每日跟讀#748: About Japan: In high-tech Japan, cash is still king
Once a pioneer in cashless transactions, Japan is now lagging behind as the world’s biggest economies increasingly embrace electronic payments － because its ageing population still prefers physical money.
Four out of five purchases are still made with cash in Japan. But in South Korea, some 90 percent of transactions are digital, while Sweden aims to be a cashless society as early as 2023.
In Japan, where crime and counterfeiting is virtually non-existent so people feel more comfortable carrying cash, consumer response has been sluggish.
At Katsuyuki Hasegawa’s bike repair shop customers are invited to settle their bills using PayPay － a tie-up between Softbank and Yahoo. But only two or three people a week are using the service.
"We get lots of old people who like to chat while getting out their money. They don’t need quick transactions," says Hasegawa. "Personally, I prefer cash. With PayPay, you don’t keep track of your money."
Lawmakers’ disaster helmet drill sparks Twitter debate 國會議員的防災安全帽演習引發推特熱議
Some Japanese lawmakers giggled in November during a drill to practice the use of disaster prevention helmets, at least one of which was put on backwards, prompting Twitter users to question if they were making light of a life-and-death matter.
Video images broadcast on television and other media showed Finance Minister Taro Aso smiling after successfully donning one of the collapsible plastic helmets, and Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi wore a broad grin.
"You never know when disaster will strike," Tadamori Oshima, the Lower House speaker, said at the end of Tuesday’s session, wearing one of the white helmets with gray chinstraps that are reminiscent of traditional samurai headgear.
"I want you always to be on alert."
Despite getting instructions on how to unfold and wear the helmets, at least one parliamentarian put his on back-to-front. Others needed a helping hand.
Some Twitter users called the lawmakers’ levity off-key.
"The Speaker （of the Lower House） was talking about being on alert, but others were laughing," said one.
Source article: https://features.ltn.com.tw/english/article/paper/1338522 ; https://features.ltn.com.tw/english/article/paper/1338579