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You may have heard the name Takeshi Natsuno before. A Keio University professor, former Senior Vice President at NTT Docomo, Sega Sammy big-wig, and creator of i-mode, he is by all accounts an intelligent, not to mention extremely tech-savvy, dude. So you can imagine the surprise the good residents of the city of Sendai felt when he took to his Twitter account earlier this week to publicly disparage their home town as being “too lame for words”.

Just what prompted this sudden outpouring of ire? Well, it seems Mr Natsuno felt rather short-changed when he attempted to use his prepaid Suica IC Card to ride the Sendai subway. Suica is a Tokyo-based IC card system. Sendai is not in Tokyo. You can probably see where this is going.

Mr Natsuno’s original tweet is as follows:

▲”Can’t use Suica on the Sendai subway. City of Sendai is too lame for words.”

Unfortunately, he then threw oil on the fire with this baiting follow-up:

▲”Since I just dissed (yes, he used the English term!) Sendai’s subway system, I bet a lot of Sendai subway-loving idiots are gonna come at me, but it’s the public transport agency’s job to consider visitors from outside Sendai as well as locals.”

But, ouch, he’s not done!

▲”Though those kind of idiots probably aren’t capable of utilising Twitter so they won’t even reply to this tweet.”

Some of Sendai’s residents (who do indeed have the capability to utilise Twitter) were understandably miffed, and responded to Mr Natsuno’s tweets with some salty ire of their own.

▲”Actually, Sendai is planning to introduce the Suica in the next couple of years. But it might be taking a little longer because of the [2011 Tohoku] earthquake and all. So it’s inconsiderate for this non-resident to come to town and squawk that Sendai is lame just because you can’t use Suica.”

▲”All I see is a whiny baby who was under the misguided impression that you can use a Suica card in Sendai, made a typically mean tweet about it, and won’t even listen when others explain why we don’t have it yet because he only cares about his own opinion. That’s Natsuno quality right there.”

▲”Soooo sorry you can’t use your Suica here. You’re entitled to your own opinion but calling all of Sendai lame just for that reason is completely wrong. I think you should check yourself.”

▲”Everyone, let’s cut him some slack. It’s not his fault he’s just an old fogey who thinks the world revolves around him and doesn’t even realise that Sendai has plans to introduce Suica in the next few years.”


To be fair, Mr Natsuno’s confusion probably stemmed from the fact that it is possible to use the Japan Rail-backed Suica card at a number of stations outside of Tokyo so long as you’re trying to ride a JR train. It’s also possible to use Suica to ride the non-JR operated subway within Tokyo, so Mr Natsuno was no doubt extremely irked to find that the same isn’t true up north and he’d have to go and buy an old-school ticket with cash.

But is it really fair to diss the lovely city of Sendai just for that? Or question the technical capabilities of its residents? Good luck with that one, Mr Natsuno!

Source: Jin115
Feature image: You In Japan, edited by RocketNews24