Source: 世論 What Japan Thinks
The company Link and Communication, who make an AI health advisor mobile app called Calomama, surveyed their users about mental and physical health changes since the State of Emergency was declared.
I’m working from home, and my walking distance has been reduced from an average of 10,000 steps to about 500 or so. However, it’s been great for my stress levels, even though I find myself doing much more overtime than I did in the office. Due to the wonders of modern technology, I can log into my beefy work PC and do 95% of what I need to do.
Even better, the company has extended work at home for the forseeable future; the target is less than 50% per team commuting, but I think our team is under 10% right now.
Here’s a random Japan home office that is much more exiting than mine:
Source: Gaijin Pot
It’s not looking good for rural Japan. The population will decline to just 88 million by 2065. Villages and towns are disappearing as young people move to live and work in big cities, leaving their homes behind with an aging population. The government has been trying to help by offering tourists alternative rustic or traditional experiences outside Japan’s golden triangle, Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto.
I recently visited Obama in the Kansai Region’s Fukui Prefecture to see firsthand what rural Japan can offer. It’s one of Japan’s countryside towns vying for a slice of the tourism pie, and recently dialed its efforts to 11 by promoting their history, culture, and the kinds of activities visitors aren’t likely to find if they stick to typical “Top 10” destinations.
What’s in a name?
Obama means “little beach.” You might have noticed it also happens to be the name of 44th president of the United States, Barack Obama. During Barack Obama’s presidency, the town of about 30,000 capitalized on the coincidence with President Obama themed souvenirs such as rice crackers, manju, and “I love Obama” t-shirts.
They expected a tourism boom—quickly erecting crude statues and painting murals of the president around town.
Today, the hype of sharing a name with the president has long passed. You can still find a handful of presidential themed souvenirs in the town’s information center, and the only statue of the president that I could find looked like it stepped out of the ‘80s claymation cartoon Gumby.
That left me asking what is there in Obama besides… President Obama?
The Saba Kaido
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SK: I am Sven Kramer, a scholar of Japanese studies based in Japan. Today, I would like to focus your attention on a private initiative I have started: a Japanese-English bilingual online petition against the de facto complete generic denial of reentry to foreign residents of Japan (including permanent residents and eminent relatives of Japanese citizens). On April 3, 2020, the government of Japan has implemented an almost complete closure of her borders to foreign residents on valid long-term visas (only the “special permanent residents” are exempt), while every Japanese citizen regardless of actual residency is allowed in.
This regulation affects more than 2,000,000 foreign residents of Japan, who cannot reenter Japan for the foreseeable future even after traveling abroad for a very good reason (e.g. the death of a family member in the country of origin), and are thus in danger of using their livelihoods here. I anticipate that among those affected, a significant number should be scholars based at Japanese universities receiving this mailing list. According to my current knowledge, Japan is the only country on Earth with a liberal democratic constitution, that has implemented such a nonsensically discriminatory reentry restriction, which in my opinion cannot be justified even with the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a significant difference to the policy of India, which reportedly has implemented an entry ban on all people regardless of citizenship/nationality. Furthermore, we don’t need to get into deflections of about how dictatorial countries currently behave in this crisis.
I have watched the situation silently but with an uneasy feeling for almost two months, but after reading this article by „Tōyō Keizai Online“ that quotes some of the outrageous things going on behind the scenes without leading to any progress, I had enough. As a long-term foreign resident of Japan I could not keep …continue reading
Source: Gaijin Pot
The streets of Tokyo, one of the world’s most densely-inhabited cities, are known for an unrelenting press of bodies from dawn till dusk. The energy of human activity is tangible, but not since the government politely requested everyone to stay home to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Both tourist spots and local neighborhoods were left deserted with the cacophony of everyday life comparatively silenced.
These photos capture the not-quite-a-lockdown purgatory of pandemic life in Tokyo over the past few months.
Tourist ghost towns
Life must go on
Source: 世論 What Japan Thinks
Japan has many cheap (and not so cheap) chain restaurants and cafes but I’m sure everyone has a favourite they wish were closer. This was the question goo Ranking asked, which chain restaurant do people most wish would open a new branch nearby them.
I’d vote for Tully’s Coffee (random photo from a snack there attached); I find them very pleasant and with very drinkable coffee and cheap pasta lunches. Unfortunately the nearest one (four train stops away) suddenly closed just before the lockdown.
Even though I live beside an express stop train station, all we have is the greasy Chinese spoon Bamiyan and a privately-owned traditional style coffee shop; a nice Tully’s or similar would improve the neighbourhood no end!
Which chain do you wish was closer?
Between the 29th of January and the 12th of February 2020 4,545 visitors to the goo Ranking site and associated properties completed a public questionnaire. No further demographics were given.