But I got Dave and Dave
doesn’t want to get out of the way.
What do I do with Dave?
This is a tough question for me.
I want to move the microphone closed.
Last time I had it
up here, it was good
positioning, but actually
echoed from the back
of the room, which was very annoying,
because I could actually hear it.
It’s not terrible, but it was enough.
But then you don’t get any Dave time
if I move the mic where I need it to be.
Which is about there.
That’s right in Dave’s face.
Yeah, I need to do my thing.
That’s what I need.
I need to do my thing.
What am I going to do?
That’s a tough question.
You can see I’ve worked
on my positioning back here.
As soon as I sit down to get
this started, he wants attention.
It’s like he knows I finished writing.
Maybe I’ll ignore him completely when
I’m writing, so that’s why he doesn’t.
He doesn’t, but he knows during this part
I might actually like pay attention to him.
Oh, what do we do, Dave?
What do we do?
Let’s get that up a
little more right there.
Yeah, like that.
Oh, he’s sitting down.
That’s very nice.
Okay, so let’s get started.
Japan, as a country, is shrinking.
Not the actual, no.
Japan is a population.
So as a country, it’s staying
basically the same size.
I mean, there might be erosion going on.
I didn’t check that statistic.
I was looking at a different statistic
because you’ve been in his huge Pam before.
You know, I love the statistics.
Statistics are super fun.
2022, so they take a lot of
time to resolve the
actual surveys and whatnot
from the previous year to
make sure they’re accurate.
So we got, there was an 801,000
person decline in Japan last year.
That’s a lot of people.
It’s the first time that all 47
pre-fractors have declined in population.
So usually Okinawa,
they’re down there in the
sun, they’re banging
them out, they’re increasing
the population the way,
you know, Okinawans do.
That’s now going to be a new,
like, weird, sexual phrase for me.
You know, like Okinawans do.
But even there, Okinawa,
I guess they got worn out.
They did not increase
the population this year.
This, of course, has prompted calls
to address the declining birth rate
from the prime minister
and programs and stuff.
We’ve talked about this a million
times in the Institute of Japan.
I’ve solved this problem many times over.
And yes, it’s not an easy fix.
It’s not an easy solution.
It’s not something that
can just be done quickly.
You need to change culture to be honest.
But I actually have
other news stories coming
up, the showing that
culture can be changed.
and things will get better.
Foreign residents Rose to
just under 3 million people,
and in Tokyo, actually saw
an increase in population.
So just Tokyo itself.
Because so many foreign people
were going there for jobs and stuff.
So you can see there’s
sort of a tentative solution.
Our next story, though,
is going to kind of show
how that solution isn’t
really going to work out.
They wanted to include
the phrase, including foreign
nationals to its definition
of what a citizen is.
So that would mean that the
people like myself, foreign nationals,
living in kumamoto, would be
considered citizens by the government.
Now, this wouldn’t actually
give them any more rights.
I can’t vote in Japan.
Other people, so it wouldn’t
actually change anything.
It would just be like, hey, you
are now included in the city.
You are a citizen of
the city by being here.
You pay taxes.
You do all the things
that citizens have to do.
You follow the rules.
You’re a good person.
You are welcome here.
I think that was maybe
the underlying message
that you as a foreign resident are still
welcome and are a member of the community.
How could that go wrong at all ever?
Well, they did a survey,
basically asking if this is okay.
Public opposition to this was 90%.
So they went out and did
a survey of the community.
90% of the community
said we don’t want foreign
nationals to be
referred to as citizens.
It’s not going to change
their rights or anything again.
Let’s just be clear that,
but the idea of calling
them citizens was too
big a door to open up.
So they were like, no,
shut that down right now.
So the government of Komodo
has decided we are not going to add,
including foreign nationals in
their definition of what a citizen is.
The foreign numbers in
the city, though, they’re
recognizing that those
foreign numbers are going up.
So they’re like, well, you know,
we’re getting more and more foreign
people who live here, more and
more people are part of the community.
We want to include them in part of the
community. We should call them citizens.
The people on the other
hand are like, fuck those guys.
Fuck those people because
they’re not Japanese.
The government tried to
say that this was based on a
misunderstanding and not
like massively rampant racism.
This is the problem.
As a foreign person
living in Japan, you are
never going to be accepted
as a Japanese person.
You might say that’s because I look
different, but hey, what’s going on?
You might say that’s because
I look different, but I, this
is most of the foreign nationals
in Japan are other Asians.
So they’re from Korea, they’re from
China, they’re from other places in Asia.
So they don’t look different.
So the racism there is just straight up.
We don’t want anyone who isn’t
Japanese to be called Japanese.
The government again, they’re
trying to make it seem like the
people in the city aren’t
anti-foreigner, but of course they are.
They said, we do not
believe that not specifying
foreign nationals as
citizens will exclude them.
I think that having 90% of
your population say that the idea
of calling a foreign national
a citizen will exclude them.
Because basically the
people have made it very
clear what they think of
foreign people in Japan.
I have run experiments
like live experiments on
my students when I was
teaching classes in Japan.
And so they, I said, you know, if
I had lived as a foreign person in
Canada, if I had lived in
Canada as long as I have
lived in Japan, I’ve lived
in Japan for 21 years now.
If I had lived that long in
Canada, I would have been a
naturalized citizen and
everyone would call me Canadian.
I mean that of course was
racist everywhere, but then the
number of people who would
accept me as a Canadian huge number.
In Japan, I could live here
for the rest of my lives, let’s
say 40, 50, 60 years, and I will
never be considered Japanese.
I could learn perfect Japanese.
I could adopt Japanese
lifestyles and I could take
on their behaviors and stuff.
And I still would never be Japanese.
And that’s it. It’s just never.
And then my students would say, well
that’s not racism. You’re just different.
I’m like, well that’s
literally what racism is.
And so I put an experiment to them.
We were talking about police.
And I said, you know, I, when I was
young, I considered being a police officer.
My students say, oh,
you’d be a really good police
officer. You know, you’re
strong and you’re serious.
And you know how to, you know how
to, you could handle people really well.
And you know when to be strict
and you know when to be kind.
That kind of stuff. You’d be a great cop.
And then I said, in Japan.
And they all went dead silent.
And they all went dead silent
because the idea of a foreign person.
And now these were
not racist people really.
But they were saying,
like they accepted me.
They were taking these
classes with me as the teacher.
So they were like, you know,
we’re interested in foreign culture.
We’re interested in lots of stuff.
We’re open people.
But the idea of a foreign
person, a person, a non Japanese
person, having authority
over them in their situations.
Like I pulled them over. I said, like if
I did, I was a police officer in Japan.
And I did a traffic stop. I bet half the
people I pull over would not consider.
Like my authority. They wouldn’t,
they’d be like, well, he’s foreign.
He’s not a police officer.
So and they’ll just drive away.
I 100% think they would do that.
Because the idea of
a foreign person having
actual real authority in
Japan is inconceivable.
And again, this isn’t
rampant racism. It’s
kind of a more generalized
soft racism, maybe.
And that’s one of the issues
that Japan needs to get passed.
Because the declining population is really
only be saved in the short term by an
increase in foreign residents who do
jobs produce babies with Japanese people.
And you need a more mixed
society for Japan to survive.
And I know Japanese people,
that is the last thing they want.
And this survey, 90% of
the people in Kumamoto,
and Dave will not stay still. Okay, I got
to do something to get Dave’s son down.
So what I do is I take Dave’s
bed and I put Dave’s bed on my lap.
And then I put Dave in
the bed and he will sit down.
My lap, I think, is not
comfortable with that.
That nice, nice butt shot there.
So now, I think maybe my,
Oh, see, look at that. You are
immediately like starts laying down.
The problem is I got to get
close enough to the microphone.
Okay, so you won’t be able to
see him as much, which is too bad,
but you do get a lot more
Steven Seagal, which is great.
My rant about racism has been
interrupted by my love for Dave.
And that’s how we stop racism. Love.
So I don’t know where
I was going with that.
But the solution, oh, the short
term solution to the population,
the decline in Japan is
to bring in more people
who are not Japanese
and make them Japanese.
But when you get in Kumamoto,
let’s say 90% of the people are
opposed to the idea of calling
a foreign person a citizen,
even if they pay taxes and do
all the things that citizens do.
Again, again, no increase
in their actual rights.
They don’t get to vote.
They don’t get to do other stuff.
They don’t get to hold public office.
That still was aligned
too far for these people.
Just giving them acknowledgement
that they’re part of the community.
So Twitter recently rebranded to X.
Kind of a problem in
Japan, because then it’s
going to be X Japan is
what they wanted to call it.
In Japan, there is a glam
rock band already called
X Japan, so that name
is already trademarked.
It’s not trademarked
by like a guy like me who
Twitter could just like
bowl over with money
and just like take it from them,
which is exactly what they would do.
It’s not like they would, if I
owned X Japan, the trademark, they
would offer me a massive someone
money so that they could use it.
They would try to steal it from me.
This is one of those things
that you have to be really
careful about like these
big companies and stuff.
They’ll just take from you if they can’t.
But X Japan is a massive,
massive rock band in Japan.
I never really listened to them.
I don’t know if their music is good or not.
I’m not going to make a
judgment because I haven’t.
It’s not my thing.
So they’ve already run
into a problem there.
This has been very interesting
as someone who lives
in Japan seeing the way
Elon Musk is running stuff.
I’ve talked about Elon Musk on
Seamick being stuff like that in the past.
The issue is he doesn’t seem to
consider anything as he makes a decision.
He just moves ahead.
He just bowls ahead.
So when Elon Musk took over
Twitter, he fired a ton of staff and
he fired almost all his PR groups,
including the PR group in Japan.
The thing is, labor laws in Japan
are very much in favor of the worker.
And a CEO taking over a company is not
a justification for firing those people.
So every single one of
the PR people he fired
in Japan, because that’s
the group I knew about.
He fired them all like
basically right away.
They all had a massive legal case
against Twitter that they 100% could win.
Because the ruling in
Japan is that if his new CEO
takes over, he has to,
you can’t fire those people.
You can move them around.
You have to use the resources
that you have and not fire any people.
So a new CEO taking
over a company is not a
reason to fire your staff.
You have to use that staff first.
And then if they fail to
meet some kind of like, what,
or whatever measurement
that you try to put out
there, then you could
start considering firing.
But that would have
to be after a year or two
years if you’re trying to
use the staff you have.
So I don’t know.
I don’t know.
That story went away really quick.
So I’m betting all those
people just got massive payouts.
The thing is, in Japan, is not America.
This is the problem
where I would actually say
Japan needs to be a
little more Americanized.
They don’t do punitive lawsuits.
So you would have lost this
much money for this year.
We’re going to pay you
out this like five million yen.
But whereas in America it would
have been like 50, 60, 100 million
yen because of the emotional
damages that went along
with the they don’t do
any of that extra stuff.
But like a company like Twitter, a guy
like Musk, he needs to be punished before
he’s going to change his behavior before
he’s going to take any of it seriously.
So for him, paying each
of these employees a
year salary to get rid
of them, that’s nothing.
And he’s just probably just
like settled, which is too bad.
Because I would like to see him get into a
little more trouble because he was absolutely
flaunting the rules and just being an absolute
douchebag that I think we’ve all come to know.
That’s what he is.
And again talking about abusing the
system, a couple was hiking in Goodman.
These were in their 50s.
Around 2 P.M., the husband
calls emergency services.
He says, “My wife has
been injured for left foot.
Oh, my wife, my dramatic
reading kind of fell apart.
My wife has injured her left
foot, is having difficulty walking.”
So of course, because they’re on a
mountain, they can’t just go get her.
They have to call out a helicopter.
So they call out a helicopter.
And then they have
like three or four firemen.
They have some police officers.
They’re all out there.
She’s airlifted and taken to a
hospital for an ingrown toenail.
And again, this is Japan.
So she didn’t really get
punished for this, which I
was like, did they make
her pay for the helicopter?
Did they make her do other?
They should have at least embarrassed
her because this was too much.
This was like the husband could have
helped her walk down the mountain.
They could have tried to cut the toenail.
I don’t know how bad it was.
But an ingrown toenail, she managed to
hike up the mountain to a certain degree.
Far enough that they couldn’t just like
pick her up with a car and drive her back.
So she, I don’t know, man.
It’s one of the things like how do you
punish people for abusing emergency services?
Because they’re not really ever
going to understand emergency services.
It’s the kind of person.
It’s the way they think.
This is kind of, you know, on
most cases, the same problem.
He thinks a certain way and he’s
not going to change the way he thinks.
He thinks he deserves
to be able to do whatever
he wants because of
the ways he lives his life.
Because the world has been
set up for him to succeed.
These people, they thought,
ah, we can call a helicopter
to come pick up my wife
because for a sword toll.
And that’s not going to change.
An employee took sick leave
from a government position.
So they had a doctor certificate.
So this was, you know, per-fquile eagle.
They were allowed to take their sick leave.
There’s no argument there.
Once you get a doctor certificate to take
sick leave, you get your time off in Japan.
There’s no sort of pushback on that.
During the leave,
though, they decided it
would be really cool
to go to cosplay events.
Gothic Lolita ones.
I think I might be creepy.
I have done a lot of stories about
the 50-year-old dudes who are creepy.
And I’m in my early 50s
and so am I getting creepier?
It’s a concern I have because
I’ve done so many of these stories.
I’m wondering if that
is an inevitable path.
Like, is it the inevitability that I
will end up being the creepy dude?
I’m hoping my awareness
of it will reduce the reality.
But I don’t know.
I will never know until it’s too late.
That’s the problem.
I’ll do something.
Someone will say that’s creepy.
I’ll go, “Oh, no, it was me.”
But my first thought,
the reason I said that
was my first thought
was like, no pictures.
Because he’s at cosplay
events, posting pictures.
I wanted to see the pictures just to check
out what kind of cosplay she was doing.
It said like a Lolita thing.
I was like, “Okay, well, I’m interested.
What does that look like?”
But then I was like,
“Then I need a thought.”
I was like, “Oh, was that creepy of me?”
Because it’s research.
But does the fact of what
she was wearing matter?
I just wanted to see the pictures.
When I read a story about something like
this, I always wanted to see the pictures.
Is it good cosplay?
That’s actually my first thought.
Is it good cosplay?
Is it bad cosplay?
What kind of cosplay is it?
So this lady’s supposed to be on say, “J.
Just through an I.S. research.”
T.B.F. I want to see them too.
But I may be, a couple of
times mentally, I’ve been like,
“Have I crossed the line with
wanting to see these pictures?”
If it’s terrible cosplay, why bother?
If it’s terrible cosplay, well,
okay, there’s more to this.
So that’s actually the
bit we’re going to get to.
I’ll do that maybe next time.
I’ve had a rough day.
I’m going to… Jade is very good
at getting me to tangent from the
story, but again, maybe
the more interesting bits.
This is not funny.
In the engineer’s Japan,
I try to keep things light.
But I’m exhausted today.
I finished work.
Yes, so many tangents.
But the thing is, the tangents are good.
Tangents are the good part.
Yesterday, I did an early shift
and I covered someone else,
and I finished it four
o’clock and I thought,
“Awesome, I’m going to
get home, like 5, 5, 30.”.
I can sit down, read all
my news stories, get all
my stuff prepped out for
an engineer’s Japan today.
This didn’t work out.
The train hit something.
Now, there’s only so many
things the train can hit.
I was in the car and
I felt the train hit it.
And it was probably a person
because we stopped the train stops.
We sat there for about 30 minutes.
The police show up.
Some firemen get on and
they check that everyone’s okay.
And then we sit there for an hour.
And then we sit there
for an hour and a half.
Because now, I’m sitting
in an active crime scene.
Then, I think it’s three hours, two hours,
and some we were sitting on the train.
And then it went back
to the previous station.
We all got off.
That train went away.
Had to wait for another train to come.
Got on that train.
It was crazy packed because no trains have
been going for the last two, three hours.
So it was one of those
cliche squishing people
pushing people onto
the train car kind of thing.
Get off like two, three stations.
A bunch of people get off.
So they’re actually getting home
so I’m happy about that’s not too bad.
By the time I get to
my transfer station,
it’s actually normal
amount of people again.
It’s old man.
There was lots of space
and you could get off the train.
It was old man was still in push mode.
He decides to push past the people
on my left and then push his past me.
I’m a large person.
So I weigh like 90 kilos.
I’m probably way 90 kilos now.
It’s like two, two, ten.
And this little Japanese old
dude tries to push past me.
I was so tempted to
just push him back or hold
him back so he
couldn’t get off the train.
And then he gets past me and he pushes this
other old man who gets really offended.
Who was getting off the train?
Again, there was no reason to push it.
Everyone was getting off the train.
So I got home last night at 8.30.
So I finished it for it.
It took four and a half hours to get home
last night because of this train accident.
So I went, got home, sat around and
watched some TV and then went to bed.
Got up, started doing my preparations.
So I’m just wasted today.
It might actually took
all my energy last night.
Anyway, back to this lady.
So she had been given sick leave.
She had a doctor’s note.
During her sick leave, she
thought it would be really cool to
go to cosplay events, showing
off her cosplay and her tattoos.
Now, if you have a government position,
you’re not really supposed to have tattoos.
It’s not like they can say they
won’t hire you because it had to.
But again, this is kind of going
back to one of the earlier stories.
These embedded philosophies or
way of thinking, they are not changing.
They still think people with tattoos
should not have government positions.
So probably she had tattoos like I
do where it was covered by a t-shirt.
So I have a tattoo of my shoulder.
I have one of my back.
But you would never see it unless
I took off my shirt to show you.
She probably rolled up her sleeves.
You could see her tats.
She thought she’s
having a really good time.
Under her pictures,
she posted things like, “I
still have a hangover
from the year-end party.”
That kind of stuff.
Because this was a few months ago.
The city got an anonymous tip.
So this was another thing.
These anonymous tips.
So that’s like a coworker
or someone who knows her.
They have to be angry at you.
This is another thing.
If you’re going to sort of break rules, you
got to keep the people around you happy.
I’ve broken rules at work.
But my coworkers, my immediate
coworkers, I’ve kept them very happy.
I’ve covered for them.
Therefore, I am pretty
sure they will cover for me.
I haven’t been flagrant
about breaking the rules.
But I know inherently
as a budding criminal.
It’s important to make
sure the people around
you are willing to
support you in small ways.
I don’t expect them to
put their jobs on the line.
But if it comes down to
like, “Hey, where’s Peter?”
“Well, I don’t know.”
Or, “He’s in the bathroom,”
or something like that.
100% they would do that.
So if you’re going to go on sick leave and
then go to cost pay of play events and show
off and talk about the hangovers
at the party you’ve been doing,
you got to make sure you keep
the people around you happy.
So someone was unhappy decided to do
the anonymous report that, “Hey, there’s
an employee who’s going to these
events when they should be on sick leave.”.
The woman was suspended
because during sick leave,
she should have been
making every effort to recover.
Which I guess is technically
true, but you could say going out
feeling good, having a good time
is part of your recovery process.
I think that would be fair.
Having fun helps you recover.
Not Ignat’s just put in the chat.
Fucking snitch. Yes, that is the feeling.
I agree. Emotional recovery,
I think is where it should be.
So here is, there’s sort of
an underlying theme of the,
you have to change the way
you think to be successful.
Because the world is changing.
In Hiroshima, there’s a garbage
collection company, in a garbage
collection, if I say garbage collector,
your immediate image is a man.
Because, traditionally, this
kind of job has been done by
men. That’s not saying it should
exclusively be done by men.
But if you are struggling to hire
people, there is a group of people that
you have not attracted to your garbage
collection company and that is women.
So this company decided we
are going to make some changes.
Around 2018, a new, a 2016,
a new young president came in.
Young, I think, was the optimal
word there, the important word.
It was one of the
complaints I have had about
politics in Japan. It’s
being run by 70 year olds.
It’s being run by people
who don’t understand the
Internet. People who don’t
know how a printer works.
People who still think we should
be, “Hunkoing things with stamps.”
That’s not cool. Those guys got to get out.
We got to get some young blood in there.
Young girl than me. I’m
actually now thinking I’m on the
precipice of two old to change
the world in a really positive way.
Because I’m going to be like,
“Tiktok is only like, “Well, I don’t
understand that. So we shouldn’t
have that. That’s just not a good thing.”.
No. Kids love Tiktok. They should have the
Tiktok. Don’t go crazy on it, of course.
But don’t go crazy on anything.
That’s just sort of a general rule.
This guy is like, “I’m going
to change the program.
I’m going to make a
If I want to make a worker-friendly
environment for women, I need to have daycare.
In 2018, that’s where I
got the numbers mixed up.
2018, this new young president
introduces daycare for employees.
Most of that running the daycare
is covered by government subsidies.
He’s now providing free
daycare for his employees.
That free daycare is being
subsidized by the government.
He’s paying almost nothing
for this benefit, which is
again, this is some
brilliant thinking on his part.
Now, women start joining
the company. They’ve
set up a system where
your kid gets a fever.
We can either sequester them.
We can call you. Your superior
will call you and say, “It’s time
to take your kid and go home.”
They make flexible work hours.
If your kid’s sick, you
immediately just get the day off.
No questions don’t argument.
You’ve got to take care of your kids.
But knowing that the kid is safe, knowing
that the kid is knowing where they are,
because it’s back at the office.
I know where to go get them.
I know they’ll be taken care of
until I get there to take them home.
Or I can actually just
leave them there because
they have a whole area
for the kids who have fever.
Kids get fevers all the time.
It’s a really normal thing.
This means that now
40% of the garbage
collectors working for
this company are women.
You can’t say garbage man anymore because
it is. It’s garbage man, garbage women.
And that’s awesome.
And now they have enough people to do their
business and their business is flourishing,
where others are struggling to
hire people because it’s all men.
And the men don’t want to do this
job or they have other issues going on.
My wife worked for an accounting
firm, not anymore she used to.
And I was like, “You
get paid almost nothing.
What is the attractive
aspect of this accounting firm?
What he’s done is he’s hired
a whole bunch of married
women and give them
incredibly flexible hours.”.
So he pays them dirt.
But they can pack up and leave
anytime they have to do something.
So we’ve got to take the
kids to school, got to go
to a school meeting, going
to take care of something,
just pack up and leave, no
arguments, no complaints.
And these women were
overjoyed to have this job.
So everyone there was really happy
because they’re like, “I can make money.
I can do stuff that
it’s interesting. It’s
like counting can be
quite challenging work.”.
But I don’t have to sacrifice
taking care of my family to do it.
So if I need, again, kid gets a fever, I
just go pick up the kid, bring them home,
and I stay home with them for that
day or maybe the next two or three days,
and the company doesn’t
complain about it at all.
It doesn’t give me a hard time.
That worker, positive, friendly
environment, those women
were paid garbage, but none
of them would quit the job.
And that’s again, sort of
the change in philosophy is
made these companies flourish
where others still struggle.
Okay, so the Barbie movie, an
Oppenheimer, came out in the same day.
And so that a bunch of people
were like, “Oh, we’re going
to go do a double feature of
the Barbie and Oppenheimer,
because the contrast,
the juxtaposition of the
two styles is going
to be really interesting.
Funny, ha ha, aren’t we quirky people?”
And it kind of got the Barbie
Heimer hashtag took off in the West.
The thing is Oppenheimer takes
a slightly different tone in Japan,
because this is one of the
places where they actually
dropped the bomb that was
created at the end of that movie.
So, Barbie Heimer was seen as
quite offensive by Japan, I think, fairly.
So, this led to a
problem where the official
Barbie English Twitter
account joined the
Barbie Heimer hashtag and
retweeted stuff and did all this stuff.
And they were making their
own, like, “Ha ha, isn’t it funny?
Barbie and Oppenheimer in the same day.
We love it.”.
This led to the Japanese
Barbie account apologizing sort of,
because what they didn’t
say they were sorry, they were
like, “It’s more like an
explanation what they said was,
we didn’t make the Barbie Heimer hashtag.
That was made by Americans.”
And we have no control
over what those Americans do,
much like making the bomb itself
and then dropping on us here in Japan.
But it’s regrettable if
you’re upset about it,
which is a very, very
common Japanese non-apology,
like just saying, “It’s regrettable.”.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t go see Barbie.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t
go see Oppenheimer.
I think they’re probably both great movies.
I probably will see them both myself.
But yeah, people in Japan were
a little annoyed by Barbie Heimer,
so they came up with the
no-Barbin Heimer essentially
trying to ban both
movies because of this.
And I don’t know, as Oppenheimer
been participating in any of this,
I actually didn’t see, it’s
all been on the Barbie side.
And they’re all trying to make light and
they made like a pink mushroom cloud,
and they had what’s in a Margot
Robbie with a mushroom cloud hair.
Yeah, I think in a place
where the actual bombs
gone off, that might be
considered in poor taste.