Philip Patrick

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…

Has Japan cracked coronavirus?

25 March 2020 8:44 pm

I got back to Tokyo on Friday morning having hastily rescheduled my flight from Britain to avoid new restrictions for entering…

A coronavirus Olympics cancellation would be a disaster for Japan

12 March 2020 7:27 pm

It is fair to say that preparations for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics have not being going to plan. In fact,…

Will Japan ban its 'offensive' Rising Sun flag at the Tokyo Olympics?

4 March 2020 8:54 pm

Ant and Dec have done most things in their long careers in light entertainment. But the versatile duo broke new…

Why ‘safe spaces’ are nowhere to be seen on Japan’s university campuses

25 February 2020 10:18 pm

A part-time lecturer and friend of mine was reported to his university last month for making ‘inappropriate comments’ in the…

The BBC has much to learn from Japan’s national broadcaster

10 February 2020 10:59 pm

NHK is Japan’s version of the BBC – it was actually modelled after the Beeb way back in the 1920s.…

Shinzo Abe’s luck is finally running out

22 January 2020 4:17 am

The Japanese are fond of poeticising the fleeting beauty of the cherry blossom season, which no sooner reaches its full…