I was woken this morning by the whine of the village rice paddies being sprayed with insecticide.
The area to be sprayed is not huge,.... I reckon a single person with a sprayer on his/her back could spray the paddies in a good long day, but why do that when expensive, hi-tech, labor-saving devices are available?
Surely it costs much more to hire a team of 4 men with an obviously expensive piece of equipment than to pay 1 man a days labor?
There is an obsession in Japan with hi-tech toys that I still cannot quite grasp.
Automatic doors, escalators, toilet seat covers that raise automatically when you enter the room, electronic corkscrews,... there are miniature diggers that look like oversize Tonka toys that people will rent when a pick and shovel could do the job at half the price.
They are developing robots to take care of the elderly.... surveys show that old people would prefer to be taken care of by Japanese robots rather than foreign care workers.......
I understand the logic, though I disagree with it, that producing crap that is not needed, using up resources and producing pollution, is "good for the economy", and one of the first things I observed when I came to Japan was the blind worship of "the economy", but I still can't figure out why Japanese people have this need to play with the latest gadgets.