Immigration is the obvious answer to Japan’s economic woes

This article was published on CapX on 6 April 2017.

In recent years, Japan has become a world-leading innovator in some unusual fields.

Care homes have partnered with chefs to explore puréed and soft foods for elderly people who can no longer swallow with ease.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has funnelled billions of yen into developing robots that could pick people up and carry them to bed, massage someone’s head and wash their hair, and even administer medication.

For the country that led the way in television design, mobile phones, and music technology, these are perhaps off-the-wall interests. But rather than representing a dynamic shift in Japan’s ultra-modern economy, all this investment and innovation is a sign that the country is on the front line of a battle that many developed economies will soon be drawn into.

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Why are there so few tube lines in South London?

This article was published on CityMetric on 31 March 2017.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that London south of the River Thames is a bit of a wasteland.

Sure, it’s come along a lot in the past five years or so, but it still basically divides into three camps: south west London, full of rich City workers who want big houses; south and south east London, full of hipsters so hip that East London is totally over (or they just got priced out too soon, you decide); and deep south London, where literally nothing exists.

Gone are the mythical days when taxis wouldn’t take you across the bridges, but there’s still a certain something about it. If a friend who lives in Walthamstow invites you over, you may think it’s a little way out but it’s not impossible. But if it’s at Gipsy Hill, roughly the same distance but south of the river, you ain’t going.

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