Normal lack of clear information from the Japanese government (or at least little info reported in English). They only say that 35% of institutions that have treated foreigners have been unable to collect bills. How many unpaid bills per institution? Could be just one? Could be lots? No info on whether the patients are long term residents of Japan (who are more likely to run up large bills) or tourists. If they're just trying to make residents pay their bills, fair enough. For tourists, how about accepting credit card payments? Poorer people from less developed countries can't get a tourist visa anyway, so pretty much all tourists here are likely to have credit cards.
3 ( +7 / -4 )
Of course he's the head of state. Who appoints the prime minister? Who accredits ambassadors? Who hosts state dinners? The term "ceremonial head of state" means nothing. The prime minister is the head of government, The emperor is the head of state. The same as in any other democratic constitutional monarchy. If Japanese teachers have taught that the emperor is nothing like the queen of the UK they were either lying or misinformed.
1 ( +1 / -0 )