News from Japan – Week 48

Maybe you still remember from last week’s article, or maybe you are just very well informed about Japan, but this week’s Monday was a public holiday, which goes by the kind of obtuse name of “Labour Thanksgiving Day”. Who exactly is thankful for what, I do not know, but I still find it ironic that a public holiday with a name like this exists. Just like the western calendar, public holidays were imported into Japan as part of Westernization and therefore often have little tradition or reason behind them. They also often have somewhat funny names such as this week’s holiday. Other examples would be “Day of the Mountain” or “Day of the Sea”. Anyway, all that is to say that news was once again a bit slow this week, apart from rising Coronavirus infections.

So that’s what we start today’s article with. The Olympics, still scheduled to be held in 2021, can go ahead despite the recent spike in Virus cases. Or so claims Tokyo governor Koike Yuriko, at least. Earlier this year, Ms Koike had been in favour of comparatively strict in approaching the virus, oftentimes criticizing the central government’s response. But since winning reelection as governor of Tokyo in July, she seems to be toeing the line again. She still holds regular press conferences, talking about various security levels that are going to be raised. Tokyo is now apparently on security level five, but nobody, including Ms Koike, seems to have a clue as to what that means. So, despite her firm assurances, that the games will be held next year, it remains to be seen as to what will happen.

WSLS -> Read the full article here

The next article is once again about the Coronavirus. The “Go-To Travel” campaign, central governments push to support the ailing tourism sector by paying a portion of Japanese residents travel expenses, is set to be halted in areas that are seeing high cases of Coronavirus infections. As of right now, Osaka and Sapporo will not be covered by the campaign, although previously existing reservations will not be affected.

Timeout -> Read the full article here

Lastly (just three articles today, sorry), we have words from an old man about other old men’s inconsequential decisions. The U.N. secretary-general apparently thinks that Suga Yoshihide’s pledge to make Japan carbon neutral by 2050 is a “very important measure” and that he is “… totally reassured about Japanese performance in relation to climate action”. If Suga had pledged to do it by 2030 and would be taking actual steps towards achieving that pledge, I would be inclined to agree. As it is, I just see two old men, who will most likely not live to see 2050 and will never have to actually face the consequences of their inaction, pardon my French, sucking each other off. I don’t get explicit very often, but this stuff just gets under my skin. Anyways, if you want to read the article, be prepared for a lot of patting on the back, and little to no actual calls to action.

Kyodo News -> Read the full article here

And that’s it for this week. A short one, to be sure, but I still hope you got something interesting out of it. I hope you have a nice weekend and see you next week (a regular 5-day week, so hopefully more news). Take care.

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