News Bits & Bobs

A couple of news stories have been running about in my mind today, so I hope people don’t mind if I just blab on about them here for a bit…

I had always thought their was a ban on casino type gambling in Japan… hence those crazy little holes in the wall where you sell back the pen you won at the pachinko parlour for cash. That being the case, it looks like the government is finally admitting the truth… people love to gamble in this country. Bloomberg.com reports that Japan is in talks with major global casino operators. I assume some gaudy monstrosity will pop up in Tokyo in the not so distant future… what will that mean for the tourism industry in Korea etc, where many serious Japanese casino fans go to “holiday”?

Is a head of lettuce going to be costing us 400yen soon? Do any of you remember when the rainy season was long and with conditions similar to this year a few years ago? It was around that time that vegetable prices skyrocketed and a humble lettuce was around 400yen at my local Akafudado. I heard on TV that the rain is doing serious damage to crops and then read on The Daily Yomiuri Online that the lack of sunlight, as the rainy season drags on, is stunting veggie growth and pushing prices up! Oh joy! They said prices will probably go up 30% by mid-august.

Am I wrong to think she is tying up resources? Megumi Ogawa is a Japanese PhD student who has been studying in Australia since 1999. Recently her visa ran out and she failed in several legal actions to be allowed to stay in Australia, so she was to be deported. It now seems (as reported by The Sydney Morning Herald) that she has applied for asylum!!! She has stated she has no fear of the Japanese government… I guess she really likes Australia. This story stays with me for two very different reasons. One, asylum is a very necessary process and I worry that her stalling process is at the determent to real asylum seekers in Australian Detention Centres (and I believe there are plenty of them thanks to Australia’s John Howard) and two, I was out with an Australian the other week who was telling me how “easy it is to migrate to Australia”… I guess Megumi would disagree.

Sorry if you weren’t interested, but I’ve posted it now…

2 Comments so far

  1. James Hart (unregistered) on July 26th, 2006 @ 10:02 am

    If you like your lettuce, head to one of the 99Yen chain of shops. They continue selling lettuce at 99 Yen even when it’s 300 or 400 in other supermarkets. They do sell out though, so you have to get lucky…


  2. TJ (unregistered) on July 26th, 2006 @ 10:59 am

    True… bring on the Chinese import veggies!!!



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