Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Travelers Do Not Prefer Japan's Airports

By Mike in Tokyo Rogers 

I wrote before about Japan's coming financial disaster and how Japan is missing out due to inept policies by the Japanese government and indecisiveness by Japanese business... Then, when they finally do decide what action to take, it is often the wrong one.

Japan is now is seriously bad shape. 15.7% of the people are now below the poverty line. The Nikkei 225 has lost nearly 1,000 points in the last three months (will be much worse, you'll see). Now those fools in the government want to spend more money and get us more public debt - our debt is already 190% of GDP! The only country with a higher debt problem is Zimbabwe (I am not making that up).

Now, Japan has fallen to #3 after China and there is no good news on the horizon. I must say that I no longer see any Japanese companies with the zeitgeist or gumption (or even desire) to want to be top of the world anymore.

Today, Japanese companies are taking too long to make important decisions, and then, when they finally do, it's the wrong ones.

The only companies in the world who are now inspiring young people are Google and Apple.  It wasn't that long ago that Toyota and Sony were inspiring today's young people. Remember?

Now, here comes some more bad news... This, after 40 years of government infighting and incompetence and indecision concerning Narita and Haneda airport and their bungling of the entire affair. Now, it seems that international passengers are preferring to fly into Inchon, South Korea rather than Japan. 

Inchon? That isn't even convenient to Seoul! Read on.  

The government's civil aviation administration has been criticized for failing to make a clear-cut distinction between the roles of Narita and Haneda airports, while other airports are financially strapped due to cuts in flights and deteriorating government finances. ..

Incheon Airport has strengthened its position as an Asian hub to such a degree that travelers flying from local Japanese airports often prefer to use the South Korean airport to transit to other cities rather than use Narita and Haneda airports.

....Incheon can hardly be regarded as convenient, considering it is 50 kilometers from Seoul. So why is it so popular?

"During the four hours we have to wait before boarding our flight, my wife can surf the Internet free of charge and I can play with my son at the airport's kids room..."This airport has plenty of facilities, so I prefer flights via Incheon [to those using Japanese airports]."

Sure, it makes sense to me. I live in Japan and I hate going to Narita. Narita is a good 1.5 ~ 2 hour trip from Tokyo. It was a government boondoogle to build that mistake of an airport in the 1970's. Today, Haneda (which is 15 minutes from Tokyo) can handle most of our International flights, but NO! Now, just like every other government in the world, the government  cannot admit their mistakes and have to keep a messed up project going to save face.

Yes, they save face and get kick backs... The people get the raw deal, lose money and have to pay for it with increased taxes.

Original article from Yomiuri Newspaper: http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/business/T100822001711.htm

Keywords: Haneda, narita, Marketing Japan, Mike Rogers, Inchon, Seoul, airport


Anonymous said...

Totally Agree Mike! It makes no sense having to take a 2 hour train ride to start off your holiday or business trip. I also heard that the Narita Express is speed limited to give fair competition to the Highway limousine companies! A good high speed, reasonably priced train service would sort this out and a few extra amenities at Narita too.

mikeintokyorogers said...

Yep.. Then the people get angry and, in the next election, they vote in the political party that they voted out the last time.

You'd think that people would get wise to the game sooner or later...

Andy "In Japan" said...

Believe me, there are worse airports than Narita in the world in terms of access, amenities, bad layout, and bad ground service. JFK, Heathrow, and Charles de Gaulle to name 3. Just like Narita, many airports are and hour or more from town, but I just took the new train service between Ueno station and Narita and I swear it only took 45 minutes. Not bad. The main problem with Narita is that fliers have to take an hour long bus ride (longer with heavy traffic) when transferring to or from a domestic flight at Haneda. There are almost no domestic flights out of Narita and no direct train service between the 2 airports. This is insane. No other major airport that I know of in the world causes such inconvenience. Let's curse the government dum dums who caused this to happen. While we are at it, let's also give thanks that American style TSA groping and electronic strip searches havn't come to Japan's airports.

mikeintokyorogers said...

Thanks Andy!

Good points! Yeah, I just came back from a US colony named Guam and the TSA infuriated me with their BS!

True Story: Sandii & the Sunsetz, Go-Bang's and Rodney Bingenheimer and Me.

Some readers might know that I am a disc jockey in Japan. I have been doing this a long time.  Long ago, I was the assistant for the lege...