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The problem with living in Japan when NZ is clearly the better option

This quote is so telling:

“The best economic response to the virus was always going to be a strong public health response, and that’s why our strategy from the start has been to go hard and go early,” -NZ Finance Minister Grant Robertson.

It goes without saying but I am extremely proud to be a NZer right now (I always have been). From the outset, the policy has been to prioritise the health of the country. I don’t buy the argument that if this forces the economy to collapse, then that would cause more death in the long run due to poverty. This disease causes death in the first place. If people die, how are they able to contribute to the economy? (Although, the vast majority of deaths have been in the elderly who admittedly do not contribute much to the economy anymore, sorry to say). I trust NZ to do what’s best for its citizens (although they haven’t been doing that to date, if you look at the poverty and inequality rates), but we do have the money and resources to recover.

The problem I want to get at with this post is that I am in Japan where their response to the Coronavirus has been lacklustre at best. Not only that, their approval rating of the government’s response shows this quite clearly, it’s by far the lowest of the G7 countries:

Taken from this article

My problem is that NZ is doing astronomically better than Japan, and so whenever I mention NZ, people think I’m just boasting. This does absolutely nothing to help solve the problem.

In Japan, I have found it effective to use examples of similar places to get people to act. By saying that another similar place is doing something, I could convince people to do things, even if that original place wasn’t doing what I said it was (this worked surprisingly well).

Obviously, I can’t do that right now. So for the meantime, I’m just going to let things take its course, and I’ll only mention NZ when it’s brought up in conversation.

Tim Bunting Kiwi Yamabushi


Hi, I’m Tim Bunting AKA the Kiwi Yamabushi, a New Zealander who became a Yamabushi Ascetic in the Dewa Sanzan mountains of north Japan. I’m part of the Yamabushido team, and we host life-altering Yamabushi training on the Dewa Sanzan (website link). People come to us for the ultimate mindfulness experience, to reach the next level, or simply connect with nature and themselves.

I’m on a mission to summit all 100 Famous Mountains of Yamagata Prefecture to spread the splendour of this fabulous location, and in dedication to all those who lost their lives out in nature, including my father.

On my daily blog I post thoughts of a practicing Yamabushi that I hope people can use to better themselves and live as fulfilling a life as possible.

Sign up to the weekly Mountains of Wisdom newsletter, follow me on social (Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, TikTok, Clubhouse, all @kiwiyamabushi), or send me an email via the link below to stay in touch.



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Sakata City, Yamagata, Japan 


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