Wednesday 2 September 2015 - Monocle Minute | Monocle

Wednesday. 2/9/2015

The Monocle Minute

Image: Getty Images

Tokyo logo a no-go

Brand Japan has taken a beating this week with the news that the logo for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games has been scrapped amid allegations of plagiarism. With fresh accusations emerging over the weekend, the designer Kenjiro Sano offered to withdraw the logo on Monday and the deed was done yesterday. This comes hard on the heels of the decision to abandon Zaha Hadid’s costly design for a new national stadium in the centre of Tokyo. The Olympic ideal has long since become obscured by corporate sponsorship, TV rights and humungous debts for the cities involved but the event does at least offer nations a brief opportunity to show what they are about. As it stands, Japan – one of the most creative and industrious nations on Earth – is currently without so much as a plan for either an Olympic venue or a logo. It’s time for organisers to draw a line under the debacle and show the world what this city is really made of.

Image: Getty Images

Train security – can it be improved?

Following the foiled attack on an Amsterdam to Paris train on 21 August by a heavily armed Moroccan man, there is the feeling that security changes are required. For politicians keen to be seen to be at least doing something, the rhetoric has PR appeal but for the public it means little. At an emergency meeting called by France’s interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve last week it was agreed that there should be more police patrols on trains and baggage checks and perhaps names on tickets for international trips. But if a terrorist is getting on a national service at a small station then there is little hope of stopping him with such tactics. So while some extra checks are OK to improve the general mood, and perhaps deter some attackers, we should be pressing the security services to be more vigilant: the would-be killer Ayoub El-Khazzani was known to authorities in several countries. And in the end, if getting through railway stations is as miserable as getting through airport security, then the terrorists have won anyway.

Image: Messe Duesseldorf

The caravan is back on the road

Airline executives and hoteliers normally enjoy a good industry trade fair. But this one is likely to cause at least a few furrowed brows as it hints at a remarkable trend revival in the world of travel and sleepovers. The 2015 Caravan Salon taking place this week in Düsseldorf is testament to the strength of the motorhome market and to the breadth of its appeal. Buoyed by the news that industry sales are up almost 10 per cent this year, around 580 manufacturers from across the world have brought nearly 2,000 vehicles to the convention. Their models range in size and ambition from the cosy, compact Hymer van (just 5.45 metres in length) to the expansive €1m Volkner Mobil motorhome with a bus chassis from Mercedes that includes space in the undercarriage to store a sports car. Hotel owners and airlines alike should take heed. It seems a lot of people think a rock-star trailer is where it’s at.

One for the ages

London magazine ‘Protein’ has just launched its Age Report. And it turns out that the people with the power and money are the good old baby boomers and that Generation Y is more Generation "Why bother?".

This is why you need to go to Addis Ababa

The politics may raise some questions but Ethiopians are getting on with building a robust economy and a vibrant cultural scene.


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