I can just think of the bathroom at our local JR train station, complete with a sign written in Japanese that says "please do not steal our soap" and there's a place for a bar of soap (which has already been stolen) and everyone is supposed to share as they wash their hands with cold water.
By the way, what's the 4th hypothesis? Keep on keepin' on cause it's hard to control ourselves?
I'm embarrassed this published.
5 ( +6 / -1 )
One of the first cases in Nagasaki resulted from a lack of guidance. A college student doing his job hunt in Kansai started to feel sick. After staying several days in the hotel, he decided it would be better to come all the way back home....
Meaning he decided to get on a train, go to Kansai airport, go through Fukuoka or Nagasaki airport, and take public transportation back to his apartment.
Someone with authority in the government really needs to step up here. Who knows how many people are infected and spreading the infection if you refuse to test them, or even tell them what to do?
10 ( +10 / -0 )
Be nice to have the numbers of military who have actually contacted the virus be openly shared with the general public here.
I think you have the right to be concerned, but sharing that information with the world about service members' health is dangerous, and honestly, I highly doubt any world power would reasonably do the same.
On the flip side, several weeks before Abe finally came to his senses and called the state of emergency, US military commanders began taking this extremely seriously. Anyone caught violating the policies is punished. Meanwhile, military personnel moving from city to city (domestic OR international) are held in quarantine for at least 14 days before being allowed to move around. There are daily screenings, and anyone exhibiting symptoms are to be tested.
If you want to criticize what the U.S. military is doing in terms of reporting, I hope you realize that it's kept quiet for their protection, and meanwhile they are doing MUCH, MUCH more to contain the pandemic than any Japanese prefecture has done to date. Let's work together to do the same off base as well.
1 ( +1 / -0 )
I feel terrible for this, I really do.
But looking back at the arrogance and denial of the leadership as they talked about 1,000 beds set aside like it would be enough... I still don't understand what they were expecting to happen.
The evidence of what would happen was on display around the world, and here we are, arguing for every barbershop and izakaya to stay open, and pretend that little face-masks will prevent people from contracting an extremely contagious virus.
Why, oh why, did anyone think that it was okay to wait to take action...?
22 ( +23 / -1 )
This is a prime example of Japanese fighting spirit, and a concept that's hard to explain to people in a modern setting. On the flip side, earlier this week a Japanese taxi company laid off their entire staff. The auto-industry seems more deeply rooted in tradition and protecting the working class.
There was a Japanese novel turned movie "A Man Called Pirate" or "Kaizoku to yobareta otoko" by Naoki Hyakuta that demonstrates this unique cultural trait which seems to be dying out.
The president of an oil company did everything he could at the end of the war to keep his employees. They did all kinds of odd jobs to stay afloat while the MacArthur occupation prevented oil sales to the Japanese oil industry. It may have been fiction, but the message resonates. I hope he can preserve jobs and weather the pandemic.
1 ( +4 / -3 )
All I am hearing is that Japan is worried about pushing the emergency button because they have a bunch of poorly written emergency policies. And we have already seen how poor the response can be to emergencies! Remember thirsty people in Kumamoto after the earthquake, and storage facilities nearby with filled with water NOT BEING DELIVERED?
Why not use this time to:
A. Remove nonsensical policies
B. Make an actual response plan based on what is working abroad
C. Push the emergency button already!!
6 ( +9 / -3 )
Also, I'd be interested to hear from fellow posters that have come to Japan for work think about working there?
I've worked in Japan after being transferred to the Tokyo office of an American company. I did IT consulting work for a number of banks / insurance firms in Japan.
This story of paternity leave brings back memories of how my employer took me off good projects to place me into worthless projects outside my department, simply because I'm a native English speaker. In my experience Japanese managerial style doesn't promote employee growth, and simply pushes talent to where there are gaps. If you stick around long enough and are loyal enough, you may end up getting put on good projects with the best customers. But don't bother taking time-off outside of Golden Week, Obon, or New Years (or when you have a child)
On the positive side, being an expat, I took on a lot of high visibility projects at a young age. I felt like I was important for the company's mission (although underpaid).
On the negative side, we would do an honest assessment of our clients' IT systems, and their leadership usually didn't like our ratings, so they argued with us to give them a higher score. Of course, my Japanese managers allowed us to raise their scores because "okyaku-sama wa kami-sama" or "customer is God".
The sad thing is, we were just there to help them improve. Instead, I feel one bank in particular received our assessment and ignored our recommendations, and pretended like they were already perfect. So what's the point of hiring us?
I also remember going to Europe and America with a Japanese client to visit their subsidiaries, and watching the Tokyo executives fail to understand budgeting cycles and management culture in the Western world. They failed to complete "due diligence" and our team received a lot of angry feedback when telling (not asking) the subsidiaries about unrealistic timelines. I've never felt as much tension in a meeting as I did on this project.
I quit my Japan job within a year. I am paid way more to do the same job back in the USA and not work 10-14 hours a day. It would take a lot to convince me to ever go back to a Japanese firm.
15 ( +16 / -1 )
Once again caught flat-footed due to their own ability to change with the times, J. Inc. is already contributing to the spread of the pandemic by keeping employees commuting to the office.
Remember last July when the government "encouraged" companies to try telework to prepare for the Olympics and nearly no one tried it?
The only problem is, now that society needs salarymen to stay home, no one really knows how to do it effectively, and the stakes are now life and death.
The world is watching, and if Japan can't keep up with trends like telework and allowing employees to stay home during this pandemic, they're going to have a hard time recruiting international talent going forward.
0 ( +0 / -0 )
I would have hoped that teams across the world would come to the same conclusion.
Frankly, I wouldn't even care if they colluded. They made the right call. I hope 2021 happens though because we already paid for tickets!!
0 ( +0 / -0 )
Compare this situation of not testing more people to the prosecutions by the Japanese justice department. They seldom take cases to court that are not slam-dunk convictions.
Japan has this obsession with being certain about something before acting.
They need all the rubber stamps of approval before a deal is made.
They need the meeting notes before a meeting is held.
They need the class print outs before they attend a college lecture.
Yes, it's cultural, and it is a time-honored trait of this country. But it has its time and place!
This time though, I'm so tired of excuses about hospital beds, and I'm really starting to be scared for all of my in-laws as most of them live in metropolitan areas.
What's the right number of confirmed cases before Abe can say "stay home or else!!"
For those of you who think "testing of mild cases is a waste of beds" based on hospital bed count, you fail to realize that in less in a month they're going to be full anyway. BUT, this could have been slowed down!!
Stop defending this administration!!
7 ( +9 / -2 )
The number of infections continues to increase from last week and we are at a crucial moment which will determine whether we can minimize the number of further infections
...determine whether we can minimize...
Dear Japan, yes you CAN minimize infections by ordering people to stay home, not just in the evening and on weekends.
The rest of the world
11 ( +11 / -0 )
This is beyond hilarious! Look at how many people from the press are there to document something that has no impact! Hopefully they're disinfecting subway cars, buses, and elevators around big cities instead of wasting time in a dugout no one has been in for WEEKS!
13 ( +13 / -0 )
Wow, maybe instead of deciding to publicize the new dates for the Olympics, the leaders in Japan could focus on a massive problem literally at the last opportunity they have to minimize the impact of the pandemic!!
Are you seriously answering this question faster than the questions about quarantining and working from home?!
13 ( +15 / -2 )
At this point rather than argue over the missteps up until now (which we can all agree there are many)...
It's time to take real action. No where else in the world crowds trains and subways like Tokyo.
If you think 2 digit daily increases in infections are bad, without REAL measures, it's going to become 3 digits, then maybe even 4, very very soon.
Stay home. It's the single best way to curb the spread.
7 ( +7 / -0 )
Hillclimber and Kazuaki,
You're making semantical arguements about my point that it's not compatible with the laws in America, hence why stating American values is necessary for me to do.
If you do business in another country and simply carbon copy your business model from your home country, you're already setting yourself up for failure. Regional laws and cultural values. These things matter, and it would be the same for American businesses abroad.
Frankly, I don't care if we're talking about hard drive components, software, or bubblegum. Your semantics detract from the central point. Price fixing is illegal. The fundamental arguement is that it stifles competition and innovation.
If excessive competition leads to a race to the bottom, that's when competitors who can't make a profit exit the market and do something else, not everyone can go home a winner forever. You can't let businesses collude to arbitrarily set supply and pricing for all industries, or McDonald's and Burger King would just start charging $10 for a burger.
Besides, it's not the only law governing competition. We have tarriffs, quotas, subsidies, anti-trust laws and other measures to protect producers and consumers from unfair business practices.
0 ( +0 / -0 )
All in the name of Harmony. They just don't get it. These Japanese companies "fix prices", so that they all survive. It is a humanitarian thing that they do.
Actually, it's called cheating, and it stifles innovation. It makes products and services needlessly more expensive for everyday people when companies price fix.
I've noticed that prices in Japan are "sticky" and Japanese society does whatever it can to prevent price changes. For example, if input costs for a liter of juice go up, the juice sellers use the same package and change the volume to 900 ml to be able to sell it at the same price.
There's also nearly no inflation and extremely low interest rates in Japan, but at the same time no GDP growth.
I think Japanese business men need to realize that these practices aren't compatible with American values where we focus on growth, ecomonies of scal,e and competition. I suppose we'll continue to see a case like this a few times a year involving Japanese firms.
11 ( +14 / -3 )
Japanese men are the world's most notorious "Momma's boys"
They live in a protected state from a young age, where their 365-days-a-year sports team practices take precedence over learning how to do anything domestic. Most of them live at home or company provided dorms until married, never cooking a single meal. Then they get married and expect their wives to pick up where their mothers left off.
Lots of Japanese wives even have to give their husbands a daily cash allowance because apparently budgeting is also a skill men here lack.
I wouldn't want to even be roommates with this kind of person, let alone spend the rest of my days cleaning up after one.
14 ( +16 / -2 )
What Southeast Asian or Melanasian has time to learn Japanese while becoming a "skilled laborer"?
How many Japanese are willing to move to developing countries to teach Japanese for low wages?
The expectations on applicants is way too high. The average worker targeted for this program doesn't exactly have an opportunity to study Japanese in their home country.
While Japanese language teaching programs do exist in developing countries, they don't seem to be producing the expected results. Even Japanese majors in universities may have a hard time passing JLPT!!
4 ( +4 / -0 )
"No more subsidized industry!" "No TPP!"
Say the Japanese government officials who gain so much support from lobbies like JA, and continue to dish out rice and farm subsidies in the antiquated quota system to buy votes.
If you're against subsidies, I don't think you should get to pick and choose based on what you perceive to be disadvantageous.
1 ( +1 / -0 )
"Japanese companies' awareness of human rights lags 20 years behind U.S. and European companies," he said.
Awareness of human rights and...
Japanese companies' awareness of the modern workplace, labor laws, technological advancements, is about 20 years behind not just U.S. and European, but ASEAN countries as well
-1 ( +0 / -1 )
Well, for those who may not see the glaring problem with this picture here's an article published 5 years ago today:
With its aging population and dwindling workforce, Japan more than ever is looking to women like Ms. Suzuki. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has brought the issue to the forefront of his economic-growth policy known as "Abenomics," proclaiming a goal to fill 30% of leadership positions in Japan with women by 2020
It may help, Abe-san, to set the example where you have control.
11 ( +11 / -0 )
What is disheartening is that these students didn't live in the era of war and occupation, and probably not even their parents. They seem to have inherited their hate and anger from the aging survivors.
We need to break this chain of handing down prejudice to the next generation and instead focus on how we can move forward constructively.
16 ( +19 / -3 )
As a cyclist in Japan, this scares me. There aren't enough wide shoulders, but especially with older tunnels there's no way to change anything.
Please drive carefully and notice cylists
15 ( +15 / -0 )
I'm glad to see the move toward flexible work options in Japan.
I'm disappointed that it's going to be temporary, and only because of the Olympics.
Please let this last more than next summer.
Don't make social changes for international spectators, make social changes because your citizens are working themselves to death in Tokyo skyscrapers every day.
10 ( +10 / -0 )
I've been saying this for years, but why not add water fountains in more public places (and government buildings).
It seems silly to me that when you make your occasional trip to city hall, or a public park, you have to buy a PET bottle of water for 100-120 yen, when all you need is a sip or 2 of water on a hot day.
By the way, what's the first thing sold out on 40 degree summer days?
I think Japan loves its PET bottles because it's easy to make money off thirsty people!
12 ( +12 / -0 )
Call it what it is, this is an escort service.
It's only a matter of time before a customer with bad intentions takes advantage and tries to coerce these young women.
It only looks cute because they found a non-threatening, normal-looking guy who wouldn't have trouble finding a girlfriend without "renting" one.
3 ( +3 / -0 )
No matter how long you work for your client each day, never report that you worked more than 7 hours (illegal)
During international business trips, if you eat lunch by yourself (without the client) you cannot claim the meal as a business expense
5 ( +6 / -1 )
Reckless, I found out that if you're from the US and you walk into any AAA service shop, you can purchase an international driver's license that can be used for up to a year.
If you come to Japan as a tourist, you can use the AAA license to rent a car legally in Japan without a knowledge test. I have a permanent driver's license now, but in the past I used the international license to rent a car from Toyota.
The fact that I didn't have to take any kind of test and could still drive legally in Japan was kind of surprising! It's interesting that it's a lot harder to get a license to drive if you have a residency card!
4 ( +4 / -0 )
Also causing problems in Japanese roads?
Next to no traffic police enforcing laws
-Illegally parked or stopped vehicles on busy downtown roads
-Mo-peds and scooters weaving and lane splitting
-Drivers watching live streaming television on the navigation unit or smart phones
-Pedestrians and people riding mama-charis on smart phones
-Increasing numbers of unchecked elderly drivers
-Self-important taxi drivers and cowboy bus drivers
-Street cars tracks that are shared by vehicular traffic
And why, oh why, are there no roundabouts?
Where have you lived in Japan that has enough space and government funding available to address this issue? Good idea, but there's some other stuff that could come first, like ENFORCING the LAW.
8 ( +8 / -0 )