The current situation in Japan is not surprising given the government's decision to prioritize tourism as a source of income rather than focusing on developing a stronger economy. This decision has resulted in a significant influx of foreign tourists to the country in a short period of time, which has impacted the daily lives of average Japanese citizens.
Unfortunately, many tourists do not make an effort to learn and integrate into Japanese society, unlike foreign residents who typically learn the local customs and rules. Tourists are only in Japan for a short period of time, and as a result, they can come across as a nuisance to locals. This behavior has led to a reluctance towards foreigners in Japanese society, which is evident in the rental market.
However, this issue is just a symptom of a much larger problem. The government's decision to focus on tourism instead of developing the real economy through industrial innovation has proven to be a lazy and short-sighted strategy. They have adopted the same strategy of poor countries that have low levels of education, such as some in Southeast Asia, and can only rely on the tourism market. This approach is slowly but surely destroying the social fabric of Japan by allowing a sudden influx of foreigners.
The economic benefits of tourism are also limited. Each tourist only spends an average of USD 1,500 during their visit, which does not generate significant tax income after accounting for the costs of enabling tourism, such as investments in airports, transportation, hotels, and signage.
In summary, the deterioration in the rental market for foreigners is the result of the government's misguided focus on tourism.
-1 ( +1 / -2 )
I very much disagree with what he says. He seems to think that a multicultural society is a good thing. He takes France as an example. If he is so experienced and well travelled then he should be aware of the existing social tension within French society because of the influx of foreigners. The opposite holds for Japan. Because it's a homogenous society there is a lot of harmony. And this is exactly what many Japanese fear of loosing: harmony. And they would certainly lose it if you build a society with many pockets of people all with different values. Countries need borders for this reason: so that people with similar values get to leave together (and separated from others with different values). I think he is only saying this because he's thinking of the profit he can make if tourism grows. So I think this is self-serving. I would love to see what he would think to have many foreigners around his villa.
-7 ( +1 / -8 )
@Mary Hinge 69 I agree. I would probably say the same about you if I saw you with an expensive bag. I would not give you the benefit of the doubt but I would promptly state that you prostituted yourself to buy it. Fair, right?
-2 ( +2 / -4 )
I guess it's people's comeuppance. They voted the left, which wants more low-income citizens to gather votes; they voted the right which wants more low-pay workers. This is so ironic. How about voting a party which stands for your own country, regardless of whether it's left or right.
0 ( +1 / -1 )
@Citizen2012, when the transistor was invented, production costs were higher then for tube. Then the technology was improved and this is why today you can type comments on your small computer. If everyone was just improving upon existing technologies (i.e. the North East Asia companies, e.g. Samsung, etc.) without every investing into a new breakthrough technology, then we would have no technological leaps. You sound like one of those Samsung users complaining that Apple phone cost too much, but forget that without Apple brining the iPhone technology to market (which was then copied by Samsung) those like you would not have their new Samsung phone. Capisci?!
-1 ( +0 / -1 )
@PTownsend These "gerontocracies" (as you call them) haven't created such a bad country after all though, have they? Sure it can be improved but how would you like to see Japan transform? Perhaps to be more like the US? Or like Europe?
1 ( +2 / -1 )
What it is truly amazing is that despite sitting on their buts for the last 50 years, while Japan was building the most advanced rail system on the planet, the Chinese just woke up from their communist-induced slumber, and in few years just develop a technology almost as good as the Japanese Shinkansen. All of this without stealing the technology from Japan!! These Chinese people are amazing. I wish I can ride their trains and consume more of their amazing products. Clearly they are smarter then everyone else on the planet. Same thing for other technologies, like planes and wind turbines. While it took the US and Europe most half of the last century to create these advanced technology the amazing Chinese instead could master them so quickly. What the world needs is more China. They will be our saviors and frankly I feel like apologizing a bit to them for the last 100 years of humiliation. Totally undeserved. Go China!
-2 ( +4 / -6 )
Great news it will be less accessible to tourists so finally hard working Japanese will be able to focus on earning a living rather than dodging tourists taking pictures.
0 ( +0 / -0 )
Bad news. Our cozy and calm city surroundings will be invaded by more tourists.
-1 ( +0 / -1 )
This is great news. Finally a chance to have the stadium built by a Japanese architect for the Japanese nation. Japanese architects and Japanese design are among the best (if not the best) in the world. Everybody knows that.
-2 ( +0 / -2 )
The cameras will not of course prevent another similar accident to happen. In my opinion they are only intended to show that JR is doing 'something', when it is obvious that there is not much that can be done to prevent these type of events, lest becoming a controlling society where your bag is screened before you get on a train, enter a shopping mall, go to your office and basically everywhere else. It was not an act of terrorism. And terrorism is not prevented by taking away civil liberties and checking every citizen every time and every where. It is fought with good foreign policy. So good on JR for bending to the often 'dumb' public opinion and 'showing' that they are doing something. Then we can all move on with our lives.
1 ( +1 / -0 )
It's time we realize we must give up our freedoms to guarantee the safety of people, especially women and children. The government should protect us by installing airport-grade x-ray machine, body scanners and random checks. Especially now that they Olympics are near. It might be a good idea to have the same checks at bus stations as well. Terrorism is a way of life now and we must understand that. It is more important to protect our children than keeping our freedoms. I would rather have the Shinkansen be late and delayed every time than risking such a brutal attack. Frankly I am also in favor of bag screening at government buildings, night clubs, restaurants and everywhere possible. I would not hesitate a second to allow the government to also check all emails and electronic communications of everyone if this meant protecting our women and children. Changing our society like this, by increasing the security measures, will help us with the war against terrorism, even though it might mean giving up our freedoms. I have confidence that our government will protect and use our data and their new powers in the best interest of society. Hopefully one day Japan will be like every other country out there, a beautiful melting pot of people of all races and religion living in harmony. Perhaps even as good as the United States.
-12 ( +2 / -14 )
@Schopenhauer I agree with you. Why the high commissioner doesn't start with the ugly history in his neighborhood and ask the Germans to meet with families of the Jews. This guy seems intent in justifying his salary. The past is the past. Move on.
-1 ( +3 / -4 )
@toshiko, sorry but I disagree with you. Why should they get visa and jobs? Then how about the other 2 billion people in the world that are dying of hunger or caught in wars? should Japan also give visa and jobs to them as well? certainly we could all cut on our living standards, eat less sushi, cycle and give our cars, and so on so we would have more money to give to these poor countries. Is this your theory?
How about instead we do not give them any visa or jobs, and instead of bringing them here we help them by teaching them how to create a democratic society, fight corruption, learn religious tolerance, and so on.
This way they can live in their own country without having to burden the entire Japanese population with the usual issue of integration, language barrier, cultural difference, etc.
It's this kind of 'hypocrite selflessness' that creates the problems that Italy is having now with hordes of clandestine. I say 'hypocrite' because while you are on this forum professing that Japan should welcome them at the same time it likely you spend a lot of money on useless things you don't need. So, start from yourself! Send them your money. Instead, you should go in their country and help them. It's too easy to say 'the government should do this and that'.
1 ( +4 / -4 )
My opinion is that business owners cannot make a call every time someone with a tattoo shows up at the door to try and figure out whether this person is a member of a crime organization. Likewise they cannot have a rule that says 'non-Japanese w/ tattoos is OK, Japanese with tattoos is not OK'. So, wisely, they just say "sorry no tattoos" so they can go on with their life, or these days, try to make a living. It's that simple.
1 ( +1 / -0 )
Or perhaps it is not such a great idea, as these new areas might be lovely due the lack of tourists. I can't remember ever enjoying a place more because it had more tourists. If anything, I enjoyed more because the lack thereof. I do remember instead many lovely places like Phi Phi island in Thailand that used to be lovely, until the mass tourism came and now it is invaded by large groups of tourists. Prices went up, the place is always noisy and crowded and the quality of service went down. I still think Japan and the Japanese people have been and are masters of many trades, from high tech, to bio engineering and many more. As such, it is my opinion that tourism is not an important driver of the economy and at the very least it should not be over-exploited.
-2 ( +0 / -2 )
@Hawkeye I couldn't disagree more. There are millions of kids in the world that derive fun and enjoyment from sending naked pictures over Snapchat. Are you saying that the enjoyment and entertainment of millions of people should be a lesser concern than helping humanity with socially useful applications? Are you saying that the founders of Snapchat don't deserve their billions for providing countless hours of entertainment and giggles to millions of kids? Sure, the same 15 billions that pension funds, banks and investors are going to pay for the IPO could be used to save lives instead, so what? How about the right to have fun of millions of kids in the developed world? I just don't get your point.
0 ( +0 / -0 )
What would be the problem by leaving everything the way it is? Japan keeps eating its own rice and paying tariffs on car parts. The US keeps it's produce of the table of Japanese and everybody is happy. I don't see the point in making any changes. The only ones fighting for this are US and Japanese big corp. I don't think the general populace wants any changes.
-2 ( +0 / -2 )
Or the tourists could instead visit their magnificent home countries of China and South Korea, thereby avoiding air pollution due to flights, social habits concerns, clogged shopping centers in Tokyo, complaints for being loud, etc. etc. Everybody stays within their borders, like in the amazing 60's and 70's and we all get along. How about that for an idea?
-1 ( +0 / -1 )
@siniestro In fact that is what I do. I travel less often but with proper flights. When i can I try to fly business as well. What I meant is that for many things in life, quality is better than quantity. So I would welcome a return to when flight service was higher (including less crowded airports) and fewer people traveled. I look at airports today and they are incredibly crowded. Taking a plane is like taking a bus. Honestly I tell you it's not a pleasant experience at all. And I am staggered by how much people is willing to suffer on a LCC plane just to get a cheap ticket. So I advocate blocking LCCs from offering their products, incentivize people to 'travel local' (maybe rediscover their own country), cut down on pollution, and so on.
-2 ( +1 / -3 )
Low cost is bad. Many say: it will help the local economy. But money is not created out of thin air. Foreign tourists that spend in Japan don't spend in their own country. So the end result is more pollution from more flights and cities crowded with tourists. The only ones to gain are the LCCs. How about we go back to the 80's when you first work hard and then finally you enjoy a trip abroad on a decent airline, while sitting on a decent seat, with decent food and service and paying a normal air fare? Less pollution, less crowds and quite frankly, higher quality tourists too.
-4 ( +0 / -4 )
As I have said times and times before, Japan should open the country to Chinese people. Let them come here without visa, offer more services like back massage, foot scrub, etc. Also it would greatly help the economy if instead of teaching English at school Japan started teaching Chinese. As they are the biggest spenders they should be welcomed at the airport by Japanese people and offered the highest standard of service, even if they spit and are loud. Japan has no future. Only China can help Japan sustain its food necessity and other basic necessities. China is the best country in the world as their fast economic growth has shown and Japan should embrace its culture and values, even consider ousting its (now outdated) values. Ideally, it would be also useful to have new laws that offer discount to Chinese people emigrating to Japan, like for example half income tax, discounted properties in the best districts, etc.
0 ( +0 / -0 )
I think Japan really needs this because the economy is weak and Japan really needs Chinese tourists. Chinese people really like to gamble and this would bring a lot of money to Japan. Unfortunately Japan is not what it used to be and the Japanese people are in need of the Chinese tourists money to live, buy food and other necessities. Especially now that the consumption tax has increased. Hopefully they will build a number of casinos in Tokyo, Kyoto and also Nara, because this is where most tourists go. Japanese people could also setup massage parlors, food scrubbing parlors like in Thailand and so on. I hear tourists from SE Asia really like them. What's the need for the rest of the economy (like technology, healthcare, finance, and so on) when you can just offer your country to tourists from China and SE Asia? It the government also relaxed laws about littering and spitting in the streets this would make many tourists feel more at home. I think this is s a really good proposal. Open Japan! Stop being such a close country! Welcome the tourists from China and stop complaining!
0 ( +0 / -0 )
Isn't japan current strategy of fostering locally produced farm products a good one? It's green and wise. What's the point of buying foreign produced rice when there's plenty here? Oh maybe just to save few yen at the supermarket while Japanese farmers lose their living to South East Asia farmers? Is this really what we want?
0 ( +3 / -3 )
@warispeace I couldn't agree with you more. Taxis in Tokyo are plenty and everywhere. Saving few hundred yen while regular taxi driver lose their jobs make no sense. Maybe those JT users that are so desperate to save few yen should upgrade their skills and get better paid jobs so they can afford regular taxis. If it were for Uber they would be driving their cars around too for a meager pay. Wonder what's in these readers' head.
-8 ( +12 / -19 )
I sort of agree with the article. I don't think the complaint here has anything to do with racism or xenophobia. Racist is driven by race while xenophobia by unreasoned fear of that which is perceived to be foreign or strange. In my opinion this is a normal case of two cultures that are somewhat different in some very critical aspects. The Japanese culture values harmony in most aspects of society, including personal relationship and citizen behavior. The same, in my opinion, cannot be said for the Chinese culture, and this is not to diminish it in anyway. Now, neither of these two is objectively better, they are just different. Therefore when people of different cultures are mixed together in large numbers there is an obvious cultural friction happening.
In my opinion, as I love Japan for its quite streets, orderly society and general harmony, I can agree that large groups of Chinese tourists, do create a bit of friction, that I myself do not appreciate either. My own personality, like that of many Japanese, tend to be frustrated by loud talking or unruly behavior. Therefore I personally would prefer that to be kept to a minimum. Like most good things, including Chinese spending in Japan, they can be good in small or reasonable doses, and then stop to be good when overdone.
Through the last decade I have noticed that many people from many countries seem to believe that the world would be better off if we all mixed up, toned down our cultural differences, erased our borders and merged into one single country. To me this is a bit like wanting to dilute the great and unique cultures of the world, where one day we will all behave the same, consume the same products, speak the same language, believe in the same values and, have one big religion, one big government and work for one big giant company.
For irony, I find that the same people are always fiery in defending differences on a personal basis, like in gender (male, female, gay, transgender), religion, race, etc.
So I am confused by this trend. They seem to want personal diversity to stay, but cultural diversity to go, like in a futurist world without borders, where sexes are blurred, there is only 1 culture and so on.
So to finish, if, and I say if, the general Japanese population is annoyed by the behavior of large numbers of Chinese tourist, they have the right to be so, because it brushes against their culture. The Chinese also do feel the same when other cultures generate the same friction by going against their customs.
As for the economic impact of tourism, I am very skeptical that a country as economically powerful as Japan (3rd in the world) really need this over-the-top influxes. I think Japan has done well so far and will continue to do so without Chinese tourists.
-1 ( +1 / -2 )
Laws that regulate what can and cannot be said are a slippery slope. If speech that hurts others should be forbidden then politicians arguing for invading other countries, e.g. US and Iraq, should be punished for making a case for war, as that will certainly hurt others. Instead I think that anyone should be free to say whatever they want, as long as they don't force anyone to hear it. What I mean is, if someone wants to rent a room and have a go at a certain minority, I am not forced to hear it and no one else is. Who wants to participate is free to do so. It is surprising how many people are willing to give up freedom to politicians and police.
1 ( +1 / -0 )