ADK99 comments

Posted in: Virus threatens 'game over' for Japan's arcades See in context


So, we wish the main accompanying photo was of a ‘game arcade’ and, not a pachinko parlor.

Ummm, no, NONE of the accompanying pictures are of pachinko parlors. Arcades are completely different.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Biden says decision on Tokyo Olympics has to be based on science See in context

"Based on science" is a bit of a red herring. The decision, as with all similar decisions around the world, will inevitably be a balancing of factors (health risks, economy, politics, PR considerations, external pressures etc) with unavoidable trade-offs. The "science" is just one of them, even when the scientists agree. That is as it should be.

Having said that, as much as I'd love to have a TV Olympic summer, it seems to me that the most sensible balancing of all these factors is probably Tokyo 2032.

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

Posted in: With Olympics at stake, Mori seen as too influential to push aside See in context

"If he resigns, there'll be no Olympics. We need him to continue whatever the cost," a government source said.

Were he to pass away peacefully (as 83-year-olds are unfortunately prone to do) I find it hard to believe that Japan would be unable to drum up a substitute oyaji with the necessary qualifications. There are a LOT of 70-something oyaji in need of amakudari positions who would be more than happy to chair meetings.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Posted in: Only 37% of firms met Japan gov't target of cutting commuters by 70% See in context

It's ridiculous that this target has not been reached. Whilst it is true that some work cannot be done at home, it is equally true that you don't need all of your staff to work at home all of the time to achieve it.

At my (small) company we have achieved this by simply switching the default from "office" to "home". If you want to come into the office you can, but you need to a. explain what you need to do that can't be done at home, and b. coordinate with colleagues so that the number of people in the office at the same time is minimized. We're also insisting that people coming to the office do so outside of rush-hour, and that client meetings are always proposed as online, and that is the default unless the client really wants to do it face-to-face.

The result has been that none of our staff visit the office more than once a week, nobody travels in rush-hour, and our clients have been extremely positive about doing 90% of meetings online.

This is not difficult to achieve - we're in a business where pre-covid 95% of our work was done in-person, and we were able to make this switch before the end of March. Most of the obstacles could and should have been overcome by most office-based business by now.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Gov't scraps plan to imprison disobedient virus patients; penalties pared down See in context

It was a ludicrously pointless idea in the first place - were they planning to start rounding up the 15,000 people recently reported to want hospital treatment, but who couldn't get it because there aren't enough beds?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Coronavirus vaccination simulation to be held on Wednesday See in context

Doing simulations makes perfect sense. Approval of the Pfizer vaccine in Japan is currently scheduled for Feb 15th, so for the next 3 weeks the more that can be done to streamline the vaccination process, the better.

More interesting issues are:

why it is taking Japan so long to approve a vaccine that, as of now, has been administered to around 70 million people worldwide. Just what is the Japanese approval system adding to the process, aside from hankos?

why the simulations haven't already been conducted. The vaccine did not suddenly appear out of the ether this morning.

People tend to say that Japan is good at planning, and poor at reacting quickly to a changing situation. On this issue I don't see much evidence of planning - see also the inability of the government to secure enough hospital beds or dedicated hotel spaces a year after the virus appeared.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan finds COVID-19 variant in 3 people with no record of travel to UK See in context

A health ministry official said that the authorities are looking into how the three became infected but that there was no proof yet that the variant first detected in Britain was spreading in Shizuoka now.

Well it has certainly spread to at least 3 people in Shizuoka!

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Posted in: Sumo wrestler quits, saying his coronavirus fears were ignored See in context

The Sumo association rarely misses an opportunity to bring themselves into disrepute.

Some people may well be over-stating the risks of coronavirus; however, I think it's fair to say that an athlete in a full-contact sport where most of the competitors are grossly overweight (and therefore already at higher risk) who has recently had heart surgery, and where on of his co-workers has literally died, is entitled to say "nope".

19 ( +20 / -1 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports record high 1,591 new coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 6,001 See in context

I think the super-high positive rate is a little misleading. My (possibly incorrect) understanding is that non-hospital tests are not counted as "tests" so are not added to the denominator. However, non-hospital positive tests are added to the numerator.

It is, however, clear that it is far, far more prevalent than the official headline figure. My money is on 5,000+ on Friday when we have the post-holiday rush.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

Posted in: Tokyo raises healthcare alert to highest level after virus cases soar to 822 See in context


It is not unreasonable to act within the guidelines that the government has proposed.

Do you listen to the guvmint (who by all accounts don't know what they are doing and don't follow their own advice) or do you listen to common sense ?

Stay out of crowds as much as possible, avoid enclosed spaces, wear a mask in public when you're in spitting distance of another person, wash your hands. Nowhere in that is 'spend hours drinking and wassailing every day in the pub'.

Well I'm not going to the pub every day but I am going a couple of times a week. According to the Tokyo Metro government we should "Be sure to take basic infection prevention measures, such as hand washing, wearing a mask, frequent disinfection and ventilation in various situations. When dining out, keep groups small, keep meals short, keep your voices down, keep portions separate, and make sure to wash your hands, disinfect, wear masks and ventilate frequently. We urge everyone of all generations, not only the elderly but also young people, to be thorough in their infection control measures."

I'm doing all of those things, and plenty of other things too (working from home, sent staff home in February and have encouraged them to work from home as much as they want since then). I will also comply with whatever restrictions are places on us, as I did during the previous state of emergency, and I'll put my name down for the vaccine as soon as its available. However, if as a society we actually aren't going to bother too much then I won't feel guilty for spending a few yen supporting struggling local businesses.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Tokyo raises healthcare alert to highest level after virus cases soar to 822 See in context

 I am still going to the pub every day after work with my colleagues.


@Cleo, this is an interesting question. One possible answer is that the government has not asked us to stop, and indeed senior figures in the government are not staying home.

I'm all for complying with government requests for public health, but the best I can glean from the colossally mixed messages we've been getting is "avoid large groups (unless you're the prime minister), go home at 10pm (which most places seem to be complying with) and travel all over the country (except at the time when people are actually on holiday)"

It is not unreasonable to act within the guidelines that the government has proposed.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

Posted in: Japan says it is seeking closer ties with U.S. after Biden's win affirmed See in context

Everyone already forget the Abe-Trump bromance?

Or Koizumi-Bush

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan to suspend Go To Travel campaign for whole country from Dec 28-Jan 11 See in context

The real risk over the holiday period isn't people going to hotels, it's people traveling from the metropolises to visit family in the countryside and then spending several days cooped up inside with them. All of the Japanese people I have talked to have been weighing up the wisdom of doing this WITHOUT considering Goto Travel. In a normal year they would go, this year some (many) say they won't, but it's because of fear of transmitting the virus and not because of cheap train tickets.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan struggles to cope with surge in virus infections See in context

The scapegoating of young people is unbelievable. The older generation would do well to remember a few things:

jobs that cannot easily be done remotely, and which require a lot of human contact (think restaurant staff, convenience store staff, delivery workers, receptionists etc etc) are disproportionately done by the young. Some of these are also the jobs that allow the rest of us to stay at home. Of course they're getting infected at a higher rate.

decision-making in Japan on almost everything is done by the older generation. The older generation have: failed to put systems in place to allow more people to work at home; encouraged eating out through the GotoEat campaign; botched the cruise ship situation way back in spring; incentivized the populace to travel all over the country; moved so slowly that the earliest we're going to start vaccinating here is March, when the rest of the developed world is starting now; is making plans to track foreign visitors during the olympics when it is plain to see that Japan is riddled with the virus already.

I'm willing to bet that every single person posting here knows someone who is being prevented from working at home through the decision of some old fart who doesn't know any better. So, get on the train, sit in a busy office, catch the virus, then get blamed for it because you're young.

And for what it's worth, in my neighbourhood the age profile of drinkers looks to me to be largely unchanged - 50-year olds in suits galore.

Oh, and I'm fascinated by the stories of people not wearing masks on the train. I haven't seen a single person without a mask on a train in months. I'm not taking many (3-4 a week, in Tokyo) but is this really a thing?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan pledges support to vaccinate Tokyo Olympic athletes See in context

This is a non-story. We're talking about maybe 10-12,000 people, many of whom will be vaccinated in their home countries before July anyway. The cost will be a negligible part of the bloated Olympic budget.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Posted in: Japan to set up health monitoring center for inbound tourists in March See in context

Hilarious. There are 126 million people here, the virus is evidently at large within the local population. There is literally no point in tracking a small number of overseas visitors if you are doing nothing to monitor the local populace.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Posted in: Suga defends boost for domestic tourism amid virus surge See in context

It may be reasonable to suspend Goto Travel to/from certain areas, but I'm not convinced that this is the key driver of the third wave. Everyone is wearing masks on the shinkansen, mostly sitting separately, and hotels are taking all sorts of precautions (disposal gloves at buffets etc). Meanwhile, just walk past an izakaya in Tokyo and you'll see LOTS of people, sitting in close proximity with people who are not from their household, unmasked, talking.

I don't know what the correct trade-off between public health, economic well-being, and personal freedom is (and maybe there is no correct answer) but I'm struggling to believe that the Yamanote line, Shirokiya et al aren't far more important factors than GotoTravel.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan eyes 35% quota for women political candidates by 2025 See in context

To all the people saying "just put up the most capable people, regardless of gender" - well sure, but that misses the glaringly obvious fact that the most capable people are NOT being put forward regardless of gender, and in fact men have relentlessly been put forward who are clearly not the most capable. You just have to look at the executive class of a typical company to see that.

What we are talking about here is candidates. Voters will still have the opportunity to reject them if they feel they are not capable. Quotas might not be an ideal solution but the alternative so far has been to allow a system where the selection process and the party machinery behind it clearly discriminates against capable women to an almost comical degree. Sometimes we have to at least try and even the playing field - and even with this quota I'd still rather be a man seeking election than a woman.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: Fines paid in only 25% of parking offense cases by foreign diplomats See in context

The foreign ministry should hang its head in shame for even mentioning this, since they owe Transport for London OVER 8 MILLION POUNDS and are the second worst offenders after the US.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese sex business operator sues state over virus cash handout snub See in context

The most ludicrous thing about this situation is that out of all the businesses that we needed to take a break during the coronavirus situation, this is the one.

My company received money both from the national government and Tokyo Metropolitan to close, which we did, but in reality we could have carried on safely with sensible social distancing/hygiene measures. There is no possible way to do this safely in the sex business - it would have made far more sense to support them to close than it did to support mine!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Complaints overwhelm red-tape hotline hours after launch See in context

”Kono later said he would resign, if only he knew the procedure.”

Thanks @Bungle, that made my morning!

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: Angela Ortiz: Helping budding leaders become more positive and resilient to challenges See in context

Nice - and it's a really good book!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: 670 pigs stolen from farms in Gunma Prefecture See in context

The police are on it - sooner or later someone will squeal.

20 ( +20 / -0 )

Posted in: Mayor of town in Kochi Prefecture resigns over groping incident See in context

Quite refreshing to see a genuine expression of confession and remorse.

"I am sorry for hurting the victim", not "I'm sorry if my actions hurt the victim" or "I'm sorry if the victim was hurt".

And "I was aware that the woman was adamant in her rejection of my advances" not "I thought she wanted it" or "I was drunk and can't remember anything".

(Not that this in anyway excuses his actions, just a little surprised)

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Posted in: Japanese taxi company offers service to visit family graves for those who can’t travel themselves See in context

Smart idea, nice to see an old-fashioned industry being creative in tough times.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan's re-entry ban to contain virus unfair, Western business lobbies say See in context


Because the 98-99% are Japanese People, mostly born here WITH a japanese nationality!

Japanese Nationality is the key word.

We all understand the legal basis on which foreign residents are being excluded. Nobody is saying that it is illegal. What I'm saying is that it is:

Utterly ineffective in controlling the spread of the virus, if Japanese people are still going in and out of the country. In other words THERE IS NO POINT TO IT from a disease control perspective;

Unnecessarily spiteful in the way that it was enacted. They literally stranded people overseas;

Damaging to Japan's reputation in the international community, and contrary to developed country norms;

Downright immoral, given all of the above.

Yes, Japan has the legal right to do this, but it doesn't make it right.

19 ( +20 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan's re-entry ban to contain virus unfair, Western business lobbies say See in context

@Monty - the VAST majority of business travelers in and out of Japan are Japanese. They are currently able to travel, and some people ARE taking business trips. If your logic made any sense at all, Japan should stop everyone from traveling overseas. (And I recognize that it is difficult/impossible to stop citizens from RETURNING home, but you can certainly stop them from leaving)

The "foreign" population here is 1-2%. How on earth does it make sense to restrict their travel, whilst allowing the other 98-99% to travel freely? More to the point, what kind of decision is it to literally strand people away from their homes for months on end, whilst allowing other people to come and go as they please?

25 ( +26 / -1 )

Posted in: 2 doctors indicted over consensual killing of terminal ALS patient See in context

I have every sympathy for the poor woman, but none whatsoever for the doctors in this case. They have very clearly broken the law, not in attempt to help the victim but to make a quick buck. 1.3 million yen for an afternoon's work? Not bad.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Posted in: Anti-mask group in Tokyo slammed for 'cluster festival' See in context


Forcing others to wear mask is an over reaction to a disease that has an extremely low death rate, especially if your young and healthy.

That's exactly why these people are dangerous morons. They have NOT been forced to wear masks, they have been recommended to wear masks. Most people are complying, which is their decision. A few people are not complying, which is also their decision.

To gather a load of people together to protest against being asked to wear a mask, not forced is childish and irresponsible. That they were initially planning to do this on the Yamanote line is reprehensible.

Even if it is just a cold, why on earth is it OK to intentionally spread that around? Most people are just trying to go about their business, get to work etc safely and responsibly. We don't need idiots like this trying to impose their opinion on the rest of us. Because that is what they are doing.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Posted in: Jagger, Stipe sign letter demanding campaign song consent See in context

@Toshiyori - that’s not correct.

The letter was sent to Democratic and Republican national, congressional and senatorial committees.

Individually artists might not complain if a campaign they like uses their song, but collectively they are demanding that both sides ask permission.

16 ( +16 / -0 )

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