been developed by others overseas ? Lol

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Straight up corruption and money laundering at work here.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Tokyo 2020 is pretext also to waste huge taxes.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

How can I help the Olympics? Asking for a friend

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

S Q U A N D E R E D money W A S T E D

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The people of Japan could be paying, footing the bill for generations to come, it is time to call a halt to the financial craziness. The IOC must and will be facing a reckoning.

If this thee week sports fiasco, sorry, is to be justified, then the Government of China steps up and contributes substantially.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Another waste... when pride is too high.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japan's top telecommunications company is getting 7.3 billion yen - about $67 million - in taxpayer money to design mobile tracking software to curb the spread of coronavirus infections during the Tokyo Olympics.

How many people are they expecting?

14,000 athletes in the last Summer Games. Give each athlete 2 people for support and that makes roughly 45,000 people coming. That's about $1500 per person. You could basically hire someone to physically watch them and record their location during their 2 week stay.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Is there any responsible person or persons accountable on how tax payers money is used.

The Abe mask debacle was another waste of money!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

If they had spent that money getting the Japanese public vaccinated the Olympics could have gone on as scheduled. What are we up to now, 100,000 vaccinations per day? Good, we could be done with vaccinations by the next Olympics!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Come on people, everybody knows it has nothing to do with a stupid app.

NTT is losing profitability but the executives need their bónuses. It's just a means of sustaining a poor, poor company with taxpayer money.

In Japan everybody works for everybody.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Tax payers money.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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