10 Predictions for 2008 in Japan
Back in December, after watching how easily Brazilian “Psychic” Jucelino Nobrega da Luz convinced Japanese TV audiences of his mystical powers, I thought I’d try my own hand at reading the future. Here are my own predictions for 2008. Hopefully I can refer back to this list during the year and claim to be a psychic myself!
1. A new Japanese Prime Minister
Looking into my crystal ball, I see that Japan will once again have a new prime minister during 2008. My psychic skills won’t tell me who or when, but I’m confident we will have a new “leader” before the year is out.
2. iPhone flops in Japan
There will be huge publicity over the launch of the iPhone, but it will come too late. By the time it’s released, competing phone makers will be offering the same multi-touch technology in their own handsets, and Apple’s failure to get the market share it was looking for will be blamed on a “lack of understanding of Japanese culture”.
3. Japanese athlete wins Olympic gold
Much like when Arakawa Shizuka won Olympic gold in figure skating, this year’s summer Olympics in China will produce a single gold medal winner for Japan. Like the former ice skater, praise will be heaped upon the Olympic champion, hiding the fact that Japan failed to bring home more than one gold medal.
4. Aibo-style robot boom begins
2008 will be the year that artificially intelligent robots are on every child’s Christmas list. It might be an add-on for the Nintendo Wii, or a standalone robot programmable through cell phones, I can’t say, but I do know it will be very “cute”.
5. Japan has the hottest summer on record
It’s almost inevitable that we will once again have a very hot summer, with a record number of days over 40 degrees celsius. This will be accompanied by numerous water-related tragedies and the deaths of uninformed elderly folk who believe air conditioners are bad for your health.
6. Food scandals continue in 2008
Like last year, both domestic and imported food will be exposed as poisoned, expired, or made of cardboard. The population will abandon certain foods or brands, switching to other equally-guilty-but-not-yet-exposed products.
7. Over a dozen killed in Japanese earthquake
It won’t be the big one we’re all waiting for, but Japan will still suffer another fatal earthquake. In this annual event, a dozen people will be killed when their wooden houses, built on the side of mountains, are flattened by resulting landslides.
8. Large, scandal-ridden company makes headlines
With Nova last year, and Livedoor in 2006, my crystal ball shows another big name company suffering a similar fate in 2008. The president will be publicly humiliated for at least a month before the general public forgets the whole thing ever happened.
9. Foreign crime on the rise again
You don’t really have to be a psychic to see another round of foreigner-bashing this year. With crime statistics published annually, it’s inevitable that the media will spend a disproprtionate amount of time blaming foreigners for the nation’s growing crime problem. Personally, I blame this guy.
10. Higher taxes and higher prices
Well, you can’t really expect things to get cheaper, can you? Following on the trend from 2007, I can see taxes rising to counter the hugely exaggerated terrorist threat, the need to clean the air, the looming pension problems, and to cover NHK’s losses when people don’t pay their licence fees! Furthermore, oil prices and subprime loans will be blamed for further increases in the price of cheese.
Well, there you have it. Ten predictions for 2008. Let me know your thoughts in the comments.