Once again a week has passed and it is time to give you a roundup of news from or about Japan, as ever with commentary by yours truly. Without further ado, let’s get into it.
Usually, I do not really cover events that happen on the weekend, but this one shook Japan (literally) quite badly, so here goes. Saturday night, Japan experienced a magnitude 7 earthquake, originating in the same area as the devastating earthquake that happened on 11th, March 2011. I live in Tokyo, relatively far away from Fukushima the epicenter in Fukushima, but still it was definitely the strongest earthquake that I have experienced in my time in Japan. What I found particularly terrifying was the length of the shaking. I did not check my watch or anything, but I would say the ground was shaking violently for a solid two minutes or so at least. Miraculously, there were not casualties and only relatively few injuries, especially when compared to the disaster of ten years ago.
In other disaster news, Japan has finally started distributing coronavirus vaccines, a good two or three months later than most other major nations. If you read last week’s article, then you will also know that there are fears about vaccine doses going to waste due to an incompatibility with widely used syringes. All in all, it does not look like the Japanese government will be able to innoculate enough people by July, when the Olympic games are supposed to take place. Estimates I have seen, project Japan achieving herd immunity from the virus around September or October of this year, at the earliest. But canceling the Olympic games altogether might as well be the end of the current Suga administration, so they might try to force it through in the hopes that they can save their own hides. The Suga saga is definitely not over yet and it will be interesting to see where it goes from here.
Once again going back to an item from last week’s article, you may remember that there was a scandal surrounding the then-head of the Olympic committee, controversial former prime minister Mori Yoshihiro. After saying that women talk too much in meetings, the 83-year old resigned from his position. Keen to combat the image of Japanese politics as an “old boys club”, the Suga administration has now made Hashimoto Seiko, woman and ex-athlete, the new head of the committee. With polls showing that a vast majority of the population thinks the games should not be held this year, she certainly has her work cut out for her.
Another shorter one this week, after doing this for a while you kind of come to realize how much news is just the same stuff repeated over and over again so going forward I am going to keep things shorter I think. Still, I hope that you enjoyed and see you next time.