Japan Today

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Posted in: Johnny's to change name to SMILE-UP.; create new firm to manage performers See in context

Smile-up!? Honestly, I thought it was a joke. Since the sole purpose of this structure will be the indemnisation of victims, a bit more neutral and humble name would have been appropriate. But, no. Adding insult to injury. Stellar level of cynicism.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

Posted in: LGBTQ activists to hold inaugural Pride 7 summit in Tokyo See in context

Interested

-11 ( +16 / -27 )

Posted in: Prices to rise in Japan on over 10,000 food items See in context

Prices would be 16 percent higher on average from the current level, up 3 percentage points from a year earlier, according to Teikoku Databank Ltd data as of Jan 31.

I think it's unclear because the time line is missing. But it means that current prices are up 3% from last year and that future prices (one year from now perhaps?) will be up 16% from current level based on the new survey.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Posted in: Analysts see more room for yen's fall as BOJ stands pat on policy See in context

Another downside of the weak yen is that it makes Japan less attractive to foreign workers that are so much needed. Including from countries like Vietnam. The yen has depreciated by 20% against the dong in two years. Very good article here in Nikkei Asia .

https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Datawatch/Foreign-workers-shun-Japan-as-yen-s-value-plunges

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Posted in: Japan's loosening of COVID-19 entry restrictions may keep citizens wearing masks See in context

"Since May 20, the government has been proposing that face masks be taken off in certain circumstances, both outside and inside, but even during the harsh summer months this year, many Japanese people wore masks everywhere."

"Many", you mean 95 %, right?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan reopens to tourists with shuttered souvenir shops, hotel staff shortage See in context

@theResident of course there's a huge surge in bookings. J-fans have been in the starting blocks for 3 years now.

What will happen after this initial wave is anybody's guess. Mine is that the number of international tourists next year will land at between 30 and 50% of the 2019 level for a number of obvious reasons (economic crisis, compulsory vaccines, China, masks' wearing, ...).

Anyhow, 30 million tourists seemed like too much already so why not shoot for less, even more now with all these staffing problems.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Posted in: Kishida pinning hopes on big-spending tourists to revive economy See in context

I would be surprised if foreign tourism rebounds next year higher than a third of its 2019 level. Die-hard Japan fans will come running for sure but many in Europe and the US will be careful about their expenses and/or will prefer to go to a closer destination or one where they don't have to wear a mask. Plus of course, Chinese will stay home.

Anyhow, as rightly mentioned by others here, foreign tourism accounts for peanuts in the country's GDP.

1 ( +11 / -10 )

Posted in: Kishida shaken as list of lawmakers linked to Unification Church grows to 20 See in context

I hear that many Japanese are upset about this because of the Korean roots of the Unification Church. But I wonder what percentage of the public is aware of the fact that their extortion business is exempt from taxes, which I think is a much bigger issue.

Is the Japanese press mentioning this tax exemption in their reporting or are they again beating around the bush?

10 ( +14 / -4 )

Posted in: Truck maker Hino says emissions data faked for 20 years See in context

In other countries this would be the end of the company, 

Volkswagen is still around, last I heard.

26 ( +29 / -3 )

Posted in: Shinzo Abe murder suspect: What we know See in context

Don't know who you are Alfie Noakes but it is very useful to have someone fill the blanks of the Japanese press reporting.

19 ( +25 / -6 )

Posted in: 7 from U.S. arrive in Japan for 1st test tour before tourism reopening See in context

I wonder what will happen in the case that one of these people gets tested positive during the trip... Are they going to close the borders again for two years?

8 ( +24 / -16 )

Posted in: 7 from U.S. arrive in Japan for 1st test tour before tourism reopening See in context

Have they been profiled? Most of them look like Japanese people to me.

40 ( +58 / -18 )

Posted in: Gov't considers revoking license of operator of sunken Hokkaido boat See in context

Read somewhere else that a government-appointed agency had given it's greenlight to cell phone communication (instead of radio) although there was no network in some parts of the boat's route. Is this true and, if so, is this being investigated?

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan's ruling coalition keeps majority with fewer seats See in context

@klausdorth

Isn't it even less than that? Your second 50% is based on the number of seats but I understand they get a lot of seats from inaka prefectures with small populations. Would be very interested to know the actual percentage of eligible voters who voted for them.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Posted in: Suga says no link between Olympics and virus surge See in context

Impossible to prove. Same goes for the contrary. So he's lying.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Kono says gov't trying to reach young adults to combat vaccine misinformation See in context

One thing useful to combat misinformation is credibility. I don't know what's left of it with these guys after their "mild weather" and "safe and secure" Olympics lies, just to mention the latest and most obvious ones.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports record 2,848 new coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 7,629 See in context

It is impossible, and somewhat irrelevant already, to track down how many of these cases are directly or indirectly related to the Games. Obviously, delta variant is gaining ground everywhere, Olympics or not. There’s one thing undisputable though: it was the most stupid idea to have them in the middle of the pandemic. Except for those with financial skin in the game.

Hope this shocking number, not so much in absolute terms but rather the doubling in number of cases, will help Koike and Suga to sober up a bit after their disguting self congratulation moment yesterday.

14 ( +18 / -4 )

Posted in: Suga denies IOC pressure to hold Olympics: report See in context

@dukeleto

Agree except for the "excessively massive" cancellation penalty. It was about $5bn = 0.1% of annual GDP. In other words, almost peanuts. And also very hypothetical. Official amount for postponement-related cost is $3bn already. So at country level, the money loss was symbolic. Of course, very different for a few individuals and companies.

Sorry if I sound like a broken record for regular readers here but this point, the relative weight of the hypothetical penalty, is almost never raised, even in respectable newspapers like the Post or the Guardian. Don't know why.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Bach admits 'sleepless nights' over troubled Tokyo Olympics See in context

I learn more interesting stuff each day from @alfie than from the articles themselves :-). Thanks.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan prepares for a surreal Olympics, and plenty of questions See in context

@blue

According to a recent international poll by Ipsos, 57 percent of people think the games should not take place this year.

https://www.ipsos.com/en-us/news-polls/tokyo-olympics-draw-muted-interest

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Posted in: Zero risk? Virus cases test Olympic organizers' assurances See in context

@dr Lucifer

Couldn't agree more. This is the only reason why Japan is putting up with this mess.

The very hypothetical penalty for pulling out was at around $5bn or 0.1% of the country's GDP. In other words, peanuts. The official, and therefore certainly underestimated, cost of the postponement alone was close to $3bn.

Just follow the money and you'll know why this is happening. I wish there were more investigative journalism here and abroad.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Zero risk? Virus cases test Olympic organizers' assurances See in context

@HBJ

That's interesting but... Sources?

IOC is not really renown for its financial transparency.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: First positive COVID tests reported for 2 athletes in Olympic Village See in context

@TrafficCone

I don't think the "safe and secure" crowd is going to have many field days, going forward.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Posted in: S Korea removes banners at Olympic village after IOC ruling See in context

United by emotion.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: 1st case of COVID-19 detected in Tokyo Olympic Village See in context

Just for the (not) fun of it, I thought I'd share here the offical reply I just got from the EU on my question regarding their support to "safe and secure" Games.

My question: "Good morning, I have a question for Mr Michel and Ms von der Leyen. How is it possible that the EU makes the following statement: “We support the holding of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 in a safe and secure manner this summer as a symbol of global unity in defeating COVID-19”, two days after a publication by top scientist of an article showing that the IOC Playbook for the Games is absolutely insufficient to guarantee "safe and secure" Games? Not to mention the numerous Japanese scientists and doctors\' associations that previously said the same thing. What led the EU to sign such a statement? Looking forward to your reply,"

EU reply (one month later) : "We kindly draw your attention to the fact that the organisers have in the meanwhile taken additional decisions regarding the safe and secure holding of the Olympic Games." 

12 ( +15 / -3 )

Posted in: 1st case of COVID-19 detected in Tokyo Olympic Village See in context

Find the title a bit odd. "First" Covid-19 case. You mean you were expecting that and there will be more to come?

But, we've been told ad nauseam that the Village, of all places, would be a safe and secure bubble.

In that case, shouldn't the title be "One Covid-19 case found at the Village"?

15 ( +21 / -6 )

Posted in: Bach says anti-virus rules working ahead of Tokyo Olympics See in context

Their only consistency in the last months is the absolute contradiction between their declarations and the reality of things. They live in a parallel world.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Posted in: Workers express frustration as Tokyo enters 4th COVID-19 emergency See in context

@ expat

Thanks for the WP article link. Particularly like that part:

"The Games will take place “at any cost,” Seiko Hashimoto, president of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Committee, has said, as if she were Churchill and this were 1941."

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Posted in: Fans to be banned from Olympic events in Tokyo, 3 neighboring prefectures See in context

@Richard Gallagher

The Games do not profit to Japan but to a small number of powerful people in Japan, as they did in each host country since at least the L.A. Games. That's part of the scheme. You need an inside accomplice to rob a bank. The loser is the tax payer.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Posted in: Fans to be banned from Olympic events in Tokyo, 3 neighboring prefectures See in context

@some dude

Fully agree. That's the bad side of the gambarou work culture.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

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