At the End of Summer 2021
The summer 2021 is close to an end. Summer in Japan is so hot and humid that you feel like going crazy. I would like to reflect on this pandemic-hit summer.
Tokyo was hit yet again by a severe heat wave, and the weather was extremely unstable with alternating heat and rain. The torrential rains increased in its intensity and caused enormous damage in the form of landslides and flooding in some regions of Japan.
The coronavirus situation remains the same. Japan is under a state of emergency as cases have been surging in all regions, possibly due to the trend of people who work in Tokyo returning to their hometowns for summer vacation.
The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games are over, and we are relieved that it was conducted smoothly and safely. The entire nation certainly enjoyed the Games and cheered for athletes in the field, forgetting about the virus temporarily. The Games were a great success, having been performed during the pandemic. Now the Japanese just hope that the Paralympic Games, happening currently, will be performed safely as well.
A Stabbing Again…
In addition to the natural disasters, the coronavirus emergency, and the 2020 Olympic Games, there have also been disturbing incidents in Tokyo this summer.
The incident reminds me of the brutal mass murders in Sagamihara targeting intellectually disabled people in 2016, and the mass stabbing in Kawasaki targeting school children waiting for school bus in 2019.
On August 6, there was a brutal stabbing that took place inside Odakyu Railway train. Particularly shocking is the fact that the 36-year-old man who stabbed nine people on the train intentionally targeted women who looked successful. He said that he wanted to get back at women who looked down on him. He must have been suffering from a crippling sense of inferiority.
The other disturbing incident was a sulflic acid attack that took place in Shirogane-Takanawa of a Tokyo subway station on August 24 when a man attacked another young man’s face and a 34-year-old woman’s legs with acid.
Perhaps growing feelings of frustration, isolation and self-curfew brought about by COVID-19 could be considered one of the root causes of such negative and antisocial behavior.
Despite the fact that we have experienced similar incidents over the past years, these cases tend to be treated as singular incidents caused by social outcasts. However, their root causes are still unidentified and efforts should be made to cope with the related social problems.
In any case, we need to defend ourselves against any violent attacks as well as from the coronavirus.
Posted on August 28, 2021