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The Fukuoka mayor is banning public servants from drinking alcohol for a month; the Osaka mayor has declared war on tattoos on civil servants. What do you think of all this?

24 Comments

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Don't they have bigger problems to address?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

What do I think? I think they should let their workers do their damn jobs.

Do you really want to trust your private information to Orwellian mayoral clowns like these?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

In all honesty, they are acting on good faith. Ensuring that the public can trust public servants is vital to a local government's efficiency.

However, the conservative ideology that criminal behavior is linked to certain kinds of behavior is simply logically unsound. Correlation does not imply causation. Certainly, the Yakuza have been using tattoos for decades, but while that may once have been the sole province of gangsters (which I doubt anyway) it is not neccesarily the case in today's more libertian society. Similarly, just because alcohol related incidents have been on the rise does not mean alcohol is the root cause of the incident - banning alcohol only tackles the problem at a surface level.

If they are truly committed to improving the image of their employees, then the standards they set must be reasonable and efficient. If they go too far to extremes, like Hashimoto's war on tattoos, then all it does is distract from the real agenda. And if they only go through the motions, like a temporary ban on alcohol, it doesn't solve the underlying reasons for violent or criminal behavior.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The man's obviously incapable of analyzing a situation and finding the source of the trouble. Why do ALL have to be punished for the sake of A FEW?

He doesn't have the skills necessary to lead. He should not be in his position.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

John, you seem to need to read this again. It's only two sentences; surely you can figure out that it's talking about two people.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Well, first, we have to understand that the Fukuoka mayor's ban has no real effect unless someone gets caught doing something bad while drunk. In that situation, the person could be fired, whereas without the ban, it would be hard to do. If people drink at home, or at a bar, but do nothing embarrassing, nothing will happen. He's just trying to send a strong message, I think. Whether it could be done better in another way is another story.

In the case of Osaka, basically the only folks who will have tattoos are gang members. Decorative tattoos are not common, though that is changing a little. Anyway, the mayor is putting pressure on gang members by his action...that is the intent, I think.

I don't really like these kinds of actions, to tell the truth, but I don't think the intent of either of them is really to limit personal freedom.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Typical selfish, arrogant and incompetent moron trying to flex his frail muscles.. And yes, please tell him I said so...

People with minds like him need to go back in time by about 100 million years.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It's completely ridiculous, and even more ridiculous that the Japanese people actually support them... Japan must be mistaking that the year is 1930... These mayors have completely no understanding whatsoever of "human rights", and to be honest, neither do most people in Japan.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

It is a pity that the mayor of Fukuoka is not banning the burning of radioactive debris too eh?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

As far as I remember, the reason for Hashimoto's "war on tatoos" was the fact that some worker in "an educational facility" (jidoushisetsu") boasted with his tatoos, thus implying on his ties with yakuza. And of course, nobody wants yakuza in their shiyakusho, right? As Farmboy stated, tatoos are mostly assocoated with gang members, although there was a female civil servant who complained that she got her tatoo during her graduation trip abroad, kind of omiyage. Interesting is, however, that the most of those with tatoos turned out to be in the transportation and the enviroment departments (garbage collectors, bus drivers, cleaners, road workers and such).

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Ridiculous to even think this sort of behaviour can even exist in these modern times, now lets all wait and see what that other dickhead of a mayor (Ishihara in tokyo) comes up with to match these other two clowns.

How did these idjits get voted in in the first place surely the local japanese cant be THAT gullable can they?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Nutcases the pair of them. People call Boris Johnson (Mayor of London) eccentric, but he has nothing on these jokers - not forgetting old blinky either).

1 ( +2 / -1 )

As a public servant....I truly wonder where all this is heading.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

This is called cleansing and at present it is needed the most since nation has lost moral values after the bust of bubble economy.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

since nation has lost moral values after the bust of bubble economy.

And I believe that its a continued headlong small-minded journey down the path of over-doing unnecessary little morailities like these that will keep Japan's economy down. Attitudes lke this hurt the businesses of tattoo artists and more importantly, alcohol makers, distributers and end servers. And even more than that, the lack of relaxation and fun brought by alcohol and nights out are killing the spirit that brings productivity, and the events that inspire dating, marriage and baby making.

As ever, the little moralizers just can't see the forest for the trees. Japanese of today actually believe the robot facade of Japanese people of the past was their heart and soul. But its just not true. As the Japanese continue to take that facade to their own hearts, they will foster depression and failure. These two mayors are the poster boys of that small minded moral stupidity.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

What next? No holding hands in a public place? No mixed race relationships because it will dilute the gene pool? Women and girls banned from dying their hair brown?

These high ranking officials need to be dragged screaming and protesting into the 20th century, not just the 21st!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

In the case of Osaka, basically the only folks who will have tattoos are gang members. Decorative tattoos are not common, though that is changing a little. Anyway, the mayor is putting pressure on gang members by his action...that is the intent, I think.

He was elected for that, to clean the city all from the yakuza and those taking their bribes. But his survey thing is a weird method to do it. The problem exists. Clearly a number of city all staff are lower level yakuza and they got the jobs thanks to their buddies. About 10 yrs ago, the mayor and the governor were puppets of the yakuza. I don't know if that was just fear and simply refrained from checking what the city staff were doing or if they were getting bribes. But in their years, huge sums from local budgets have been diverted to the gangs and the yakuza would recruit the city staff, they would say "take that guy...this guy..." and of course, they chose their friends and relatives. That said, nothing says these guys, the tattooed city staff, are criminals beside... I mean beside getting those jobs that are said to be the most paid posts for that kind of job in the world. They used their connections to get it and sign the deal, but years ago... so now, it's difficult to fire them for that. And it's not acceptable that they stay. That's not fair to the taxpayer. And that's not fair for the many other city staff that were recruited on fair criteria, and get paid less than the cheaters. City staff recruitment should be done fairly, and salaries should be fair too. Those that profited of the system should resign, tattoo or not.

that may once have been the sole province of gangsters (which I doubt anyway)

There are many yakuza fans on this site. There is no doubt. The yakuza are gangsters, criminals. They do kill, they do steal, they do all sort of illegal trades, they do blackmail people, etc. No doubt. They get regularly arrested and convicted for it.

there was a female civil servant who complained that she got her tatoo during her graduation trip abroad,

A foreigner ? That an uneducated tourist (and there are scores) arrives full of rock star tattoos and doesn't know it's not something to exhibit here, OK. I "understand", and I still find they are wrong. If she grew up in Japan, she has always known how tattoos are accepted in Japan and why. And she knows she can't get a job in most companies in Kansai with a visible tattoo, visible piercings, manga style blue hair. For a tattoo, that just like you don't go to work in Israel with a "manji" that resembles a swastika printed on your clothes or accessories, even if yes, yours is the traditional Buddhist symbol and you don't mean anything bad. That does not matter. That's not acceptable because the context exists. The context makes it wrong.

Attitudes like this hurt the businesses of tattoo artists...alcohol makers,

Cry me a river. And do you fear for the business of drug dealers ? of sex trade ? of guns ? If activities are linked to crime, corruption or whatever, cause harm to society, they deserve to disappear. Like tobacco industry. They should close some day. Other businesses will replace them. Consumers can buy something else. And for tattoo artists, if the yakuza gangs disappeared, the stigma would go too.

the lack of relaxation and fun brought by alcohol and nights out are killing the spirit that brings productivity, and the events that inspire dating, marriage and baby making

If that was the case, Japan with all those bars and cheap booze all over in the last decades... it would be full of babies. Actually the bars are full of depressive lonely drinkers.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

If activities are linked to crime,

Do you know what the word "linked" even means? It does not mean its a cause. It might be, but then it might not be. Getting a driver's license is linked to traffic fatalaties. But doing away with driver's licenses won't help.

cause harm to society

You are part way there. Its not enough to just prove something harms society. Knives in the kitchen harm society sometimes. What you need to prove is that something does more harm than good. My girl has a tatoo on her but and its not hurting anyone. Alcohol is more dubious, but I look at societies that don't allow it (Muslim) and I am pretty sure we are better off for having it.

I could argue much the same for tobacco. It keeps a lot of people stable.

Actually the bars are full of depressive lonely drinkers.

But the izakaya aren't. They used to be full of partying "salary men" and teachers. That might still be somewhat true in Tokyo, but outside of Tokyo, izakaya are not doing as well. Also, everywhere is quieter as the sober people never break free of their inhibitions.

it would be full of babies.

The conclusion of a child! There are many factors affecting the birthrate. Its not statistics that will give the answer in this one, but knowledge of how humans interact. No amount of alcohol will cure the cold nature the Japanese aspire to these last few decades, but it sure does help.

And there is still relaxation, productivity and dating for you to address. Suicides have not only risen since 2000, but they are staying on a high plateau. And what are the big changes in that period? Negative attitudes about alcohol and tobacco are certainly in there. Negative attitudes about sex are also creeping in. The straight-laced do-gooders threaten to destroy everything with their pall of boredom.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Nonsense and distractions. Rather than spending their energy on value to the community, these morons are distracted with issues that offer no positive results to anyone other than the inflated egos of these leaders.

Japan's #1 political problem is that the idiot politicians here have their picky noses so close to a single tree that they are unaware they are standing in a forest the size of Brazil.

What the people of Japan need are politicians that can focus on the needs of the citizens and get some real work done. Otherwise they are useless baggage.

I have two tattoos, I love a good zinfadel with dinner when I can find one and I am a hard working person who gets things done for my company and for my private pursuits. If these idiots think that my tattoos and love for a good wine compromise any of those things, then they can come over I will prove them wrong! I am sure many of you reading this agree.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I think both issues are good things to think about when responding to the ANA "Is Japan Cool?" question.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

About what you would expect of leaders in a country where the populace enjoys being treated like children and have paternal officials decide what is best. People get the government they deserve afterall.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Dumb. Discriminatory. Unfair.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The whole issue of tattoos goes much deeper. Hashimoto wants to clean up a system that has entrenched it'self in to the government departments. Time to clean house. Some will know what I am saying, most will not.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Divide and conquer.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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