Jack comments

Posted in: Do you think use-by dates on labels cause people to toss out food and drinks too soon? See in context

Not really, no. I would not want to go back in time to pre-safety regulations. As for the "best by" dates, those are a bit more debateable, but as someone who has tried a few items past date, there is typically a clear change in the quality level of the food.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan to foster startups by sending 1,000 people to Silicon Valley See in context

Well, I guess it can't hurt, but I don't know that it will have any great impact. If the objective is to encourage innovation then for Japan it might work better to send leaders or managers in established companies to get observe how innovation plays out in Silicon Valley unicorn companies and really any very innovative company. Just trying to increase startups in Japan, well, there are structural reasons why Japan doesn't have a great startup scene (not that it doesn't exist at all).

Some of those challenges are: a) not much of a culture of young people creating startups, b) companies have strict processes about their supplier businesses so for B2B it is really hard as a newly established company to become a supplier (seems like it almost doesn't matter what your value prop is) c) there's a sort of feudal system of big companies and suppliers and even if you do become a supplier they want to drive your margin really low d) it's hard to get investment money and e) big companies are happy to just take your idea and say they can do it themselves because they are full of engineers anyway and probably over-staffed f) Exits by M&A is way less common here. In the US you can have a little startup with some interesting but not profitable tech or proprietary content and you'll get "acqui-hired" in a small-scale acquisition. I don't think that really happens here.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Do you think marriage will continue to be a key social institution in the future? See in context

Oh definitely as a key institution. The bigger questions I have are whether the trends of marrying later and the increasing % of never married/don't want to be married will continue and at what velocity.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: The pandemic made all Kyoto’s strengths into weaknesses: culture, tourism and universities. Many citizens welcome the return of foreign visitors as the virus dies down. See in context

@albaleo - yeah that's a really good point. Now I can see how my comment hit a nerve. I am not a Kyoto resident. I do work in a tourist location in Tokyo. What I was trying to imply (clearly not very well) was that Japan's agenices could improve on their tourism strategy to be more sustainable and perhaps more evenly distributed. Not speaking of just Kyoto but nationally. I guess not everybody would agree with that either though.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: The pandemic made all Kyoto’s strengths into weaknesses: culture, tourism and universities. Many citizens welcome the return of foreign visitors as the virus dies down. See in context

I am not calling foreigners pollution, nor did I say that borders should be closed. The way that tourism played out here pre-pandemic was not ideal. This isn't a new idea or Japan-specific (although there is a Japanese term for it). Italy and Spain and other countries have had issues with over-tourism.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Posted in: The pandemic made all Kyoto’s strengths into weaknesses: culture, tourism and universities. Many citizens welcome the return of foreign visitors as the virus dies down. See in context

@Amanda - I've lived in Japan for 18 years. Child in regular public school. Homeowner. I pay my national pension (even made up the payments for when I was unemployed : ) So, your comment is neither nice nor accurate.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

Posted in: The pandemic made all Kyoto’s strengths into weaknesses: culture, tourism and universities. Many citizens welcome the return of foreign visitors as the virus dies down. See in context

I just wonder if there is a better way. Did Kyoto's local government think of maybe diversifying the local economy while the money was flowing pre-pandemic? Is tourism pollution the only way?

As a longtime resident in Japan, I actually like it better without the big tourism strategy. I'm not looking forward to a return to that. I used to take a trip to Kyoto once every two years. After the big tourism strategy kicked in, I just stopped. Maybe I'll take the family before things get crazy again.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Posted in: China warns Kishida about amending Japan's constitution See in context

I find it incredibly hypocritical that China lectures western countries on "meddling", "interference", and "sovereign issues" on topics such as Taiwan, Ukraine, HK, and the South China Sea, and then turns around warns Japan about its own consititution.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Posted in: What issues do you think should be top priority for Prime Minister Fumio Kishida? See in context

Immigration/Population Decline - this needs a renewed look post-Covid. The 2019 plan never really launched properly and I'm not sure if it was the best approach to begin with. On a tangential note, rethink the tourism policy because I don't think anyone besides hotels really wants to go back to the hordes of 2019 tourists as a strategy.

Regional Development - with remote working there is an opportunity to reinvigorate and redevelop regional cities. There should be a plan to support decentralized work and incentives and guidance for companies to allow working from regional locations. For years there has been handwringing about the depopulation of regional areas and now we have a way to reverse that yet I see no signs of incentives.

Technology - where will Japan compete in the future? For as big as Automotive is here, I don't think of Japan as a leader in the next generation of cars - i.e. - AV/EV. Ditto AI. Biomed is reasonably strong and should continue to be a priority. Green tech maybe. Digitalization seems to be happening slowly.

International - supply chain strategy and stability.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: 'Sell premium' - Thailand discourages discounts, wants high value tourists See in context

I understand the idea. It's the whole "move up the value chain" kind of strategy. However, this is going to have to be very balanced. The Ministry should probably take a next step and try to figure out targets for Premium, Value, and Bargain tourism and then work towards those targets. E.g. we want Premium to be 30% of our tourism from the current X% by 2025.

The challenge is Thailand is known to be relatively inexpensive. I mean, if it is at Japan prices, maybe I just go to Okinawa. Or if I want SEA, I go to Vietnam instead. Or the Philippines.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: What do you think of the quality of education at international schools in Japan? See in context

I am keeping an open mind for the future, but our child is attending public elementary school and we are quite happy. We also send him 2x per week to a very small international school for phonics and English comp. That school uses American textbooks and workbooks which I really like. The combo seems to work well for us.

Why not send him to an international school full-time? We have several issues with this. It's not really financial. One thing is that schools in Tokyo seem to have an obsession with building "global citizens" and with the IB system. Well, I don't believe in global citizens (I don't think this is realistic). And IB seems to have an almost cultish following. I know two families that put their kids through international schools (with IB of course) and what I see as outcomes are that they are lovely kids with OK language skills who aren't exactly crushing it college and have had some cultural issues. Generally, I wonder if it is good for kids to grow in schools that are neither Japanese nor American (or Canadian or British, etc.) culturally. Whom can they relate to besides other international school kids in Japan?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

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