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We can’t do our job if we have to deal with this. Such calls are disrupting work. These people don’t understand what we’re telling them.

19 Comments

Akita Gov Norihisa Satake, The Akita prefectural government was plagued by a flood of angry calls from people spouting verbal abuse and complaints after it culled three bears in the prefecture’s town of Misato in October.

© Yomiuri Shimbun

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These people don’t understand what we’re telling them.

Ah, the true contempt of the rulers, usually hidden behind the softer "we will seek to gain understanding", emerges.

-1 ( +11 / -12 )

Japanese bureaucrat  just doesn't like people to have voice, they can't setup a hotline for that. However they just want people to vote for them and then let them do their job without interference.

-5 ( +9 / -14 )

The fact that there were three bears might have caused the outcry.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Set up a call center in India. All complaints must be made in English.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Ah, the true contempt of the rulers, usually hidden behind the softer "we will seek to gain understanding", emerges.

While that type of contempt is often displayed by government officials here (usually in response to opposition to massive public works projects and that sort of thing), I don't know if its fair to label this as an example of that.

There have been a spate of bear attacks on people in Akita prefecture this month resulting in serious injuries to several. Its not clear from the quote (and a bit of added context in the explanatory blurb would have helped), but I assume the cull referred to was in response to those attacks and might well have been a necessary response to protect human life.

https://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/15025227

6 ( +7 / -1 )

One thing is to get angry and complain after careful consideration of a situation, another completely different thing is to use verbal abuse over a completely invalid way to understand the situation that do not take into account the circumstances of the event.

Making a rational complain may or may not help changing things, but making an abusive call just to release stress and anger is not helpful at all and can instead have a negative effect even on future times where complaining is even more justified.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I'm actually quite heartened that enough people seem passionate enough about the lives of bears to call up and make fuss to faceless bureaucrats "just doing their jobs according to the rules" without compassion or care. It's a sign of hope among the general apathy and duty. Acknowledging the care and concern for wild animal lives, and perhaps learning something from it, while also seeking to explain a different context, such as why the bears had to be destroyed, sounds a whole lot better for an authority figure than contemptuously saying, "These people don't understand what we are telling them."

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Well, at least they didn’t get Goldilocks.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I'm actually quite heartened that enough people seem passionate enough about the lives of bears to call up and make fuss to faceless bureaucrats "just doing their jobs according to the rules" without compassion or care. 

I like bears, but I think you are assuming a lot, based on zero evidence, in saying that this is a case of a bunch of faceless bureaucrats blindly following the rules without any compassion or care. The mere fact that they had to cull three bears - which seems to be all the facts you have on which to make that claim - doesn't mean any of that is true. After just reading up about it in the Japanese media for additional context right now I don't think any of that is a fair characterization of what is going on.

 It's a sign of hope among the general apathy and duty. 

Seems to me its more a sign of yet another self-righteous internet mob getting whipped up into a frenzy on social media and harassing local government officials who are just trying to deal with a very serious problem - people's lives are literally at stake here - with very limited resources as best they can.

What would you realistically have local governments in rural areas do in the face of a spate of bear attacks on vulnerable people? Be nice to the bears and hope they go away?

Acknowledging the care and concern for wild animal lives, and perhaps learning something from it, while also seeking to explain a different context, such as why the bears had to be destroyed, sounds a whole lot better for an authority figure than contemptuously saying, "These people don't understand what we are telling them."

The reason they are saying "people don't understand what we are telling them" is precisely because all of that stuff is being explained but angry people are still calling to just shout at them. This isn't productive, its not helping bears and its not helping get any sort of "pro-bear" message across.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Obviously he is angry that the public have the nerve to try to tell him how to run HIS Akita

Or he is angry because lots of people called just to abuse the people that received the calls by just yelling they should die, etc.

I mean even if the complains are justified (which is a very big if) abusing people to feel better about the problem is not justified nor should be allowed.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

They could set up a hotline and hotline site allowing citizens to vent their views and opinions.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There was a story recently about the Akita government offering 5000 yen for every bear killed. No limits on how many should be killed were announced. If they had said something like 50 bears need to be culled, it won't harm the population and it will make things safer, people wouldn't have much of a reason to complain. Encouraging people to kill as many as possible for 5000 yen a pop is concerning and doesn't seem well thought through.

Your description seems somewhat misleading as it implies the government has announced a 5,000 Yen bounty on bears without any limitation on the number of bears, which (from my brief reading about it, I'm not an expert) doesn't look like it is the case.

Bear culls are carried out by an association of hunters in the prefecture, who do so at the request of municipal governments when there is a bear who poses a threat. The 5,000 Yen merely covers the costs the hunters incur in responding to such requests (transport, cost of bullets, etc), its not an economic incentive to go out and kill however many bears you want. The number of bears that can be hunted is regulated by the prefecture seperately from that 5,000 Yen subsidy and has not been changed.

Bit more context, including video of the press conference where the governor made the quote cited in this article here (ANN news):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxXQjzkTetk

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I realise people's lives are in some danger but it is the contemptuous attitude of "The people don't understand what we are telling them," typical of, as Vreth rightly points out, the local daimyo that gets my back up. People called in to complain. I am gratified that, even if you think they are just a baying mob, they have some compassion for bears that did not themselves, in this case, harm anyone having got into a tatami factory. That's the positive in the story. But you have your way of seeing it, rainyday, and I have mine. Have a nice day.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

but it is the contemptuous attitude of "The people don't understand what we are telling them," typical of, as Vreth rightly points out, the local daimyo that gets my back up.

But if this is the actual reason (people complaining about things that can be explained as wrong, false, etc?) how would you tell what is happening.

People called in to complain. I am gratified that, even if you think they are just a baying mob, they have some compassion for bears that did not themselves

The problem is that many people did not call to simply complain but to abuse the people receiving the calls, endlessly yelling "you should die" is not something that can be defended as simply as just "complaining" and that is precisely what happened here.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

It shows they have passion at least.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Doesn’t Mr Satake understand the alternatives to killing animals that could be tranquilised and relocated?

Obviously not…

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

On the contrary, it seems that he's not understanding what his constituents are telling him..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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