It was past 10 p.m. on a Friday night in October and a reporter was trying to ask for a cab after a drink in the Kumoji area of Naha.

“It’ll take over 20 minutes till we can get a taxi. Is that alright?” he was told by a staffer at the restaurant. It’s often the case that it takes over 30 minutes to get a cab on bustling Friday nights in Naha.

Outside the restaurant, a group of three men were waiting for a cab as well. They tried a cab-hailing app but couldn’t get one. No taxis were cruising the street either, they said.