News from Japan – Week 8

It’s time for another roundup of news, as ever with commentary/opinions/remarks by yours truly. Yesterday was a public holiday and it seems to have been a somewhat slow week, so expect a fairly short roundup. Anyway, let’s get into it.

We start off with politics, where we have a really good summary of prime minister Sugas time in office up until now by the Washington Post. Even though he started off on a high note, with stories of humble beginnings and familial devotion, that image soon fell away and revealed what lay underneath – a tone-deaf bureaucrat with little understanding and empathy for the general populace, especially the younger generations. As the article succinctly puts it, “for a man who spent eight years as the government’s chief spokesman, Suga has stumbled in communicating a clear message”. Coupled with the fact that he seems to think he is above the virus restrictions that he himself implemented, it is no wonder that his approval ratings have plummeted this far.

WashingtonPost – You can read the full article here

Sticking with politics, next up is Yoshihiro Mori. A former prime minister (with approval ratings as low as 7% after just one year in office), he now heads the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee at the ripe age of 83. He made headlines this week, complaining that meetings with women talk too long because they talk too much. The article then goes on to talk about women in power and the gender-gap in Japan, painting a pretty accurate picture of just how backwards Japan can be in this regard. Politicians often go unpunished, even when voicing radical remarks like this one and it remains to be seen whether Mori will face consequences over this or not (the author of the article believes nothing will come of it, however at the time of writing reports are in saying that Mori is expected to resign over this incident).

NikkeiAsia – You can read the full article here

Last up for today is an update on the Coronavirus. A lot has been happening in Japan, and while we are still under lockdown here, case numbers appear to be going down. One big talking point has been the slow rollout of Vaccines in Japan, a country with a populace that is somewhat skeptical of inoculation. Vaccinations might now start as early as next week, after a long approval process, with critics saying that the government lacks any sense of urgency in getting the new drugs approved. Now, there is another logistical problem however. Many of the syringes in use in Japan are not suitable to draw out all of the vaccine from the vials that the manufacturer ships them with, leading to Japan suddenly having 12 millions less doses available to them than originally planned for.

NPR – You can read the full article here

That’s it for today. A short one, I know, but I hope there’s still somebody out there who got something from it (Hi Bamui). Have a good weekend and take care.

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