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Vlog – Sanrio Puroland

20150614 02 Sorry for the gap between vlogs! I’ve had a busy week. My deadline for getting a new draft to my editor was yesterday, and I’ve also started an excellent new job. Luckily, I made the deadline, and next comes beginning the real work on the sequel! Exciting stuff! Anyway, I’ve finally been able to put together a vlog about going to Sanrio’s Puroland indoor theme park, where everything is pink, pink, pink. Not altogether my sort of thing, but it was fun to go with friends!

Out of nowhere! Random economics post

I got distracted reading an article about Japan’s famous economic problems post-Abenomics and spent hours getting annoyed that people assume that if you don’t agree with austerity, you must have a Keynsian view of spending and optimum levels of debt. You can agree that policies to encourage widespread consumption – not necessarily artificial short-term stimulus packages – are a better answer to economic problems than austerity without having to think that a government should indefinitely increase its debt or maintain it at 50-70% of GDP. If anything, looking at Japan is a good way to learn the wrong ways of encouraging consumption by increasing borrowing…and I do wonder what will happen when it all goes dramatically wrong. Here’s how I see it, admittedly as a layman. Japan’s main problems, before the aging population problem kicks in, are the rise of off-shoring and the devaluation of the yen being timed really badly, with little being exported and far too much importing of fossil fuels. Tech companies here need to manufacture in Japan – but for those companies, that doesn’t make sense. So fundamentally, one of the biggest problems – which much of the world will soon share – is that in a globalised world, how can you compete with ultra-cheap labour except by providing ultra-cheap labour yourself? But to do that requires a citizenship willing to work in conditions that aren’t what you would call pleasant, or necessarily compatible with international human rights. What is Japan to do? I honestly don’t know. Encouraging manufacture here is the only viable answer I can see, which would involve bringing the cheap labour here, which means lax immigration laws. And as we know, that’s something the Japanese are going to resist as much as they possibly can.

Tokyo Nights: My First Tokyo Decadence Clubnight

Picture by Taro Irei: https://www.facebook.com/taroireiphotography

Picture by Taro Irei: https://www.facebook.com/taroireiphotography

A little while ago, I had my first experience of the crazy clubnight that is Tokyo Decadence, a monthly themed party with heavy fetish elements - though if like me that sort of thing doesn't interest you much, you can simply don your oddest clothes and have a whole lot of fun dancing, looking at other people's costumes and watching the entertainment. I had a marvellous time, the best night out I've had in the city so far, and I absolutely recommend the night to anyone who's even a little bit curious.