robert maes comments

Posted in: As coronavirus spreads to more Chinese cities, WHO calls emergency meeting See in context

Why does no one mention the 90 cases in Hongkong ?

And with the many Chinese tourists in Japan it is a matter of time before we have more infections here.

for sure China has already thousands of cases not hundreds and their priority is to conceal not prevent or cure.

concentrating efforts on Wuhan is far to little and too late.

And of course the virus is transmittable from human to human, the early notice it was “ in a limited “ way transferable is ludicrous.

there is no solution to prevent it from spreading since impossible to ban travel. China once again did not act as a responsible member of the international society but nothing’s new there.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Posted in: Japanese TV networks to rotate Olympics broadcasting on daily basis See in context

They mean they will broadcast the participating Japanese athletes and some of the events , with no Japanese athletes but impossible to ignore. But don’t worry, the Japanese medalist we will see 99 times.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Posted in: The big squeeze See in context

Talking about commuting, I was at the new Ginza line “station” at Shibuya which looks more like a temporary hangar. Signage is a disaster. The floor looks like something out of a prison labour camp, the same crap plastic “ chairs “ on the platform. That could have been build in 2 weeks , why did it take 2 years and more? Ifvthat is what Japan wants to show to the world during the Olympics better cancel them now

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan corporate bankruptcies rise in 2019 for 1st time in 11 years See in context

Complete outdated tax and legal and social law procedures are taking up too much time and money. I seem to have a whole department at the health and pension office working only on my company. I received 4 different health cards last year, about 2 letters on average a week from the pension dept.

archaic banking systems and time eating procedures are a nightmare. That and completely incompetent banking staff.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: 3 of Japan’s best whiskies about to disappear as shortages loom See in context

Seems a very good thing to me, a law which forces a company to actually put in the bottle what it says on the label.

second, if the labels are so successful and you can not produce more AND marketing at Nikka would be so good, you raise the price and use the rarity as a sales and marketing asset. Truth more likely being that, yes, some Japanese whiskies are good but they have been pricing themselves out of the market. The price quality balance is no longer there.

finally, the market for whisky in Japan keeps shrinking and abroad Japanese whisky will always be a distant competitor to Scotch, Bourbon and Irish whisky. Whisky drinkers will try it once or twice. I used to drink more Japanese whisky in the past as price / quality was interesting. It is no longer the case. Not even in Japan.

and the non aged version still will do fine for that ice mountain with a whisky twist they call highball. Shear horror

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Posted in: Coughing fit sees player quit Australian Open qualifying See in context

The only correct thing to do is to cancel the Australian open and for the sponsors to donate the money for this seasons event to aid the recovery of people, animals and nature.

in the past large sports events have mad similar gestures.

Thjs would give the sponsors a more positive image then continuing the Open and would thus be money well spent.

the tennis federations , organisors, but also tv, other media, and the players should be ashamed to go ahead with this while people and millions of animals are burning.

For the players , the loss of appearance and winning fees are survivable.

But there are no more moral or ethical values in professional sport. All sponsorship and price money’s and appearance fees should go to recovery efforts. But it is up mostly to the Australian public to impose this if organisers and players don’t have the humanitarian reflex.


3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: No. of foreign visitors to Japan hits record high in 2019 See in context

Regretfully but well in line with JTB’s earlier wrong forecasts on jus about everything the visiting numbers will decline in 2020. By the way the net increase of visitors for the rugby worldcup was only 75.000.

as always an organizing country of olympics sees a decrease in visitors as the event disrupts the normal cycles. True or not visitors without tickets expect high prices, congestion and inconveniences. 80 % or more of olympic visits will be domestic.

visitor numbers for Oct and nov were already down and i expect also for december.

with a global recession for 2020 unavoidable, also Chinese numbers will decline.

JTB is the most unreliable source to tap for this kind of statistics.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Posted in: An Olympic first: Cardboard beds for Tokyo Athletes Village See in context

Ridiculous. It would have been much better, and finally something in line with the Olympics spirit to donate real beds later to institutions in Japan or even better, to needy countries within the Olympic organisation. Recycling is far far overpraised as a solution. Use and reuse is much better as only 2 % of what is recyclable actually gets recycled. and the quality of the mattresses must be horrible. Plastic , as “ wil be recycled into plastic products “, consisting out of “ 3 different sections “ . As a sports management expert I also confer that there is quite some sexual activity in the Olympic village and stories of athletes falling through the beds will make the press. Of course. This is another proof and nothing else of how little LOC and IOC care about athletes or are they also going to sleep on the same beds at the Peninsula, mandarin or Palace hotel? If anyone deserves good quality beds it’s the athletes.

shame on LOC for cooking it up and on IOC for not preventing it. Surely there are enough “technical commissions” visiting Japan to stop this kind of fake ecological nonsense to be allowed.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Ash Barty ousted by qualifier at Brisbane International See in context

No wonder. Where is the coach ? She urgently needs to get in reasonable shape so she looks like an athlete. Without basic condition , don’t even think tennis

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: NHK's annual 'Kohaku' music show sees rating fall to record low See in context

And yet, more of the same for 2021. No one at Nhk will ever scrap this. No one in charge or responsible anyway. The 6 and 7 o clock news in English should be retitled as the weather reports in English. Worst thing is that NHK is the best of the tv stations. The interesting one is NHK world with some great documentaries.

of course NHK has Sumo So can forgive them a lot.

just watched the Ekiden, that is Tv making from the 50’s. only in Japan

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: Japanese official kept lid on info about 2 men living in N Korea See in context

Classic. All the time pretending they care about the families and then for reasons of propaganda hiding this information for 5 years.

disgusting. Only this should be enough for Abe to step down

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Posted in: Fiat Chrysler and Peugeot sign deal for 50-50 merger See in context

the end for Lancia, and probably Maserati, the latter at least within the new group. The only things left today of those iconic brands worth buying are the logo’s. Lancia already only on the Italian market with a motorized supermarket buggy and Maserati making .. yes... what... cars.. not Maserati’s anymore. Alfa hopefully will get to use another of its 9 lives.

in Japan they should only keep the Jeep and the 500 and Alfa Romeo, regretfully killed in Japan by sub standard dealer networks and completely incompetent marketing and sales.

the new group can redraw the entire Peugeot Citroen line up from Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Space race: How 'Star Wars' became a battleground for diversity See in context

Make me laugh. The real reason for this “ diversity” is sales and marketing. The races and nationalities are there to sell in the different Asian and western markets.

14 ( +18 / -4 )

Posted in: New Belgium Brewing workers back sale to Kirin subsidiary See in context

Of course, only a japanese brewery would be dumb enough to overpay for a “ crafts beer company” needing to poach the name “ belgian beer” to imply a quality it does not possess and has already become an industrial company instead of a crafts beer. Its like buying a turkey as a pet which is already on the dinner table. Wasted money

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Boeing crisis escalates as planemaker halts 737 production See in context

Boeing has itself to blame for its problems and this type will never fly again because right or wrong , after all modifications done, the airlines won’t fly them as the public won’t board them.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan gov't eyes new law to draw more tourists to museums See in context

all they have to do is make the entrance free instead of subsidies. Of which the largest part will be used for unintended purposes.

can do the same for temples.

no, I do not mind paying for museums because I can but many people in Japan can’t or won’t pay a 1000 or 2000 yen.

I will never pay to see a temple though.

There should be donation boxes for those who wish to pay for museums and temple entrances. And better management instead of government cronies in charge.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Anger erupts at U.N. climate summit as major economies resist bold action See in context

The only contribution these “ summits “ could hope to make is to cancel themselves but as long as food and drinks and 2 week” paid holidays” are in the offering the delegates will never do that.

why are these “ summits” not held by video conference ?

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Posted in: Uber Eats labor union in Japan calls for pay cuts to be reversed See in context

Uber eats is modern slavery and should be banned.

Uber ride should never be allowed as its unfair competition and simply dangerous for the pax in many different ways.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: 2 more Tokyo 2020 Olympic events rescheduled to beat the heat See in context

A small correction to Jcosplay.

Sapporo will bid and most likely be awarded the 2030 Olympic WInter Games, for both a positive and negative reason. Positive that Sapporo is an ideal place to organize winter games and negative because no European or Asian cities will bid for them. Only the US or Canada could but the US probably will not as they have the 2028 LA Summer Games.   

The Equestrian issue is much more complicated with special stables for the horses and quarantine periods ,etc... so too late to move them to Sapporo where also the equestrian facilities are not on hand or not at sufficient level. 

For the triathlon , I agree, Sapporo would be a better place. Mostly because of the pollution in Tokyo Bay and of course the heat which will make many competitors give up in the 3rd stretch, the running part. Either sick from the water or the heat.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: 2 more Tokyo 2020 Olympic events rescheduled to beat the heat See in context

As a sports marketing expert in Japan, I have warned IOC, LOC and other organisations 2 years ago that horses will die in the cross country event.  Moving the start half an hour earlier makes no difference as rider and horse start individually on an obstacle course with a 2 or 3 minute interval. It also means very different conditions for the individual contenders.

But most of all, where are all these animal protection and welfare associations ?  Arkbark can steal my dogs but does not care that 3 to 5 horses are going to drop dead in this event ?  Not to mention that towards the end of the course when the horse is exhausted, if it falls, on its rider, that can be lethal as well. 

Jumping, dressage, all fine, as the horses stay till the warm up, in airconditioned environments, and the effort is limited to a minute or a few minutes and is not exhausting. But the Cross Country is very demanding on horse and rider.  Just don't hold it, if the Olympics are held in the conditions as they will be in Tokyo 2020. It can be held, as replacement of a world cup event and the Olympic medals awarded there. Common sense. But Dollars are more important than animal live.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan grapples with serving Fukushima food at 2020 Olympics See in context

Save and trusted by Japanese people? One month ago i saw a vegetable seller in Shinagawa cover the provenance of Fukushima tomatoes with new stickers on every 4-pack. i took a picture.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Posted in: Aston Martin unveils first SUV, eyes luxury buyers in China See in context

What a disaster. No character , no AM heritage. Another bankruptcy looming for AM. Can’t see, the difference with a Hyundai or Nissan. And still these carmakers don’t get it. I hear so much nonsense about why car sales are down while the truth is that since the 1980’s , every new model is worse than the older one. I used to be a car freak but what they make now are tin cans on wheels with a lot of marketing hype to try and sell them off as cars.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: SBI Holdings, Fukushima Bank to form capital tie-up See in context

What questions about the survival of local banks ? They can not survive, so no questions.

ok, I give you a Yokohama, Fukuoka and maybe 1 Sapporo regional bank might survive but most of the rest are relics. Anachronisms.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Firms say Oct tax hike impact milder than 2014 increase See in context

Really ?

Japanese car sales down 26 %

imported car sales down 24 %

department store sales down 20%

restaurants I know and go to are all complaining.

no news but good news allowed is it ?

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Posted in: Defiant Koike confronts IOC over moving Olympic marathon See in context

moving the marathon and walking events will not cost Tokyo anything but will save it money. Hokkaido prefecture, Sapporo city and the IOC will be paying for those events. It will save Tokyo money.

As athletes are not paid appearance money at the Olympics, they are cheap to organise, if one knows his business. And Hokkaido organizes half and full marathons since forever.

actually these events will operationally be organized by JAAF and tv broadcasting is done by Ioc Media and Japanese tv.

310 million usd for what as Tokyo would not pay athletes or managers, nor tv production, nor the volunteers. Lack of exposure on tv ? They have 16 whole days to show the same touristic spots and another 14 during the paralympics.

the real cost for these events, are police, security. Operationally i do this with 15 million Usd easily

robert maes

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

Posted in: Paralympian Marieke Vervoort fulfills wish to take own life See in context

I knew her. Not well but well enough, as a fellow Belgian working in the sports industry. We shared two passions. Sports and the love of dogs, Her dog, her family and server, mine, my brothers. She still could find it in her to support my boys to come home, while she suffered so much more, she had time for others. She thought Belgium, courage and spirit. Strength and sacrifice.

Belgium lost one of its best Ambassadors. The gold was not in her medals but in her soul.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Posted in: Sarcastic Koike says: Let's hold Olympic marathon on Russian-held islands See in context

I am surprised for 2 reasons. The first , this rare mistake and miscalculation by an otherwise astute politician, one of the more clever ones. This is a very shortsighted response, more a Mori comment than a Koike comment.

Secondly, I am surprised by the clever manoeuvre of the IOC. They are now in a win-win position. If Tokyo or the LOC2019 decide to organize these events in Tokyo anyway, and something goes wrong, they can wash their hands of it with " we told them so ".  If they get organized in Sapporo, the sensible thing to do of course, IOC can pretend they care for the athletes and everyone else involved. 

As a sports marketing expert, who used to represent the worlds best marathon runners, I applaud the suggestion to hold the events in Hokkaido, which I suggested over 3 years ago but it is also very important for athletes and coaches and others to have clarity as soon as possible. The routes and conditions are completely different and require different preparations. There are only 9 months left and marathon runners, depending on the individual will specifically prepare for each race, 5 to 18 months in advance of that race, depending on style, preferences of the different coaches and runners.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Uruguay rugby players assault staff, damage Kumamoto restaurant See in context

Typical response from the LOC2019, already avoiding any possible responsibility, which I think they do not have.

But this was certainly NOT in their own time, they were here as part of the national selection of their country, that means, they are part of that selection during the entire stay. Not just on the field.   

Remember the Japanese basketball players with the prostitutes in Indonesia ? 

The Uruguayan federation should pay for the damage and they can recover it from the players.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Posted in: Struggling WeWork mulls bailout deals with SoftBank, JP Morgan See in context

The only realistic survival opportunity is through Softbank. They have the pockets, the will and the potential to turn this mess around.

However, Wework will have to be reduced to maybe a third of its current size and than grown again on solid footing instead of air and cheap talk. It will take anything from 18 months to 5 years, to make any money for Weworks and JP Morgan does not have that patience and it would be hard for them to push their clients into stepping into such a situation unless, Softbank leads the way. 

But Softbank has the power to go it alone, and if they decide not to take their losses and cut Wework loose they will not want to share their hard work and efforts with JP Morgan, sitting on the side , risking little looking for big gains. If I was at WeWork, I would be very nice to Mr Son, right now.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: World Rugby slams Scotland legal threat over typhoon-hit game See in context

Scotland is absolutely correct to challenge loc2019 and irb for this shambolic non-organisation. That things went well thus far is no excuse, that is the norm for a worldcup organiser. But first challenge to their efficiency and preparation and it is chaos.

6 years to prepare and the contingency plan was to move games for 20km ? When could that ever have worked ? Obviously not in a typhoon, certainly not for an earthquake as the alternative stadium would have to undergo stability checks. Very unlikely in a case of volcanic eruptions... so.... when would it work ?

For everyone of the 48 games a contingency should have been in place and thanks to Japans geographic form, it was possible to do so. And this decision in this case could have been taken 4 to 5 days prior to the games as the typhoon has been announced for as long. Teams, fans( partly),press, broadcast, could all have been relocated.

It is unacceptable for IRB And Loc2019 not to reschedule all games. Unworthy for any worldcup organiser specially one proudly boasting for years about contingency plans for all eventualities.

Of course people’s safety comes first but using it as an excuse is poor skills.

People will actually die in this typhoon and damage repairs will take weeks if not months, so, the real human thing is to cancel the rest of the worldcup and for all teams, players, organisers fans, to help with the reconstruction in the form of physical help or monetary. The latter i am sure they will do.

But bad organisation skills should not be camouflaged with this typhoon. THAT is disrespectful to all, most of all to the people whom will suffer in this typhoon

1 ( +10 / -9 )

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