Covid-19 has been overwhelming human beings around the globe since I wrote my first blog in January. I decided to pause my blog until an emergency rule would be lifted in Tokyo. It took me a while until I could start writing finally.
The number of visitors to Japan in April 2020, announced by the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO), was 2900, a decrease of 99.9% from the same month the year before.
March, April, May are the most popular months of visiting Japan for beautiful spring season.
I had a hunch since last year that Tokyo Olympic wouldn’t be held for some reasons. Therefore, many friends asked me “How did you know?” It was not because I read “AKIRA”, a popular Japanese cartoon published 36 years ago with a description of Tokyo Olympic 2020 and its cancellation. I’ve never read it but I checked recently with surprise.
I answered to my friends I couldn’t see a clear vision of Tokyo Olympic. In fact, another Tokyo Olympic was supposed to be held in 1940 but was canceled due to the World War II.
I was born in 1967, 3 years after the first Tokyo Olympic in 1964. That was a time of rapid economic recovery/growth of Japan. Japanese Government would like to appeal it to the world and about 50,000 foreign visitors came to Japan then when Shinkansen (bullet train) and Metropolitan Expressway was opened to traffic for the first time.
Japanese economy continued to grow. In 1979, Ezra F. Vogel, Ph.D.,who passed away recently, published a book “Japan as Number One” which symbolized then our economy like today’s China. However, it led to “bubble economy” which collapsed in early 90’s. 30 years of deflation period continued afterward. It means Japan is no more “expensive” country to visit. I think it is one of the reasons of growing number of foreign visitors from around the world.
In Jomon era, people shared, exchanged items and services without money actively yet peacefully. Today, such second-hand exchange online platform became very popular. Japanese youth are not eager to own car, house nor luxury items unlike those who experienced “bubble economy” of massive production/consumption, namely, above 50’s. Rather, “sharing economy” became popular among them. In my opinion, “new normal” with covid-19 enhanced such tendency. I feel as if we were going back to Jomon way of life.