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Police officer overtakes athlete as top profession for Japanese boys

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William BjornsonToday 02:41 am JST

The biggest trap for girls is 'breeder' because the pressure on women for 'traditional roles' is much greater but, once a woman acquires a certain level of experiential wisdom and understands the prison she will be in with children in current western societies, the irrational need to add more mouths to our current overload is mitigated.

Really? Do all women feel this way (half of the world's population)? Has it never occurred to you that some women want to be mothers and take care of the family?  I guess they are not allowed to choose such a future.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

smartacusApr. 3 05:13 pm JST

When I was young, I wanted to be a police officer. It probably came from watching too much TV – my heroes were Kojak, Columbo, McGarrett, Ironside, etc. I thought it was a noble profession and I still do. I admire honest police, especially those on the beat, tremendously.

Even though Japanese police come in for a lot of derision from Japan-bashers on this forum, they do a lot more than any of you could imagine, a lot of it unpleasant.

My cousin was a police officer. In the course of his career, he had to call parents in the middle of the night to tell them their son had been killed in a car crash, or their daughter had been raped and murdered. At the scene of accidents, he and his colleagues had to sift through the wreckage for body parts; they would have to deal with teenagers with drug-addled brains; pull over a speeding car and walk up to the driver, not knowing the driver could be a felon ready to gun them down to get away.

The police have my respect.

5( +7 / -2 )

How could anyone vote this down, unless they are either criminals themselves, or BLM supporters. Of course, when the people voting this down are in trouble, especially when they or their family is threatened, they will call the police for help. Then, for that moment, the police are OK with them, but then later back to hating the police. Not surprising at all.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@ Cleo

Longtime familiarity with your posts enabled me to have full confidence in the integrity of your daughter's service. I have a relative who is a "good" cop, a decent human being, a family man loved by his wife and kids, a "gentle giant" without a malicious bone in his body who wouldn't dream of harming anyone: you know the kind of officer who, catching a couple of boys smoking an illegal joint, will confiscate their smokes and let them off with a little lecture and a warning (and not expose them to legal jeopardy and compromise their futures). Oh, and I also know good people serving in the Japanese army. Still and all, we must keep these servants of the state and their bosses on a tight leash to safeguard our freedoms.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The J-cops once told me that a young man speeding down a one way, on a bicycle who collided with my car was 50% to blame for the accident!

Of course,I was responsible equally!

Only in Japan can a law breaker not be at fault 100%.

It was my first experience of cops being totally illogical and the arbiters of justice-no actual judges needed...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Sad. That's all they got, huh? Entertainer or enforcer... Speaking in generalities, the saddest part is that these are the most salient and attention getting roles in a westernized society. I would like to see women's (well...girls') ambitions reported, and I will presume them to be more compelling and broad minded than what the boys are left with. The biggest trap for girls is 'breeder' because the pressure on women for 'traditional roles' is much greater but, once a woman acquires a certain level of experiential wisdom and understands the prison she will be in with children in current western societies, the irrational need to add more mouths to our current overload is mitigated. For a woman, the MIND is her workshop and her playing field and she is her own enforcer. Water boy or warden? Well, better than no ambition at all...I guess

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I'm convinced that your daughter is a person of good character who will serve the public good and be a credit to the force

Yes she is, and she does to the best of her ability, and she is, thank you.

She’s also a fantastic mother.

Japan’s police force needs more female officers. It’s a pity the police only registered on careers for boys.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Interesting how being a Baker Shop owner is a popular ambition in Japan. I observed that bakeries and/or small pastry shops/cake shops are extremely popular in Japan. For instance, those crepe meals with all different flavors/toppings are extremely delicious (sugoku oishii desu). Also, being a bake shop owner is an excellent ambition (just make sure not to eat the profits).

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

When I was a little boy growing up in England nobody believed me when I told the careers adviser, "All I want to be is a Japanese housewife". Now who's laughing?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Athletes actually have to work.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Maybe the police abolisher/defunder supporter crowd here should sit these boys in a room and prepare a little speech to squash their dreams.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

The clunky "Confessions of a Dog" (ポチの告白) is still the best film to expose the shenanigans of corrupt cops, lawyers and judges in Japan.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

In Japan, being a policeman is synonymous with being a salaryman. You just get more money and better job security.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Sarariman??? What were the options in the first place?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

When I was in primary school, I wanted to be an accountant. Keeping track of the money is such an important role in society.

I wonder if that was on their survey.

I didn't become one, although dreaming of being one did help my penmanship back in the day before everything was computerized.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Police in Japan can make an unbelievable amount of money through corruption. Even better than those bureaucrats in the government.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

In Japan the police have it easy.

And the largest number of police that we will se e at any one time in Japan will be at a rally/demo followed by road stops.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

When I was young, I wanted to be a police officer. It probably came from watching too much TV – my heroes were Kojak, Columbo, McGarrett, Ironside, etc. I thought it was a noble profession and I still do. I admire honest police, especially those on the beat, tremendously.

Even though Japanese police come in for a lot of derision from Japan-bashers on this forum, they do a lot more than any of you could imagine, a lot of it unpleasant.

My cousin was a police officer. In the course of his career, he had to call parents in the middle of the night to tell them their son had been killed in a car crash, or their daughter had been raped and murdered. At the scene of accidents, he and his colleagues had to sift through the wreckage for body parts; they would have to deal with teenagers with drug-addled brains; pull over a speeding car and walk up to the driver, not knowing the driver could be a felon ready to gun them down to get away.

The police have my respect.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

I guess cops get to tell people what to do..

A feeling of power over the 'ippanjin'.

lol That was actually one of the reasons my daughter gave for deciding to become a cop 

I'm convinced that your daughter is a person of good character who will serve the public good and be a credit to the force, but the desire for power is precisely what attracts many "bad apples" to putting on that uniform, which makes the police in all societies, a "necessary evil", a tool of repression and oppression whenever wielded by an undemocratic government.

Why should a generation that never experienced the oppressive pre-war Showa police state feel insecure or authoritarian, or want to return to those times?

The present young generation is politically naive and ignorant of history which, given the sad reality that many Japanese (and humans in general) lack strong principles of social justice, do not question authority, nor can speak truth to power, poses a dangerous weakness that could easily be exploited at any time by governing authorities motivated by right-wing nationalism; this is just how history repeats itself.

Japan doesn't have soldiers, it has the SDF,

The SDF is the Japanese army by any other name.

 And yes the job comes with a pension. You find that a problem?

No, but the enticement of a regular salary and job security is why dictatorships never need worry about recruiting hirelings to do their dirty work like today in Myanmar. Like people say, the police is "a necessary evil" because governments come and go but the police serve whoever gives the orders.

I wish your daughter a successful career in the police and I hope she will a force for good as a public servant. Given the perennial problem of bent coppers and corruption on high we need all the good cops we can hire.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

If you take the same kind of pole in America you would find that most inner city kids wanted to be an athlete or rapper and those living with families in the suburbs that have both parents around have a huge number of answers for what they would want to be for their future.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Don't take these answers so seriously guys, these kids are 6 years old lol

5 ( +7 / -2 )

I guess cops get to tell people what to do..

A feeling of power over the 'ippanjin'.

lol That was actually one of the reasons my daughter gave for deciding to become a cop - after a studenthood during which she experienced baito as a shop assistant, she was adamant that bowing and scraping to members of the public was not for her.

this will help them nurture a sense of justice to protect the nation

...and that was another factor in her choice; from when she was a very little girl, she was a stickler for fairness and doing things right - helping friends, not cheating, taking turns, etc.

That scary old Japanese authoritarian impulse may be resurfacing among an insecure and history-challenged young generation that never experienced the oppressive pre-war Showa police state. 

Why should a generation that never experienced the oppressive pre-war Showa police state feel insecure or authoritarian, or want to return to those times?

What comes next? Service to the state as soldiers (with a pension)?

Japan doesn't have soldiers, it has the SDF, who on the whole do a great job of helping the populace in times of disaster. And yes the job comes with a pension. You find that a problem?

I'm a little surprised police officer is so popular given there isn't much crime in Japan

The role of a police officer in Japan is not so much to fight crime as to serve and protect the public. Yes, that includes catching criminals, but it also includes a whole bunch of other stuff such as missing persons, crime prevention, victim support, etc., etc.

And when it does involve catching criminals, the baddies are much less likely than in some other countries to be actually dangerous (as in, armed). So comparing Japanese police with American police is a bit like comparing apple juice with a scrumpy-and-vodka cocktail washed down with a double whisky chaser (except scrumpy is English, not American.)

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Well that’s a little scary!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I think firefighter beats out police officer in North America. I'm a little surprised police officer is so popular given there isn't much crime in Japan, although young boys probably don't have any awareness of that, just like how unrealistic being a professional athlete is for most of them. Curious where 'teacher' is in the rankings.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

That scary old Japanese authoritarian impulse may be resurfacing among an insecure and history-challenged young generation that never experienced the oppressive pre-war Showa police state. What comes next? Service to the state as soldiers (with a pension)?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

@dbsaiya, it probably has to do with a lot of anime shows, movies and other tv commercials these days. Don't forget, these are elementary kids. They always look up to heroes. And a cop is kinda like a hero through many kids eyes because they must protect others against the villains. When i was a kid, i always wanted to be a cop too or at least join the SDF to help others. Because when i was small i saw many SDF troops help out when a disaster struck. The appeal of athletes were never that big for kids. Sure it makes money but which kid thinks about money when they are young? Police can make big impact to little kids probably because of the cool uniform too. In their eyes those are the adults who they have to look up to and they learn from their parents that if they are in trouble, the cops in the Koban are the ones that they have to seek out.

Is not bad that the future generation get inspired to be in the police force. At least this will help them nurture a sense of justice to protect the nation.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The lack of imagination in this country is just staggering... probably why we have a gazillion bakers, florists, baristas, taxi drivers, cosmetologists, barbers, factory workers, construction workers, clerical workers, salesmen, bureaucrats... And there are actually more dentist's offices than convenience stores here, if you can believe that.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Pity the boys don’t know about the culture of bullying in the police force, and spending hours and years in a boring Koban, riding a 50cc bike, or if you are lucky a dinky little K-car. In some remote village. 3 hours of conflict resolution everyday between two senile oldies who scraped cars in the local supermarket. Then there’s the paperwork...

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

I can't believe that bland office worker was not top.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

They are probably given options to choose from, not exactly free choice...

The questionnaire is limited to the imagination of the makers, not the children.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

My town is known for its large number of snack bars. I think elementary school girls' #1 choice is to want to run a cake shop but by the time they're in JHS their dreams turn to being cute snack bar girls.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Kuraray Co, a supplier of synthetic leather used to make school backpacks,

They are "satchels" not backpacks. I think its a bit cheaty for Japanese manufacturers to call PVC vinyl "レザー", but they get away it because there is a completely separate word for real leather "本革". If I have to pay 60,000 yen for a satchel, I expect real leather.

As for the survey, this is elementary kids, so kids probably have some idealized version of the police in their brains and this is not due to parents pumping them full of "you must get a stable job" type advice. With older kids in high school and university that definitely happens. High schoolers and university students often say they want to be komuin (local government workers, the seishain ones), but most jobs in that sector look soul destroying. One of Kurosawa's best known movies is about a local government worker who realizes he has wasted his life.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

May be gender equality should be taught/aware of from this age through such surveys

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Yeah, I wonder what the reason is for this sudden popularity in being a cop?

Those survey responder is school children, people with uniform is all they know since it's distinct from other people.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Who are responder of that survey? Elementary school children, not university or high school students where those people already made up their decision for their career.

popular profession among new elementary school boys in Japan,

Actually number of applicants taking the police recruitment test has been on a downward trend since 2010.

https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20190630/p2a/00m/0na/014000c

5 ( +7 / -2 )

I guess cops get to tell people what to do..

A feeling of power over the 'ippanjin'.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

Yeah, I wonder what the reason is for this sudden popularity in being a cop? There haven't been any real life situations that have placed them in a favorable light, perhaps TV glorifying their deeds? Interesting to note that a country with an aging population which will require more medical and care providers wasn't mentioned.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

The righ answers are salaryman and housewife.

15 ( +19 / -4 )

I’d rather take the salary professional athletes make over the measly government wages police make any day. Plus the only real danger athletes face is injury and the occasional death unlike police

-7 ( +6 / -13 )

Boys' votes for athlete were down 5.8 points from the previous year, with the spokesperson saying the drop was due to fewer opportunities to watch sports matches during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

I would be very interested on seeing some kind of study to evaluate this more closely, it could have a lot of repercussions on health.

1 ( +11 / -10 )

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