It’s been an awfully long time since I posted something on here, I hope there’s still somebody out there reading what I have to say. There is a new state of emergency in effect in multiple prefectures across Japan, thanks to rising coronavirus infections and I am working from home for the time being. It took me a while to get used to working from home but hopefully I will manage to post regular content from now on. Since there hasn’t been a new “News” article since 2021 began, I thought I would start that up again. So here we go, enjoy the usual potpourri of random news with commentary by yours truly.
Somewhat old news at this point and I mentioned it above already, but the Japanese government has begrudgingly declared a new state of emergency across multiple prefectures of Japan. First it was only for Tokyo and the surrounding prefectures of Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa, but since then the list has grown to include basically all other bigger metropolitan areas across Japan. While Japan is still seeing lower numbers of infections than other countries, the situation is definitely getting worse, so the government’s reluctance to act is somewhat puzzling.
CNN -> Read the full article here
Unperturbed by the virus, however, Japans population is still growing older. With 118 years of age, Kane Tanaka is the world’s oldest person. Apparently, she was born the same year as novelist George Orwell. I wonder if she ever read “1984”.
Kyodonews -> Read the full article here
Since we are on the topic of novelists, let’s talk about a Japanese one. Mishima Yukio is regarded as one of the most talented authors Japan has produced, but unfortunately, he was also not quite right in the head. Maybe more so than even the stories in his books, his real-life story is fascinating. A staunch imperialist and venerator of the emperor, he was in full support of Japan shaking of “American rule”, returning to pre-war time glory and installing the emperor as head of state again. But nobody really seemed to care for his right-wing rhetoric, so in 1970 he took hostages at a military facility in order to get the message across. When that failed to garner significant attention even from the people present, he then committed ritual suicide on the spot.
TheConversation -> Read the full article here
Back to more worldly news, another problem that is facing Japan at the moment is that of the Olympics. Originally supposed to be held in 2020, due to the Coronavirus, the games were postponed until Summer of this year. But at the moment, it is not looking like Japan will be ready to hold the games in their original capacity. While vaccine is slated to be available as early as February, the virus will most likely still be a problem come July, so the IOC and the Japanese government are faced with the hard question on whether they are going to cancel the event or make concessions, such as holding the contests without spectators. In any case, Japan has invested a lot into this project, so holding the event without attendance, or worse, outright canceling the games would be a big financial blow to a country that is drowning in debt already.
ClickOnDetroit -> Read the full article here
Since the declaration of a new state of emergency, Japan has also temporarily halted immigration. Since yesterday (20th of January), no non-Japanese is allowed to enter the country for the time being. Even people who applied for a visa under the “Residence Track” scheme will not be allowed in. It’s unclear how long this will go on, but if you are outside of Japan, even if you already have residence status, you will not be able to return for a while. As a resident of Japan, I always find it scary how easily I could find myself locked out of the country that I call home. In other news, people who violate quarantine will be publicly announced. Not sure how it works legally, but I already see the articles about people losing their jobs due to being publicly shamed by the government. Foreigners who violate quarantine rules will also be liable to lose their residence status.
TimeOut -> Read the full article here
I think I will leave it at that for now. As I said earlier, I hope to be back to a more regular content schedule going forward. Thank you for your patience until now and take care out there.