This a blog post from Magiting Fabros – our first relay Peace Marcher from the Philippines covering Tokyo & Kanagawa. He arrived in Tokyo on April 29. We will be getting more updates from him hereon.
It was my first time here in Tokyo. It was a national holiday and I am a bit surprised because there are not so many people outside. As I got out of the airport of Narita I went straight to Ueno station. I expected it to be a 72-minute train ride, but it turned out to be a 2-hour ride because of my mistake on riding the local train. I should have taken the limited express train.
So I made my apologies to Keiko-san about the worries and delays. So the lesson I learned again is to look at the train map which I never did that time. After that we took 2 JR trains again to get to her house. Ms. Keiko Mito and her husband will be my host for my 1st and 2nd day here in Tokyo.
During our train commute we talked about the visit of Obama here in Tokyo. in the Philippines they also have the protocol of being on the heighest ever alert. Higher than the red alert. Because even the airport was closed for quite some time. Major streets were also closed to give way for his arrival. It’s like a god-like treatment for someone so powerful like Obama. I begin to think how does he live like that. Always on alert. Thinking of incoming threat is their security blanket. It’s like if there is no terror threat, the more I will die easy.
We also talked about Japanese working conditions. That it tends to get worse every year. Because of longer working hours, and the worsening working conditions. Japanese people tend to pay very high tax and the portion of that will go to social services. But it seems that they don’t see that results. As more Japanese are living in a very tight budget to make ends meet.
Philippine tax is very inefficient, because only 1/3rd of the population pay tax, and because many are from the informal economy which is the small retailers and household business. So less tax collected means less money to be spent by the government.
Before the evening, we arrived at Keiko-san’s place and we are greeted by her cat named Abby. Along with her husband we had our sumptous dinner and I went to sleep early. And it is very cold.