I think this is the latest vending machine in Tokyo, and one hypothesis came up to my mind.
This machine has an AED (Automated External Defibrillator). As you may know, there are millions of vending machines in Japan. Wikipedia says the number of machines is the highest in the world. There are some reasons for that:
- High cost of labor
- Limited space
- Preference for shopping on foot or by bicycle
- Low rates of vandalism and petty crime
Well, I have no choice for shopping but on foot. I kept searching and found other reasons:
- High technology of machines and food processing
- Passion for better service
- Japanese people like robots
- Equity of society
- Kids have enough money to buy drinks
- Vending machines can be rented for free
I think there is one reason implanted deeply to Japanese people too. Understanding each other without words is virtue. Japanese people speak to someone who they don’t know less than people in Europe and America do. To avoid talking is convenient for Japanese people. I’ll talk about this topic in the future.
I doubt the reason why the company of this vending machine added AEDs is just for these reasons above. It must be a influenced by Mr. Ishihara, a patriotic politician, the governor of Tokyo for years.
After the meltdown in Fukushima, Ishihara said “Stop using vending machines and buy at convenience stores!” and “Japan is the only country that is filled with lights of pachinkos!” (Pachinkos are machines for gambling like slot machines.) (Quoted from JCAST) This resulted pachinko stores to be closed one or two days more a week, and vending machines to be turned their lights off with a sign saying “Operating on saving mode”.
I’m not sure if these help, but at least he scared companies that make vending machines.
What I’m impressed is that companies turned this crisis into a chance. Think. They added AEDs after the earthquake! Who can be against this “wonderful” idea! They created a reason to leave vending machines on the street! (lol)
This post is also available in: Japanese