Tag Archives: japan

Japan: A Normal Country

See my latest blogspot “Japan and Economics” post on Japan as “normal” in response to the “bond vigilante” claim that high-debt countries are bound to soon see high interest rates [and, typically, high inflation when these same people focus on monetary policy indicators]. Needless to say, anyone who’s actually made investments on the basis of these claims has lost their shirt. Somehow that doesn’t seem to get anyone to rethink their position.

Japan looks more and more ordinary across many dimensions. Continue reading

Cell Phones vs Wi-Fi

A blog by Colin Marshall has a neat piece on cell phones vs wi-fi in Japan. Now in 2006 I did frequent a couple coffee shops that had wi-fi (Dotour Coffee and Excelsior Coffee, franchise chains of the same company). But Colin is correct in that you couldn’t count on having wi-fi, and the gist of his post suggests that things have gotten worse.
His argument is that the Japanese cell phone market moved earlier than the US to smart phones [though with an idiosyncratic standard, so that it is a “Galapagos” market, lots of unique things which however are not viable in any other market]. As a result, there was no net advantage [pun intended] in yourself paying to set up wi-fi.
Comments? Queries? — I’m pretty sure you can get a “hot spot” map, one way to check whether things were really as scarce as claimed.
Oh, and this is part of his two-part “Kansai no Nikki [diary] series. You can find Part I here. As someone who’s intensely interested in cities, they include interesting observations and comparisons to other cities.