Philip Patrick

The strange truth about Japan’s climate change target

1 May 2021 10:55 pm

Japan has just raised its target for reducing carbon emissions from 26 percent to 46 percent (by 2030 from 2013…

Olympics' organisers could regret banning 'taking the knee'

24 April 2021 4:30 pm

Knee-taking and fist-raising protests have been banned at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, with the International Olympic Committee warning athletes who flout the rules…

What Yoshihide Suga wants from Joe Biden

18 April 2021 5:20 am

Age matters in Japan, so when Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga (73) sat down for talks with President Biden (78), deference…

Will the Tokyo Olympics go ahead?

13 March 2021 9:00 am

 Tokyo This week was the tenth anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake, the most powerful earthquake ever recorded in…

What's behind Japan's vaccine scepticism?

17 February 2021 10:26 pm

Japan finally began its Covid-19 vaccination programme this week after a consignment of 60,000 vials arrived by charter flight from…

Japan Olympic chief resigns over sexism. But did he have to go?

13 February 2021 2:02 am

Yoshiro Mori the 83-year-old former Japanese prime minister has resigned from his position as president of the Tokyo Olympic Organising…

Is it all over for the Tokyo Olympics?

22 January 2021 6:58 pm

Any long-term resident of Japan will know that ‘reading the air’, as the locals put it, is an essential skill…

Why lockdown scepticism is growing in Japan

5 December 2020 6:22 pm

‘We all know it’s bull and we’ve had enough.’ This is not the kind of language I have come to…

Nike Japan’s lecturing was bound to backfire

4 December 2020 11:08 pm

David Ogilvy once said that ‘a good advertisement is one that sells the product without drawing attention to itself’. If…

thatcher academics

Why academics hold Thatcher and Trump in such contempt

19 November 2020 1:15 am

‘Has that orange baboon gone yet?’ asked a senior professor in the teacher’s room at my university yesterday. The remark…

Japan's carbon neutral pledge looks like a load of hot air

29 October 2020 12:54 am

Japan’s new prime minister Yoshihide Suga is talking tough on climate change. Suga has promised that Japan will become carbon neutral…

Meet Japan's new PM – installed by a grey coup of party insiders

14 September 2020 11:48 pm

There’s a good chance that nothing that occurs in the new Japanese PM’s tenure will be nearly as interesting as how…

Who could replace Shinzo Abe as Japanese PM?

29 August 2020 1:27 am

Japan’s longest-serving Prime Minister, Shinzō Abe, has announced that he will step down, as soon as his replacement is selected.…

What lies behind the Japanese obsession with face masks?

15 August 2020 4:36 pm

If there is one country where the wearing of face masks in response to the coronavirus outbreak has caused no…

Can tourism subsidies save Japan's coronavirus-blighted economy?

5 August 2020 1:00 am

In a striking contrast of priorities, as the UK government offers discounted fast food vouchers to revitalise the restaurant and…

Is the handshake ready to bow out?

25 July 2020 8:45 pm

Freemasons beware – the traditional handshake may be the latest victim of the coronavirus, cancelled in our post-pandemic quest for…

Will Western economies be ‘turning Japanese’ after Covid-19?

8 July 2020 9:22 pm

Japan has announced a colossal stimulus package (£1.75 trillion) as it attempts to breathe life into its Covid-19 damaged economy.…

Even Japan could be about to embrace remote working

28 June 2020 6:00 pm

A Japanese banker once told me that his company had opened an expensive showcase office block in the centre of…

Can Shinzo Abe's Covid bung save the Japanese PM?

6 June 2020 3:30 pm

I experienced a novel, if fleeting, sensation last week when I was struck with a powerful urge to vote for…

Japan's Covid success is a mystery

28 May 2020 12:03 am

Japan’s Covid ‘State of Emergency’ is now officially over. Tokyo, the last of Japan’s 47 prefectures to be officially released…

Why Japan doesn't clap for its key workers

13 May 2020 8:20 pm

There has certainly been no shortage of praise for the NHS over recent weeks, and the speed at which the…

Coronavirus is revealing uncomfortable truths about Japan

3 May 2020 5:15 pm

I’ll never forget an unusually frank conversation I once had with a Japanese acquaintance (let’s call him ‘Yoshi’). He was…

What Britain's corona cops should learn from Japan's police

21 April 2020 6:39 pm

Soon after I began living in central Tokyo I got an unexpected visitor to my apartment- a police officer. He…

Japan's 'state of emergency' is anything but dramatic

7 April 2020 8:27 pm

The Japanese government has announced a state of emergency for Tokyo, Osaka and five other prefectures in response to escalating…

Did the people of Tokyo ever really want the Olympics anyway?

1 April 2020 1:47 am

One of the first things you need to learn abut Japan is the concept of honne and tatemae. ‘Hone’ refers…