Fatal accidents caused by drivers aged 75 or over, of which there were hundreds in 2020, are in the spotlight. Many are surrendering their drivers’ licenses, testing will become stricter, and new cars are required to have automatic braking. However, a major challenge is that rural areas lack other transportation options.
The pandemic has caused many, especially young people and women, to consider escaping cramped, overpriced, and overworked lifestyles in greater Tokyo and moving to rural areas. The government supports this trend, which it hopes will help close Japan’s urban-rural population and income divide.
Two death row inmates are suing the Japanese government over same-day notifications of executions. Retaining capital punishment makes Japan, like the US, an outlier among developed nations, and the practice of not informing prisoners until the day of their hanging has been a particular target of criticism.
A significant reason for Japan’s low turnout in elections is that young people tend not to vote. Many feel the government and particularly the ruling coalition, dominated by older male lawmakers often belonging to political dynasties, has no connection to their lives and concerns.
More schools in Japan are letting female students choose either uniforms with a skirt or with pants, while proposals for unisex uniforms are also being considered. Increased options are seen as having practical benefits, as well as accommodating non-gender-conforming students or those with body image issues.