Philip Patrick

Could Covid finally end the tradition of Japan’s dreaded 'bonenkai' parties?

30 December 2021 6:00 pm

John Updike described America as a ‘vast conspiracy to make you happy’. Japan, a wonderful place to live in many…

Why COP26 flopped

17 November 2021 8:08 am

King coal is dead, long live king coal! That might be a fitting epitaph for COP26, which mercifully ended last…

Is climate change scepticism growing in Japan?

10 November 2021 7:15 pm

Fumio Kishida, the newly-installed Japanese prime minister, could have been forgiven for giving COP26 a miss. The opening ceremony in…

The enduring power of Japan’s doomsday cults

6 November 2021 9:00 am

The enduring power of Japan’s doomsday groups

Meet Japan's latest unloved leader

1 October 2021 8:09 am

Japan will soon have yet another new prime minster: Fumio Kishida. He will be the country’s third leader in as…

Farewell, Yoshihide Suga, Japan's unloved leader

4 September 2021 11:05 am

Japanese prime minister Yoshihide Suga has fallen on his sword. Suga announced today that he will not be seeking reelection as leader…

The rise and fall of the yakuza

29 August 2021 3:05 pm

For the first time in history, an organised crime ‘yakuza’ boss has been sentenced to death in a Japanese court.…

Is Japan about to enter a 'London-style lockdown'?

25 August 2021 4:20 am

Just like the Olympics, which ended a fortnight ago, the Paralympics is set to commence amid a drumbeat of doom.…

Was the Tokyo Olympics a success?

9 August 2021 8:12 am

Yoshihide Suga, Japan’s Prime Minister, is a hard man to read. He has a sum total of one facial expression…

Why do the Japanese still seem so ambivalent about Naomi Osaka?

29 July 2021 7:15 am

It had all started so well for Naomi Osaka. Dressed in the colours of the Japanese flag, the tennis star…

Are the Japanese finally embracing the Tokyo Olympics?

26 July 2021 5:16 pm

Such gloom and negativity has surrounded the Tokyo Olympics that cynics were suggesting that, when the grand Olympic countdown clock…

Tokyo's doomed Olympics could be the worst yet

19 July 2021 10:56 pm

The Tokyo 2020/2021 Olympics, which begins on Friday, looks set to be one of the worst in the event’s history. A…

Have Southgate’s England lost their moral compass?

9 July 2021 9:05 pm

Back in the 1980s the BBC Match of the Day opening credits featured a clip of Manchester United winger Mickey…

Japan's punishing workplace culture

28 June 2021 11:24 pm

Are the world’s hardest workers about to get a well-earned break? That seems to be the hope of the Japanese…

Even a robot assistant can’t help you make sense of Japan

26 June 2021 9:00 am

Understanding Japan is a life’s work

In defence of Naomi Osaka

2 June 2021 12:03 am

‘Kawaisou’ or ‘wagamama’ (poor thing or spoiled brat)? That’s the question Japanese tennis fans have been asking ever since world number…

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…