Source: Gaijin Pot
One simply does not buy stuff online without the risk of payment fraud. But even if you take all the care in the world, a split second is still enough to fall into a scam artist’s net.
Mercari x Paidy = Beware!
Japan’s largest community marketplace app, Mercari, boasts a whopping 14 million monthly users. Wherever you are in Japan, you’re just a finger tap away from finding your new oven and emptying your closet of stuff you don’t need.
But just like for any other marketplace, you’ve got to be on the lookout for scammers. It’s a painful lesson learned earlier this week by @carjapans5 who warned people of suspicious bills that could come their way after a completed purchase of a product on Mercari.
= Buying a product on Mercari:
I assumed the product was normally delivered and completed my payment on Mercari.
The next day, a bill came from a home appliance store.
This is a scam to steal money through Mercari, using buyer’s information and ordering products through postage-paid mail order.
I realized the seller was a criminal.
This type of scam is really easy to fall into and I’m glad I realized what was happening halfway through.
Wait a minute, how did that happen? Let’s rewind back a few steps.
The seller, or more accurately pretending-to-be seller, posted an appealing ad for a brand new piece of unopened merchandise. So far so good for the buyer, believing they’re getting a proper bargain.
They contact the seller and make their purchase thus giving out precious information such as name, address and phone number. This information is enough for Paidy, a payment system that enables customers to pay for their purchases …continue reading
According to REINS, a total of 2,810 second-hand apartments were reported to have sold across greater Tokyo in December, down 11.5% from the previous month and down 5.9% from December 2018. New listings dropped for the 4th month in a row, with a 7.4% drop from the previous year.
The average apartment sale price was 35,500,000 Yen, up 0.1% from the previous month and up 5.0% from the previous year. The average price per square meter was 548,900 Yen/sqm, down 0.2% from the previous month but up 4.7% from the previous year. This is the 11th month in a row to record a year-on-year increase.
In Tokyo’s 23 wards, transactions for December were down 3.0% from the previous year. The average sale price was 725,300 Yen/sqm, up 0.4% from the previous month and up 6.4% from the previous year. This is also the 11th month in a row to see a year-on-year increase. New listings in December were down 12.1% from the previous month and down 8.7% from the previous year.
Remaining inventory dropped 1.7% from the previous year. This is the first drop in inventory since August 2017.
For the fourth quarter of 2019, sales of apartments over 100 million Yen increased by 31.6% from the same period in 2018. This is more than double the 10-year average for quarterly sales.
Central Tokyo’s 3 wards
In central Tokyo’s 3 wards of Chiyoda, Chuo, and Minato, 189 apartments had sold, down 2.6% from the previous year. The average sale price was 1,160,200 Yen/sqm, down 5.6% from the previous month but up 4.6% from the previous year. The average apartment size was 58.05 sqm (625 sq.ft).
New listings dropped for the third month in a row, dipping 6.0% from the previous year. Existing inventory, meanwhile, saw a 4.3% drop from the previous month and a 1.5% …continue reading
There isn’t a Japanese person around that doesn’t know about
Hiroshima Prefecture plans to demolish two of four historic warehouses in Hiroshima City. The 100+-year-old buildings survived the 1945 atomic bombing and are of significant importance to the city’s history.
Sadly, high maintenance costs and concerns over earthquake resistance were the reason for the prefecture’s decision. Of the four warehouses, three are owned by the prefecture, with the fourth owned by the national government. Preserving three buildings would cost an estimated 8.4 billion Yen (approx. 77 million USD) while demolishing two and keeping the exterior of one warehouse would cost the prefecture 800 million Yen (approx. 7.4 million USD).
The warehouses were built in 1912 to manufacture uniforms and shoes for the Imperial Japanese Army. In the 1920s, as many as 500 ~ 600 people worked in the four factory buildings. The buildings served as a refuge for victims of the 1945 bombing. After WWII the buildings went through a variety of uses before closing in 1997.
Source: NHK, December 5, 2019.
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Source: East Asia Forum
Author: Hunter Marston, ANU
Recent brinkmanship between the United States and Iran is the latest signal of Washington’s distraction from great power competition with China. The crisis in the Middle East and impeachment proceedings in Washington have distracted the Trump administration from its stated emphasis on the Indo-Pacific as its priority theatre.
In many official statements and documents, including the 2017 National Security Strategy and Vice President Mike Pence’s China speech at the Hudson Institute in October 2018, the administration has articulated a strategy of great power competition with China in a bid to promote US values and contain China’s rise. The Trump administration’s ‘Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy‘ offers a broad vision for US Asia policy across economic, security and diplomatic dimensions.
On the economic front, the Trump administration passed the BUILD Act in October 2018. This is a response to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and aims to compete with the BRI by creating a new finance corporation with a significantly expanded lending capacity of US$60 billion to mobilise US private investment in developing countries.
In the South China Sea, the Trump administration has regularised US freedom of navigation operations to counter China’s expansive maritime claims and signal US resolve in the region. In August 2019, the administration elevated US diplomatic efforts in the Pacific with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s trip to Micronesia — the first by a US Secretary of State.
US officials have worked hard to address regional misgivings — from wariness of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, involving Australia, India, Japan and the United States, to grumblings from ASEAN. But US President Donald Trump’s erratic cost impositions, such as demanding Japan and South Korea pay up to five times current levels to continue …continue reading