Category Archives: SOCIETY

Tweet of the Week #83: No, Japan Will Not Pay For Foreign Tourists to Visit

Source: Gaijin Pot

When the story of Japan’s Go to Travel subsidy initiative to revive tourism broke, would-be travelers worldwide jumped for joy at the idea of having their next trip to the Land of the Rising Sun paid for by the government.

Come on now, you should know that when something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

What is Go to Travel?

God knows Japan is counting on travelers to salvage its severely hit tourism industry. There were 99.9% fewer travelers in April 2020 than in 2019. As the country is slowly reverting back to normalcy, tourism authorities are making initial steps to restart the industry—starting with a subsidy program named Go to Travel.

The program will only cover a portion of domestic travel expenses. Meaning only Japan residents would benefit from the program.

If approved by the government, the initiative would provide up to ¥20,000 vouchers and 20% discounts to help support local hotels, ryokans, and restaurants, provided travelers book their trips directly with the venue or through Japanese travel agencies.

Due to inaccurate reporting by some western media outlets, some people had the idea that the Go to Travel campaign would cover half their travel costs including airfare. A dream come true for money-savvy tourists!

Alas, the Japan Tourism Agency quickly dispelled the rumors on Twitter. The program, still in the planning stage, will only cover a portion of domestic travel expenses. Meaning only Japan residents would benefit from the program.

the Go to Travel Campaign under consideration by the Japanese government is to stimulate domestic travel demand within Japan after the Covid-19 pandemic and only cover a portion of domestic travel expenses.(2/2)

— 観光庁(Japan Tourism Agency) (@Kanko_Jpn) May 27, 2020

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Dejima Award #8: NJ resident returnees from abroad officially treated like contagion, barred from reentry unlike Japanese returnees. And unlike any other G7 country.

Source: debito.org

JT: “The coronavirus pandemic has prompted authorities worldwide to introduce entry restrictions on border traffic. But regulations in Japan have sparked a particularly strong reaction from its international community, as it is the only Group of Seven member denying entry to long-term and permanent residents and has set no clear criteria for their return. The approach has left many foreign nationals in limbo — those who had headed overseas in earlier stages of the pandemic are now stuck abroad and face uncertainty about their careers and lives in Japan, whereas those who remain here fear that leaving the country would jeopardize their future as well…

“As the virus continued to spread, causing more than 4 million confirmed infections, some countries such as India have even banned their own citizens from returning home in hopes of limiting transmission. But most developed countries, while urging locals to refrain from nonessential travel, have exempted legal residents alongside citizens from their travel bans, albeit under mandatory quarantine. In contrast, under Japan’s regulations imposed April 3, all foreign nationals, including those with permanent residence status and their non-Japanese spouses, and those who are married to Japanese nationals, will be subject to the measure if they try to return to Japan from any regions affected by the pandemic…”

COMMENT: For this reason, Debito.org awards a coveted “Dejima Award” (only its eighth so far) to the Ministry of Justice (particularly Justice Minister Mori Masako). Dejima Awards are reserved for only the most eye-blinkingly obvious and inexcusable examples of racism perpetrated by Japan’s racists and authorities. Thanks for deciding once again that foreigners’ lives simply don’t matter to you. Only foreign residents have to make the choice between exiting Japan and losing their livelihoods here or staying in Japan missing a life event there. …continue reading

    

Japan and America in the age of Trump; part 3 of 3

How do you rate American withdrawing from the Paris Agreement? graph of japanese statistics

This large-scale survey from NHK’s Broadcast Culture Research Centre looked at Japan and America, with particular focus on the current Trump regime. This will be posted over three nights in chunks of around 9 questions each.

The final part of this survey shows further how Japan perceives that America has lost its way, yet Japan still finds the country is it’s best friend.

Interestingly, despite Japan’s Prime Minister being excessively friendly to Trump, the people rate Obama as the greatest post-war president.

Reseach results

Q19: Do you think America should carry out the role of a leader of international society?

Yes 62.6%
No 36.1%
No answer 1.2%

Q20: The Trump government, in order to reduce the trade deficit, has raised tariffs on foreign goods and had applied pressure for concessions sitting trade negotiations. What do you think of this approach?

Good approach 10.3%
Not good approach 88.6%
No answer 1.1%

Q21: The Trump government has changed the approach to limiting Iran’s nuclear development by unilaterally leaving the agreement to remove sanctions made between America and the EU, etc. How do you rate America’s Middle East policies?

Rate them highly 1.3%
Rate to some extent 19.8%
Don’t really rate it 53.2%
Don’t rate it at all 23.9%
No answer 1.9%

Q22: Trump’s government has withdrawn from the Paris Agreement to limit climate change. How do you rate this decision?

Rate it highly 1.3%
Rate to some extent 8.2%
Don’t really rate it 35.0%
Don’t rate it at all 54.3%
No answer 1.2%

Q23: Have you ever been to America?

Yes 32.3%
No 67.2%
No answer 0.5%

Q24: Do you have any American friends or acquaintances?

Yes 13.5%
No 86.0%
No answer 0.5%

Q25: Which of the following impressions do you have of America?

A country with deep guns, drugs, etc problems 76.7%
A country with a wide rich-poor divide 57.4%
A country with serious racism issues 55.3%
A military superpower 52.9%
An economic powerhouse 51.5%
A country that welcomes many viewpoints 49.5%
A country with deep ethnic problems 38.4%
A strongly competitive country 33.1%
A country that produces revolutionary techniques and services 26.2%
A country that produces leading culture and entertainment 21.1%
A country that guarantees freedom and equality 20.1%
A peaceful country 2.5%

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Japan and America in the age of Trump; part 1 of 3

What effect would Trump`s re-election have on Japan? graph of japanese statistics

This large-scale survey from NHK’s Broadcast Culture Research Centre looked at Japan and America, with particular focus on the current Trump regime. This will be posted over three nights in chunks of around 9 questions each.

I’m slightly surprised at the relatively positive view of many aspects of Trump’s policies, of not at their effects on Japan, but perhaps that is more a reflection of my media consumption. Japanese broadcast media mainly treats him as a normal president; only his more massive gaffes make headlines here.

Reseach results

Q1: How interested are you in the 2020 USA presidential election?

Very interested 20.2%
Somewhat interested 53.5%
Not very interested 21.5%
Not interested at all 4.3%
No answer 0.6%

Q2: What effect would Trump’s re-election have on Japan?

Mostly positive effects 10.3%
Mostly negative effects 57.0%
No particular effect 31.5%
No answer 1.2%

Q3: What do you think of “America First”, the Trump government putting the greatest priority on their own country’s profit?

Good thing 19.2%
Not good thing 79.8%
No answer 1.0%

Q4: How has America’s international influence changed under the Trump government?

Strengthened 44.6%
Weakened 24.8%
Not changed 29.2%
No answer 1.3%

Q5: How do you rate the current Japan-America relationship?

Extremely good 2.7%
Somewhat good 54.1%
Not so good 39.1%
Not good at all 3.0%
No answer 1.1%

Q6: In what direction is the Japan-America relationship heading?

Heading in a good direction 10.1%
Heading in a bad direction 24.4%
No change from today 64.3%
No answer 1.2%

Q7: What sort of relationship do you think Japan and America have these days?

A partnership of equals 6.4%
America has the advantage 92.0%
Japan has the advantage 0.4%
No answer 1.3%

Q8: Do you think America is a reliable, cooperative ally?

Yes 52.6%
No 45.9%
No answer 1.5%

Q9: America is allied with us under the US-Japan Security Treaty; in the future how do you think Japan should proceed?

Strengthen the alliance 18.2%
Maintain the current relationship 55.1%
Cooperate to a lesser degree than currently 21.9%
Aim to terminate the treaty 3.3%
No answer 1.5%

Demographics

Between that 13th of February and the 23rd of March 2020 3,600 people of the age of 18 were selected at random from resident registers all over the country to receive the survey via post. 2,195 people, or 61.0%, …continue reading

    

Japan and America in the age of Trump; part 2 of 3

How much do you expect from Trump`s North Korea`s denuclearisation efforts? graph of japanese statistics

This large-scale survey from NHK’s Broadcast Culture Research Centre looked at Japan and America, with particular focus on the current Trump regime. This will be posted over three nights in chunks of around 9 questions each.

Although the Japanese press on the whole lauded Trump’s overtures to North Korea and made a big thing of the relatives of the Japanese hostages talking to Trump and getting a nice positive soundbite out of it, it was obvious to me that Trump was spouting any old nonsense in an effort to get his ratings. Satisfyingly, the Japanese public seems generally to share similar opinions.

Reseach results

Q10: The Trump government has asked Japan to increase greatly the amount they pay for the American armed forces in Japan. How do you think Japan should respond to this request?

They’ll just have to pay up 17.0%
They don’t need to pay more 81.3%
No answer 1.6%

Q11: The US-Japan Security Treaty days that in return for America protecting Japan, America can site bases and facilities in Japan. What do you think are the effects this treaty has brought about?

Q11A: It has protected Japan’s safety

Think so 20.6%
Perhaps so 54.6%
Perhaps not 16.5%
Not at all 5.2%
No answer 3.1%

Q11B: It fulfills one part of America’s international strategy

Think so 26.4%
Perhaps so 54.8%
Perhaps not 12.5%
Not at all 2.9%
No answer 3.4%

Q11C: Japan could reduce its defence spending thus develop her economy

Think so 9.5%
Perhaps so 25.3%
Perhaps not 42.6%
Not at all 19.1%
No answer 3.4%

Q11D: The cost of supporting the American bases has become a burden

Think so 28.8%
Perhaps so 48.3%
Perhaps not 15.3%
Not at all 4.6%
No answer 3.1%

Q11E: It has contributed to peace in the Pacific

Think so 13.4%
Perhaps so 46.1%
Perhaps not 29.0%
Not at all 8.1%
No answer 3.5%

Q12: Thinking of the world today, Japan might have a terrorism attack, be attached by another country, etc. How much of a danger do you think this is?

Extremely dangerous 16.4%
Somewhat dangerous 69.2%
Not really dangerous 12.6%
Not dangerous at all 0.6%
No answer 1.3%

Q13: Do you think Article 9 of Japan’s constitution should be amended to make the existence …continue reading