Maybe Japan Really Isn't the Future

The popular image of Japan is as a wildly technological place that strides boldly into the future. Sometimes, visitors to Tokyo will swear that the city already is the future. 

But a wonderful feature by the BBC's Michael Fitzpatrick suggests that Japan may not be as tech-crazy as casual observation indicates. Check out these two pieces of evidence: 

One government poll shows that although 44% of Japanese use the internet at least once or twice a month, the rest responded that they use it 'hardly at all' or 'not at all'.
"Japanese banks, post offices, government offices, all are staffed with three to five times the employees because they must do every process once on paper and then again on computer," says Taro Hitachi a technical editor and patent reader at Hitachi. "Do you see the pattern here? Japanese aren't all that happy about spiteful machines and distrust automation."
Check out the full piece, too. It's got great color.

Presented by

The Horrors of Rat Hole Mining

"The river was our source of water. Now, the people won't touch it. They are repulsed by it."

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Horrors of Rat Hole Mining

"The river was our source of water. Now, the people won't touch it."

Video

What's Your Favorite Slang Word?

From "swag" to "on fleek," tweens choose.

Video

Cryotherapy's Dubious Appeal

James Hamblin tries a questionable medical treatment.

Video

Confessions of Moms Around the World

In Europe, mothers get maternity leave, discounted daycare, and flexible working hours.

Video

How Do Trees Know When It's Spring?

The science behind beautiful seasonal blooming

More in Technology

Just In