As Japan finalises its preparations to co-host the first World Cup of the 21st century, it finds itself in a deep quandary. Although the country harbours a deep mistrust of foreigners, it desperately wants enough visitors to make the event a success - but not too many. This is a highly organised society (no other country has organised crime like the Japanese) and the thought of hundreds of thousands of football fans roaming its pristine streets, dropping litter, eating fast food and singing - in other words behaving in a disorganised manner - makes them break out in a cold sweat. And then there is the hidden danger of viral infection. Like something from another world, airport drills have been held to simulate a foreigner, foaming at the mouth, arriving with an infectious disease and wiping out baggage handlers and Customs officers by sneezing or coughing, before being cornered by the military. So if you plan to visit Japan over the next three months, do not blow your nose, cough or sneeze before clearing Customs, and do not under any circumstances inform an airport official that you are feeling slightly off-colour. OK, the military bit is made up, but you get the picture. Aliens are not just from outer space - they also come in the guise of football fans from hard-to-pronounce countries and pose a deadly threat. But then only aliens could understand the absurdity of Tokyo, with its flashing lights and bland concrete and steel structures. Ever had a postcard from Tokyo? Exactly. This is the world's largest metropolis and there is not one redeeming sight to break the concrete monotony. Nothing worth putting on a postcard. The Tokyo Tower? Ah, yes, this large TV aerial has an uncanny resemblance to a towering structure in Paris. Hardly full marks for innovation. But, and this is the sad thing, the really depressing, tear-your-hair-out-bite-your-lip-in-frustration sad thing: people will tell you it is higher than the Eiffel Tower (333 metres against 324 metres). Marvellous achievement, Japan, beating the French at their own game. But even if you take this iron icon of what economists might call copyright infringement as something worth seeing, then you have to ask yourself, is that it? A city of 33 million people and all it has to show for itself is a rusty TV aerial. The Japanese do not understand that this is a monument to their lack of originality. Maybe the joke is what's on TV. Saturday evening, prime-time, and you would be hard-pressed to find anything other than an endless mind-numbing display of bikini-clad girls furiously giggling and massaging a male presenter's ego. But at least no one is coughing.