(upbeat music) Taro Aso.
I love when his name comes up,
because he really is the last
of the old school politicians
who really believes
that every thought he
has in his mind has
to come out of his face.
Every time he’s on
news, like you just see his
name in the news, it’s
actually been a long time.
So every time you see his name in
the news, I’m like, ah, is it homophobic?
Is it misogynistic?
Is it racist? I don’t know.
The cornucopia of awful things
you could say, he’s gonna say it.
So he was praising a fellow politician.
He was giving a speech and he’s
saying, hey, I have this coworker.
She’s really good.
It’s a good thing to do.
He got her name wrong twice.
That’s not such a good thing to do.
Especially if you’re
trying to pray someone.
He praised her diplomatic
and English skills,
but then decided to
call her an old lady.
The Japanese word is Obasa.
Obasa would be like older woman,
kind of use it for grandma and stuff.
So I think when you’re a
decade older than someone,
calling them old, it doesn’t
really work the same way.
Then he decided she could
not be called very beautiful.
Now, taking to account, this comes
from an 83 year old Japanese man,
who quite frankly looks like
the, who looks like the humanized
version of the yokai, kappa,
squished up little turtle face.
So let’s get into the actual quotes.
I look at her and think this
old lady is quite something.
Now you can see, he
met that as a compliment.
He meant that to be a good thing.
Although she is not particularly
beautiful, she speaks with confidence.
And again, in his mind,
he’s complimenting her.
He’s saying positive things.
And he thinks he’s not
gonna get any trouble for
this, ’cause this is good
stuff that he’s saying.
Kamikawa, the woman who he was
supposedly praising, she is a class act.
So they were asked her about this.
So he said this like, he says
she’s not beautiful, she’s old.
He did technically say
some positive things as well,
but he had to, everything had to be like
peppered with some weird backhanded insults.
She said, “I will gratefully
accept any feedback.
” Now that puts her
in an amazing position.
‘Cause here you have a guy
who’s saying awful things to her.
They’re in the same
party, so he’s praising her.
She can accept the praise and also be
graceful with the other stuff that he said.
And she comes out looking awesome.
So yeah, I do have confidence.
I do speak English, well, I
am a very powerful politician.
And when people come at me
saying awful stuff, it just rolls off me.
And then she’s got the secondary
thing where the opposition parties,
because also has said these terrible
things, they’re attacking it on her behalf.
So she doesn’t have to attack him.
She just has to sit back
and look at how graceful I am
as a human being, how unbuffuddled I
am, and everything is gonna work out.
So that was a couple
of days ago, February
2nd, so a few days
before we recorded this.
I so admits some of his
comments were inappropriate.
So he’s not even being
specific as to which one he’s like,
gonna say sorry for it, but of course,
this is Taro also, he does not say sorry.
I take the points raised by various people
seriously and will retract my remarks.
I would love to go through
all the old Ninja News Japan.
This is like episode 294, so I’m not
gonna be doing that anytime soon.
See how many stories
I’ve done with Taro also
and how many of those
stories have had retractions.
‘Cause I’m pretty sure every time his
names come up, he said something stupid.
And then a couple weeks later,
he’s had to retract the statement.
I’ve also gone on the same rant many times
about how retractions don’t mean anything.
So please be clear, he did not apologize
for what he said, he
retracted his statement.
Basically, this is
like, I’m sitting across
from you and I go, you’re
a dumb piece of shit.
And then you get
really upset and then 10
seconds later I go, well,
I retract my statement.
You can see how that’s the core issue.
Like, I actually have gone
on longer versions of that.
But the core issue is
once you said something,
retracting it doesn’t
actually mean anything,
I guess in the political world,
this means problem solved.
Despite this being the millionth time
that he has had to retract his comments.
So the question now, at 83 years old,
is how many gaps does
this man have left in him?
Because he’s running,
he’s now like, run the circuit.
He said homophobic stuff, he said
misogynistic stuff, he said racist stuff.
Can he actually say something
somehow even worse and impress me?
Because I think he has it in him.
I have faith that Tano also can
still be the also, we all need him to be.
So let’s get a little further
into bad political decisions.
Tokushima, you’re in an area, this
is your town, this is your prefecture.
You want to promote
local arts and industry.
This area is very famous for indigo dying.
So you need something
to display the clothes on.
So a mannequin, you know,
somehow the mannequin is not enough.
You need something more, maybe
something more realistic, more seductive.
And so you spend
400,000 yen of public money
on an incredibly
realistic looking sextile.
So the promotion was
set up in the corner of
an airport using public
and private money.
At first they had two mannequins,
these cost 13,500 yen each,
and that was done from April.
Then suddenly it was swapped out
for the more alluring love doll in July.
A staffer said the promotion
was aimed at men and found an
article online that said using
realistic dolls had become common.
I’m wondering what kind of websites
this person had been browsing
to get to the algorithm
to say to the point,
well, here’s an article
where second stalls are
common is something that
he would end up reading.
But I don’t have access to
the history or the algorithm.
If I did, I’d have a much
bigger presence online.
The official in question here,
visited a manufacturer of sextile.
So went to the factory in Osaka
to see the product firsthand.
So not only did they just buy a sextile
to put their indigo died, so sort of
commonos on, they went to the sextile factory
to actually visit the factory to
see them being produced firsthand.
This all came to light in September
with a local magazine and
then the project was audited.
So basically a local
photographer was in the airport
and was like, hey, I
think that’s a sextile.
Took some pictures of it, went back,
probably Czechs did a little
like checking of their sources
and like, yeah, this is a sextile
and then published the article
and then other people in
the government are like,
bro, so they do an
audit and they check out,
finding out they’d spend
nearly half a million yen
on this sextile that is sitting
here in the indigo clothing.
So it turns out if something, this is
actually, so something I learned from this case
is that if something is
more than 100,000 yen,
it is called a fixture and
then is used in other projects.
So this, the sextile was actually
used in two other projects
in 2017 and 2019, but there was no mention
as to what was happening in the interim.
So there was a sextile
just in the government
building, just sitting in
a corner, not being used.
No, I say that with a certain gravitas
because maybe it was being used.
I don’t know.
I mean, I don’t want to
cast too many expressions,
but at the same time, late
night, you’re in the office,
sextile in the corner, currently, the
doll has been removed from the display
and it’s being warehoused
with no plans to use it further.
So they have, this
area has spent 400,000
yen, nearly half a
million yen on a sextile.
That sextile has now
been put in a box, put in a
warehouse with no intention
of ever using it again.
So I’m a little torn.
So if you’re a resident and
you find out the government
has spent this money,
what’s the better option?
We’re gonna box it up and
put it away like the arc in
Indiana Jones and no
one’s ever gonna see it again.
It’s never gonna get touched, wasted money.
Or, well, we paid for it, you know,
it’s quite a well-manufactured doll.
I don’t know too much about the in
and out, but, you know, I saw the picture.
It’s a well-constructed
piece of merchandise.
You’ve already paid for it.
Should you use it?
This would be an interesting
thing to get some feedback on.
So if the government essentially abuses
money, public funds, buy something like this,
is it better to warehouse it or is it better
to utilize it to get your money’s worth?
‘Cause I actually have
a fairly basic philosophy
of, I don’t like things
just sitting around.
If you paid for them, you should use them.
So if you have something
like this, I’d be like use it,
but then the only way to
use it is like a mannequin
and put it on display,
which is going to draw the ire
of anyone who actually
recognizes it as a sex
doll, but then you
could turn and go like,
why do you recognize it
as a sex doll you pervert?
You found sort of a way around it.
I’m a little torn.
I actually think the solution, my
solution, would be to sell this sex doll.
So private auction, sell this sex
doll, gets recoup some of your money,
seems to me like the best way to get
rid of it without just throwing it away.
‘Cause that’s what they’re doing now,
which means they’ve wasted the money
and they’re not gonna be able
to get any of that money back.
So I personally, and I
know this would not be
popular, it would be
like, let’s sell this sex doll.
10 people were arrested
for leading people to
artificially inflate prices.
So this is something I
talked about last week,
about scamming, got a couple of emails about
it, people asking about scams in Japan.
This is one of the more
common one for tourists,
and it’s not just like
tourists coming from outside
the country, it’s tourists
within the country.
So I go to another city.
You have these guys, you’re like, hey,
you’re looking for a place
to eat, come with me,
I’ll take you to a restaurant,
that’s called touting.
It is shady, because again,
we’ve had a lot of people
get in trouble for touting in the past,
but that’s usually for sexual services.
People saying, come to the restaurant
where I work is not such a big deal.
The problem is you have to tell the
truth, and these guys are being fraudulent.
This was fraudulent
obstruction of business, yay.
They were telling people
that a popular is a kaya is full.
So you wanna go to this popular place,
it’s full, come to our
place, we’re an affiliate.
And then they take them to a place
with a similar, but different name.
So it does seem like
it could be affiliated.
And this might be where sort of the overflow
from the popular is a kaya takes place.
Once they’re there, after you’ve eaten,
you get hit with seating
fees, weekend charges,
and other just sort of
made up inflated prices.
It’s illegal to not tell you about these
things before you charge them to people.
So a seating fee, you
actually have to tell
them there’s a seating
fee before they join.
If there are weekend
charges, you have to inform
them of the weekend
charges before they’re seated.
It’s just like I said,
if you go to a place,
and there’s a menu, and
the menu does not have
prices, you should
walk out of that place.
You should be very careful of
any place that is not being upfront
with the pricing, because that’s
probably some sort of scam.
It’s probably some sort of fraud.
The police are looking for
links to crime syndicates.
So basically, this is,
yeah, who’s an organization,
or Mafia, or something,
they set up a restaurant,
they set up this system,
and they inflate prices,
and then they have no
problem crossing the lines
and trying to intimidate
people into paying
the inflated prices that they have
created artificially, artificially created.
I can’t end the story on that down point.
I have to, you know,
the ending has to be
strong, that they
have inflated, artificially.
There you go.
Crime and fraud.
Oh, it’s a crime-related episode.
A school principal.
He needs some caffeination
before he starts his day.
So he goes to the convenience store, and
he’ll get a cup of coffee, a cup of joe,
a cup of that black
oil that fuels your day.
That buys a regular, picks up the cup.
What you do is he take
the cup and you put
it in the machine,
the machine fills it up.
Regular costs 110 yen.
But this time, he accidentally presses
the wrong button for a large, it’s 180 yen.
The cup does not overflow.
The store clerk does not seem to notice.
So he goes back the next
day, and he does it again,
and again, and again, at
least seven more times.
Then one day, he’s riding high.
I mean, I’m getting my free 70
yen’s worth of coffee every day.
I’m scamming the system,
I’m paying the man back
for all the bad things
he’s done to me in my life.
Well, then the clerk follows him out,
and starts talking to him, and calls
the police, and he gets arrested for theft.
The small amount that was
stolen probably means no jail time,
no fines or anything, but this
is a public reputation issue.
This is a school principal.
So at 59 years old, so the technical,
age of retirement in Japan 60, a
lot of places keep you on till 65.
They’re talking about making
it 70 other stuff, whatever.
He’s one year away from
retirement, and he gets fired.
So if his money is situation is in
order, that’s not such a terrible thing.
But if he had a pension
connected to his job,
he may have lost a
huge chunk of his pension,
because he didn’t actually
make it to retirement age.
So let’s just be clear.
The 70 yen times seven theft was not
worth, perhaps the rest of your pension.
A 74 year old man, he’s got some
older people committing crimes.
This is part of the Graying Society.
He was contracted to deliver flyers.
So, you know, he gets flyers,
he’s supposed to go around
to different houses, just
drop them in the mailbox.
It’s a pretty easy job, good
part time job for an older man.
He keeps him out and about, it’s very nice.
Probably decided that was too much work.
I actually delivered the penny
saver when I was nine years old.
It was the first job I ever quit.
And I quit it ’cause it sucked,
’cause they gave you tons of sheets.
And you had to go to every single house
and just put them, so it
wasn’t like you were on a route.
You just went to every
single house in an area,
and you put the penny
saver, which had coupons
and advertisements in
it in every single mailbox.
And you do this basically every week.
Lots of kids took the penny savers
and just threw them in the forest.
There was a forest near my house.
I had run across piles of
penny savers multiple times.
I didn’t do that.
I just very, I don’t
remember how long I did it for.
I don’t think I made it a
full year before I was like,
the amount of money I’m being
paid to do this labor is not worth it.
Like I would rather get
nothing and not do this work
than do this work and get the
minuscule amount of money that I get.
I think you were paid
by the paper I forget now.
But it was like sense and then
maybe a dollar an hour or something.
It was child exploitation basically.
I’m supposed to be illegal in
Canada, but apparently not.
If you call it a
part-time job and learning
experience, you can get
away with exploiting children.
This guy had a similar mentality.
This was not worth it, but
he still wanted that money.
So what he did is instead
of delivering the paper
between February 2021 and October 2023,
he was going and dumping them in the sea.
So over 900 kilograms
of flyers were recovered
from the bottom of the sea,
which means there was probably
more than that that have actually been
dissolved and washed away in that time.
He is not confessed to
anything, but of course,
they’re directly linked
to him because they know
who got what and when
they were supposed to go.
Someone caught him.
There were multiple reports of this guy
seems to be going to
this place in the morning
and dumping a ton
of stuff in the ocean.
The Coast Guard caught him
turned him over to the police.
I’ll be interested to see if there’s
any charges placed in this issue.
See, there you go.
I hit the down at the
end of the story again.
I’m interested to see if there’s any
charges laid in the nature of disarrest.
That sentence didn’t make sense.
I’m interested to see what
charges are laid in this matter.
In this matter, 24
episodes, I still kind of suck.
Pan, I was not interested in this story.
Basically, the most
recently crowned Mr.
Pan was born of
She was born in Japan, but
both her parents were Ukrainian.
So she does not look Japanese,
but she was born in Japan.
And so this brings up the question
of what is a Japanese person?
Should someone who does
not look traditionally Japanese
be representing Japan
as a country? I don’t care.
I don’t care about
I think the question of
who is Japanese and stuff
is interesting, something Japan is
a country is you have to deal with.
You got a lot of mixed kids now.
You’ve got a lot of people growing up.
You’ve got a lot of people
who are naturalized citizens.
Japan doesn’t really want to accept
people who don’t look Japanese as Japanese.
It’s a story that’s been
here a million times before.
Because the brown hair question in schools
because you have mixed
kids and they don’t have black
hair, but the rules you
have to have black hair.
People being treated differently
because of their background.
There’s a whole bunch of stories
like that that go on all the time.
Beauty patterns are not important.
It’s basically my personal issue.
I’m not going to say
it’s not important to
everyone or society or
anything, but personally,
I take very little interest
in beauty patterns.
Some interesting questions
about diversity and culture
and some people were very
happy that someone who didn’t
look Japanese was Mr. Pan
and some people were very upset
that someone who didn’t look
Japanese was representing Japan.
But with that sort of level of adulation
comes a certain amount of scrutiny.
And that’s when they got my attention.
Because it seems that Mr. Pan
has been dating a very famous doctor.
And that’s cool.
I mean, loving someone is good.
These pictures of them holding
hands, going around two places.
It turns out the doctor
is married with kids.
And it’s not cool for Mr. Pan.
I’m not going to make too many judgments
on people in their personal relationships,
but if you are someone who
is doing something like Mr.
Pan, it’s not cool for Mr. Pan
to be doing something like this.
The details are going to
come out in a magazine
that’s going to be
issued on February out.
So they’re actually, of recording of this,
the actual pictures are going
to be published in two days.
But because of this scrutiny,
because the story has come out,
she has already handed in her
crown and given up on being Mr.
And so the first foreign
looking person to become Mr.
Pan’s has lost her crown, had
to turn in her crown because
of a scandal, which is actually
giving the people who say
she isn’t representative
of Japan fuel for the fire
that they’re trying to
create, which is actually sad.
To me, that’s the saddest part.
Even though I don’t care about beauty
pagements, I would have rather had her succeed
and then sort of opened the door for more
foreign looking people to be more accepted.
Whereas now what’s happened because she’s
connected to this
scandal, they’re going to go,
well, look, that’s not
really a Japanese person,
a Japanese people don’t act that
way and foreign people are bad,
which is unfortunately
something that does happen fairly
regularly in Japan, the
nationwide turtle survey.
Now, last week, I learned that there
was the Capibara bathing
competition, which is something
I didn’t know in something
I absolutely need in my life.
Well, it turns out there
is also a nationwide
turtle survey, which
I didn’t know about.
And I absolutely need to know
how many turtles are in my area.
I need to know how many
turtles are in the country.
I just need to know about turtles.
I didn’t know about Capibara
as much as I do and I do.
And I didn’t know I cared about turtles
as much as I do, but I care about turtles.
That’s what we’ve actually learned here.
It’s actually a bit scary.
There’s an invasive species
of turtle called the Mississippi
Red Eared Slider and they
are expanding their territory.
They are more commonly
known as the Green Turtle,
which is far less descriptive
and less interesting.
The native Japanese
pond turtle is in decline
in sort of being pushed
out of its territory.
The sample size was of 2,147 turtles.
Currently, almost half the
turtles in Japan of these one
surveyed were these
Mississippi Red Eared Sliders.
One scientist said it’s almost
impossible to eradicate invasive species.
So, the goal here is how
to reduce the population
so it doesn’t impact
the ecosystem altogether
and sort of drive Japanese
pond turtles extinct.
And I don’t want any of
the turtles to go extinct.
I want the pond turtles
to stay and be happy.
I want the Red Sliders to just slide in and
have sort of a happy life here in Japan.
So we gotta find some sort
of balance between the two.
Turns out I want the turtles to be happy.
And I want the Kapi Barra to be happy.
Just like I want the inner
turtle in me to be happy.
Just like I want the inner
Kapi Barra in you to be happy.
And that’s the most important thing.
Is let’s not be invasive species.
Let’s completely lost the thread.
Let’s not be invasive species.
Let’s care for each other and find
balance in the ecosystem of our hearts.